tips Turkey: Background
Tourism has not yet developed as an industry in the Black Sea region and
tourists are rare except in downtown Trabzon and at Sumela. As a result,
attitudes toward foreigners are still very spontaneous: curious, friendly and
altogether unprofessional. Basic services like hotels and tourist information
are often of poor quality. On the other hand, the supposed providers of such
services will often be extremely eager to chat, entertain, and host a visitor
quite heyond the call of duty. (Sorry, showers don't work. How about spending a
day with us at uncle's yayla?) In remoter places the simplest contact, like
asking someone for directions or even a mere greeting, will usually lead to the
inescapable invitation to have a cup of tea with the contactee and discuss
affairs of the world at large.
Coastal towns are somewhat more impersonal: but civic pride is very strong and
peo¬ple will go to great lengths to please a "hon¬ored guest" in their hometown.
Performing services in exchange for money is by and large still considered below
a man's dignity (and improper for a woman's status), so one should avoid paying
money except in clearly defined professional situations Gifts, too, are usually
except when given to small children.
As elsewhere in Turkey, people tend to have an overall fascination with western
countries for their wealth and "superior civilization", mixed with resentment at
their snobbery and supposed "dislike" of Turks.
Turkish is spoken throughout the region. The knowledge of foreign languages is
not common, with the exception of former "Gastarbeilter" who speak some German.
But with overall goodwill and willingness to communicate, this normally poses
fewer problems than one should expect.
Islam is the professed faith of all inhabi¬tants of the region. How seriously
people observe its precepts changes drastically from district to district, as
explained in this book. Even in highly "orthodox" areas like Of, though, the
basic light-heartedness of the Black Sea personality shines through. Respect and
courtesy are always appre¬ciated and repaid in kind.
The main parties are ANAP (center right, governing since 1983), DYP
(center-right: SHP (social-democratic) and RP (Muslim fundamentalist. The "Laz"
have awway been political creatures, and the region dis plays a wide spectrum of
passionately-hel political loyalties. As a rule, each distri( votes as contrary
as possible to its next valley neighbors. The region-wide averag is slightly to
the right of national totals.
Turkish Lira is the currency and most pr vate people (including many hotels) wi
only take TL. Bank branches in all town change foreign money. For traveler
cheques bigger bank branches in provinc capitals are your best bet. Credit cards
Better leave home without them!
Exchange rates change daily. Various rate are published in all newspapers. What
cor cerns you is the "efektif alış" (cash pur chase) bank rate.
Post offices in towns have at least or counter open until midnight on week day
and until 9 pm on Sundays. All towns and majority of villages now have automati
long-distance dialing facilities. For interna tional calls dial 9-9-country
code-city cod( number. For domestic trunk calls dial 9-cil code-number. Carrying
a few telephone tol ens (jeton) in one's purse at all times is useful habit to
cultivate. Operator-assiste calls are outrageously more expensive tha automatic
calls, but hotels usually allow thformer only so as to be able to find out th
Violence and crime are rare both in towns and in rural areas; incidents
involving tourists are rarer still. Theft is rare in towns and almost unheard
of in villages. Two cases of violent attack on tourists in remote places were
reported in the past three years (1987¬1989). As a rule, however, walking alone
at night in the Black Sea mountains is safer in teens of human dangers than in a
big city anywhere in the world.
The gendarmerie is in charge of security in rural areas. They sometimes ask you
to reg¬ister with them "for your own security" when in far-away mountain
localities. You don't have to, but may decide to oblige out of courtesy. They
are, like most Turkish sol¬diers and police, and contrary to many West¬ern
preconceptions, impeccably polite and friendly toward outsiders.
Foreign nationals are not allowed within 10 km of the Soviet border except by
permis¬sion from provincial police and military authorities. This restriction
has now been waived at the Sarp border gate.
There are no special health hazards to worry about, as the climate is moderate
and there is enough water everywhere to keep things clean. Harmful bugs and
reptiles are rare; bears and wild boars do not attack people unless attacked
first. In case something goes wrong, each district capital and some of the
larger villages are provided with a govern¬ment health clinic (saghk ocagi).
Provincial capitals have full-service hospitals.
TURKEY TRAVEL TIPS:
to get there Gow to get t oTurkey?
get around in Turkey?
When to go to
bring to Turkey?
read for Turkey travel?
What to see
in Turkey travel?
How to plan
stay in Black Sea region Turkey travel?
some usefull words in Turkey travel
Search in Turkey
Short History of Turkey
The Communications in Turkey
Estate in Turkey
hospitals and doctors
used in Turkey, Turkish currency
Addresses & Phone
numbers of Museums in Istanbul
Travel guide Izmir Travel tips