Turkey Black Sea coast travel guide and destinations


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Travel tips Turkey: Background

Travel tips Turkey

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 inappropriate
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 girl

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 money
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 charges.
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.


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