Getting Aroud - Internal Travel
Road conditions and driving standards in Turkey can be poor. Serious
road accidents are common. All visitors should be extra cautious
when travelling around Turkey's road network.
Airlines provides an essential network of internal flights from
Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara, Adana, Dalaman, Izmir and Trabzan to
all of the major Turkish cities.
The airline (tel (UK office): (020) 7766 9300; fax: (020) 7976 1738)
offers reductions of 60 per cent on international flights (with
the exception of Middle Eastern destinations) and 10 % on domestic
Turkish Maritime Lines offers numerous
coastal services with their Adriatic Line subsidiary, providing
excellent opportunities for sightseeing; they also operate
a car ferry between Mersin and Magosa. There are also services
between Istanbul and Izmir, with overnight accommodation
and ferry routes along Turkey's northern Black Sea coast.
A recurrent car ferry crosses the Dardenelles at Gallipoli, from
Canakkale to Eceabat and Gelibolu to Lapseki. There are frequent
seabus services from Bostanci, Kartal, Kadiköy, Yalova
and Büyükada Island to Auça, Bakirköy, Yenikapi
and Karaköy. Turkish Maritime Lines offers discounts
of 15 % on single and 25 % on return passages
for international routes and 50 % for domestic
routes to holders of ISTC cards.
are somewhat low. Many trains of the Turkish Railways
(TCDD) have sleeping cars, couchettes and restaurant cars,
but there is no air-conditioned accommodation. Fares
are more costly for express and mail trains,
even though express trains are relatively slow, and some routes
are indirect. Steam engines, such as the Anatolia
Express, which traverses eastern Turkey, are retained
for tourist trains on some routes.
can be bought at TCDD offices at railway
stations and TCDD-appointed agents. TCDD
offers discounts of 20 % to holders of
ISTC cards. Children under seven travel free; children
aged between seven and 11 pay half fare. Discount fares are available
for students, groups, roundtrips and sports teams.
There is extensive road maintenance and building programme;
1400km (900 miles) of motorway is under construction.
Traffic drives on the right. In case of an accident,
contact the Turkish Touring and Automobile Club (Turkiye Turing
ve Otomobil Kurumu), Head Office, Sanayi Sitesi Yani, Fort Levent,
Istanbul (tel: (212) 282 8140; fax: (212) 282 8042).
Many private companies provide frequent
day and night services between all Turkish cities. Services
are often faster than trains and rivalry between operators has led
to lower fares. Tickets are sold at the bus or coach companies'
branch offices either at stations or in town centres. One
should shop around for the best prices. Coaches depart from the
bus stations (otogar) in large towns and from the town centre in
Both chauffeur-driven and self-drive cars are available in all large
towns. All international companies are represented.
An International Driving Permit is required for
visits of over three months. Green Card International Insurance,
endorsed for Turkish territory in both Europe and Asia, and Turkish
third-party insurance (obtainable from insurance agencies
at frontier posts) are also required. Cars can
be brought into Turkey for a maximum of six months in one year.
On entering, an entry-exit form is filled out. For longer stays,
it is necessary to apply to either the Ministry of Finance and Customs
or the Turkish Touring and Automobile Club.
Bus and trolleybus
conventional bus (and some trolleybus) services
operate in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. There are buses in all other
large towns. These are generally dependable, modern and easy to
use, although publicity is non-existent. Tickets are bought
in advance from kiosks and dropped into a box by the driver.
There are many types of taxi, share-taxi
and minibus in operation. Taxis are numerous in
all Turkish cities and towns and are recognisable by their chequered
black and yellow bands. Metered taxis are available. For longer
journeys, the fare should be agreed beforehand. A dolmus
is a collective taxi which follows specific routes and
is recognisable by its yellow band. Each passenger pays according
to the distance travelled to specific stops. The fares are
preset by the municipality. The dolmus provides services
within large cities to suburbs, airports and often to neighbouring
towns. This is a very practical means of transport
and costs less than a taxi. Taxis may turn into a dolmus and vice
versa according to demand.
There are wide-ranging cross-Bosphorus and short-hop ferries
between the parts of Istanbul.
There are plans to construct a metro system in Ankara.
The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and
minutes) from Ankara to other major cities/towns in Turkey.
hour 15 minutes
hour 15 minutes
hour 40 minutes
hour 25 minutes
on transportation in Turkey