Tourist Information on Turkey - Currency & Visas

Currency – In January 2005, the currency in Turkey changed, and the country introduced the new currency, the New Turkish Lira (YTL) to replace the Turkish Lira. The only difference between these currencies is that the new Lira has dropped off the last six zeros, meaning that one New Turkish Lira is worth the same of one of the old Turkish Lira. This takes the confusion and hassle out of handling the money (especially when it used to involve multiplying in millions). One Great British Pound is equivalent to YTL2.48

Important Telephone numbers –

In the case of an emergency, phone the following numbers.

Police – 155
Fire – 110
Ambulance – 112

The British Embassy in situated in Ankara (ph: 0312 455 3344) and the consular offices are situated in Istanbul (ph: 0212 334 6400), Izmir (ph: 0232 463 5151), Antalya (ph: 0242 244 5313), complemented by the honorary consulates in Marmaris (ph: 0252 412 6486), Bodrum (ph: 0252 319 0093) and Bursa (ph: 0224 220 0436). They are able to assist and advise British nationals in case of emergency.

Visas – British visitors must obtain a visa to enter Turkey. This will cost citizens £ 10 (sterling cash is accepted) at the port of entry, and is a multiple-entry visa valid for 90 days. However, British National (Overseas) Passport holders are required to obtain the visa prior to entry to the country otherwise they may be refused entry.

Passports must be valid for at least six months upon entering, and anyone overstaying their visa will be liable for fines upon leaving. Permission to work must be gained, with people working illegally running the risk of being escorted or deported from the country.

Tourist offices – While tourist offices are located in most towns throughout the country, they are known to be unreliable with the limited ability to speak English and with limited information (although with the best and friendliest of intentions of advising visitors). Opening hours are from 8.30 – 12pm and then from 1.30pm – 5.30pm every weekday. In heavier tourist areas they are also open on the weekend.

Communication –

Telephones – The country’s telephone system is in the midst of being modernised and expanded. Payphones are widely available and are mainly situated in public areas such as transport terminals, telephone centres and also in town squares. International and cellphone calls can be made from payphones, but are markedly more expensive than local calls. Payphones operate on a phonecard system which can be purchased at either telephone centres or convenience stores. Turkey’s international country code is 90.

Internet – Internet cafes are widespread throughout the country, but be prepared to spend just a little bit longer writing out your message as most keyboards are programmed for writing Turkish, rather than English and can take longer for users to find the right keys to hit. Internet rates generally sit at around 1.60YTL (65p) per hour.

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