Advice for Travelling to Turkey
There have been some recent attacks in Cappadocia and Istanbul, so we advise you to exercise vigilance and caution if you’re travelling at this time and follow the instructions of the security authorities. Flights to and from airports in Turkey remain normal, but you can check with your airline or travel company if you need more information before you travel.
If you're thinking of travelling to Turkey but are unsure where to stay, we've highlighted some of the most popular resorts below.
ENTERING THE COUNTRY
British Nationals will need to a visa to enter Turkey, which you can easily get before you travel. Use the official e-Visa website and you won’t be faced with unnecessary charges. If you don’t have a visa before you arrive on Turkish soil, don’t worry! You’ll still be able to sunbathe and explore in no time – just hand over £20 (per person) upon arrival. However, this system is being suggested to be phased out, so to avoid any issues, attaining the e-Visa in advance is the safest way to go. The last thing you want is to be denied entry when the glorious resorts are within touching distance!
At Istanbul Ataturk, there are self-service kiosks where you can apply for an e-Visa once you’ve landed, and this service may spread to other Turkish airports in the future. We also recommend that you print off a copy of your electronic visa, just in case there are any technical difficulties upon arrival. That way, you have paper evidence of your authority to visit and you’ll soon be on your way to your hotel.
As well as having your visa in hand, make sure that you have plenty of time left on your passport. British Nationals need to have a valid passport to enter Turkey and, as is the case with many other destinations, you need to have at least 6 months left on your passport after you leave Turkey to return to the UK. So, if you’re thinking about heading abroad this year, check your passport first.
You wouldn’t own a home, or drive a car, without the relevant insurance, and you shouldn’t travel without it, either. Purchasing travel insurance costs very little (especially if it’s for a single trip), and can be a vital help if you run into trouble abroad. It’s important to know that the EHIC card for emergency medical treatment is not valid in Turkey. If your flights are cancelled through no fault of your own, if you lose your bags, if you injure yourself and need hospital treatment – all of these scenarios, and more, can be protected with a simple, inexpensive travel insurance policy.
If you’re planning on signing up for an extreme sport or two while you’re away, make sure your insurance covers it. Paragliding in Olu Deniz or white-water rafting on the Dalaman River are sensational experiences, but to do so without the proper insurance is asking for trouble – remember sod’s law!
Many holidaymakers don’t have spare cash on them to afford to pay for emergency medical treatment, and would be well and truly stuck if they lost their money, passports or travel documents abroad. Travel insurance can help you to protect yourself, should the worst happen – don’t think that it ‘won’t happen to me’, because it can happen to anyone!
HEALTH AND VACCINATIONS
There are no compulsory vaccinations that you need to have before you travel to Turkey, so don’t worry about making any appointments with your doctor or nurse. However, being up to date with your vaccinations will help to protect you, so check with your doctor that you’ve had everything you should have.
You may wish to purchase bottled drinking water once you’re there – don’t worry, the tap water is fine to brush your teeth in, and is perfectly OK once boiled, so you won’t have to miss your morning cuppa on the balcony.
Be cautious about having ice in your drinks.
As with anywhere else in the world, safety is key. Even a night out in your local town means keeping your wits about you, and the Turkish holiday resorts are no different. Generally, crime is relatively low, and the Turkish people are incredibly friendly and welcoming, so don’t worry about it too much – Turkey is perfectly safe to visit, and is an absolutely beautiful part of the world that shouldn’t be missed.
Common sense and an awareness of who is around you are all that’s required. For example, if you decide to book onto one of the excursions to Istanbul to explore the Grand Bazaar, keep your money close to you. Keep bags securely fastened and wear a practical money bag around your waist, so that any potential pickpockets will avoid you. If you store your money in an inside pocket, or in a money belt that can’t be seen easily, the chances of having your purse or wallet stolen are lower.
Don’t forget that in Turkey, vendors love to haggle. Get your best bartering attitude at the ready and you can bag some fantastic bargains. However, be aware that if you show interest in something, you could be hassled into entering a shop – learn how to say a firm no if you don’t want to.
Invest in a safe in your room. It may seem like a luxury, but storing all of your valuables safely and securely can ensure that nothing of importance gets lost or stolen, saving hassle all round. Pop all of your travel documents, money and valuables in there, and you won’t have to carry everything around with you or worry about leaving all of your spends in the room.
When on holiday, it’s easy to forget the most simple rules of safety, especially when you’ve had one too many drinks. During the height of the summer season, Turkish coastal resorts are booming, so stay alert, stay safe and don’t venture off on your own unless someone knows where you’re going. It’s simple advice, but being vigilant can often be forgotten when you’re on vacation.
RESPECT TURKISH CULTURE
As with all other countries across the world, Turkey has its own laws and customs that need to be respected. As a predominantly Muslim country, it’s expected that holidaymakers respect the culture and dress modestly when entering a mosque or religious shrine. So, if you’ve signed up for a day trip to the breathtaking Blue Mosque in Istanbul, make sure that you dress appropriately with minimum flesh exposed – save the bikini for the beach! You’ll also be expected to remove your shoes before you step onto the carpets; worshippers kneel, and touch the carpets with their foreheads – the last thing anyone would want is to do this to a carpet that has been walked on by grubby shoes!
If you’re a smoker be sure to pay attention to the signs. As in the UK, it’s illegal to smoke on public transport, or in indoor public places, so keep the cigs in your pocket.
It’s also illegal to not carry photographic ID – a photocopy of your passport will do.
Bear in mind that many areas of Turkey are incredibly conservative. Most of the resort towns adjust this attitude to cater for foreign tourists, but if you’re venturing off-track on an excursion to Ephesus or one of the smaller villages, remember that respect and politeness are key.
Over 2.5million Brits visit this gorgeous country every year, and with the amazing deals available at Teletext Holidays, you could join these millions to see what the fuss is all about, without worrying about how deep into your pockets you’ll have to dig! Follow our simple travel advice for a stress free and safe holiday that’s a true Turkish delight.