Turkey Travel Guide: History, Hospitality, and Real Estate Insights

Embark on a Turkish adventure, exploring rich history, warm welcomes, and real estate possibilities. Your gateway to a cultural odyssey awaits.

Nov 26, 2023 - 12:09
Dec 13, 2023 - 22:40
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Turkey Travel Guide: History, Hospitality, and Real Estate Insights
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Turkey, a land of diversity, scenic beauty, and warm hospitality, invites you to delve into its rich history and cultural tapestry. Spanning two continents and boasting a civilization that spans 10,000 years, Turkey offers a treasure trove for those seeking both adventure and tranquility.

Weather in Turkey - Southern Mediterranean and Aegean Coasts

The Mediterranean and Aegean coasts of Turkey bless visitors with a perfect Mediterranean climate characterized by low humidity. The extended summer, from May to October, offers temperatures ranging from the low 20°Cs at the season's beginning and end to the mid-30°Cs in the peak months of July and August.

Spring brings the fragrance of citrus blossoms, lush greenery in the hills and valleys, and ideal conditions for outdoor activities. Autumn invites exploration of historical sites in cool weather, accompanied by enticing end-of-season sales. Even winters are mild, with occasional showers, and the sea remains inviting for a swim, sometimes even in November.

Turkish Culture

Turkey's cultural richness is a product of diverse influences and traditions. The country's history, shaped by both European and Asian elements, is reflected in its arts, language, and handicrafts. Turkey's musical tradition, deeply rooted in centuries of history, shares similarities with neighboring Islamic regions. The nation has embraced and evolved Western, Asian, and Arabic elements, creating a cosmopolitan identity.

The Family

Turkish family units emphasize strong bonds. Children often stay with their families until marriage, and grandparents play a crucial role in childcare. Respect for elders is a cornerstone of Turkish culture, evident in gestures like kissing elders' hands and touching foreheads as a sign of respect.

Turkish Women

In 2002, Turkey officially granted equal rights to women in civil matters, marking a significant societal shift. Women no longer require husbands' consent for employment, and they can retain their maiden names after marriage.

The Evil Eye

The belief in the "evil eye" is a prevalent superstition in Turkey, signifying harm caused by extreme envy. The "nazar boncuk" or "evil eye bead" serves as a protective charm, seen in homes, cars, and even worn by babies.


The Turkish Bath, or Hamam, traces its origins to Roman and Byzantine traditions. Serving as a place for cleanliness and socializing, Hamams continue to be integral to Turkish culture, offering a rejuvenating experience for locals and tourists alike.

Family Holidays in Turkey

Turkey welcomes families with open arms, offering activities ranging from beach outings to more adventurous pursuits like walking, horse riding, cycling, and water sports.

Did you know?

Turkey is home to two of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Bodrum).
St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, was born and lived in Turkey.
Noah's Ark is said to have landed at Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey.
Turkey supplies 70% of the world's hazelnuts.
The English language owes words like chock-a-block, turquoise, yogurt, kismet, kilim, and parchment to Turkey.
Turkey introduced tulips to Holland and remains a major supplier worldwide.

While about 99% of Turkey's population is Muslim, the country operates as a secular state, ensuring freedom of worship for non-Muslims. Coastal areas may not overtly display their Muslim identity, except for the call to prayer.

Public Holidays in Turkey

Public holidays may see government offices and banks closed, but life in resort areas continues as usual, with shops, restaurants, and money exchange bureaux operating.

History of Turkey

Anatolia, historically known as Asia Minor, boasts a rich history dating back to the eighth millennium BC. The region has witnessed the rise and fall of major civilizations, leaving behind artifacts that illuminate early societies. From the Hellenistic period's ancient Troy to the Byzantine Empire's Christian center, Turkey's historical significance is profound.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, led the country through dramatic reforms, transforming it into a secular republic. Ataturk's influence touched every aspect of Turkish life, from language reform to women's rights.

Turkish Food & Drink

Renowned for its diverse cuisine, Turkey offers an array of dishes beyond its famous kebabs. Meze, traditional appetizers, accompany the national drink, Raki. Turkish beers like Efes Pilsen and Tuborg are popular, and the wine industry, represented by Kavaklidere and Doluca, continues to grow.

Shopping in Turkey

Turkey's markets showcase a unique array of gifts, from traditional handicrafts like carpets and ceramics to leather goods and beachwear. Haggling is customary in souvenir shops, providing an opportunity to engage in the local shopping experience.


Exploring Turkey is best done with the freedom of a rented car. Local transport includes dolmus minibuses that traverse towns and resorts, offering convenient hop-on-hop-off options.

Things to do in Turkey

Turkey caters to diverse interests, with options ranging from watersports and scuba diving to trekking and exploring its historical sites.

Currency in Turkey

The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (YTL), easily obtainable through exchange offices, post offices, and ATMs.

Passports & Visas

British citizens need a valid ten-year passport and must pay a £10 tourist visa upon arrival in cash.

Turkey Time Difference

Turkey is two hours ahead of the UK, requiring a simple adjustment upon arrival.

Vaccinations for Turkey

No compulsory vaccinations are required for entry, but travelers should consult with their doctors for advisable inoculations.

When To Go

The prime season for Western Aegean and Mediterranean coastal resorts is May to October, offering settled weather and extended daylight hours. Late autumn and winter provide a different experience, with quieter resorts and unique seasonal offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my mobile phone?
Mobile coverage is generally excellent in Turkey, but remember to use the country code (00 90) before dialing.

What currency do I need?
New Turkish Lira (YTL) is the official currency, easily obtainable through exchange offices, post offices (PTTs), and ATMs.

Travellers Cheques or Credit Cards?
Credit cards are widely accepted, especially in main towns and resorts. Travellers cheques can be cashed at banks, exchange bureaux, and larger hotels.

What is the voltage, and do we need adaptors?
The voltage is 220 V, and adaptors for two rounded pin plugs (common in Europe) are necessary for UK appliances.

Is there a time difference?
Turkey is two hours ahead of the UK, requiring adjustment upon arrival.

What should I take?
Essentials include sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, mosquito repellent, and a European-type 2 pin adaptor. Copies of your passport and driver's license are advisable.

Are shops open on the day of arrival?
In tourist areas, many shops and supermarkets operate daily, often until late evening.

Are there insects?
Mosquitoes may be present in some areas, so a plug-in deterrent is recommended. Ants are common in rural areas.

What is driving like in Turkey?
Driving is generally safe, but UK drivers should adapt to right-hand traffic and be cautious, especially at night. Seat belts are compulsory, and strict drink driving laws apply.

Embark on your Turkish adventure, where history, culture, and natural beauty intertwine to create an unforgettable experience. Whether you're seeking the allure of ancient ruins, the warmth of Turkish hospitality, or contemplating real estate ventures, Turkey awaits with open arms.

Mobile Phone Usage in Turkey:
Mobile phone coverage is generally excellent in Turkey, except in remote or mountainous areas. When using a British mobile phone in Turkey, remember to dial the country code (00 90) before the Turkish phone number.

Currency Exchange and Payment Methods:
The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (YTL), available for exchange at banks, post offices, and hotels. ATMs throughout Turkey accept major currencies. Credit cards are widely accepted in shops and some restaurants in main towns and resorts, but it's advisable to check beforehand. Travellers cheques can be cashed at banks, exchange bureaux, and larger hotels.

Voltage and Adaptors:
The electrical voltage is 220 V, and wall sockets use two rounded pin plugs common in Europe. UK visitors will need an adaptor for their appliances.

Time Difference:
Turkey is two hours ahead of the UK. Adjust your watch upon arrival, as local airline timetables are expressed in local time.

Essentials to Pack:
Western goods, including sunscreen, aftersun lotions, and insect repellents, are available in larger resorts and supermarkets. However, bringing preferred brands is recommended. High-protection sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and mosquito repellent are especially useful during the summer. Pack a European-type 2 pin adaptor for electrical equipment, as these can be challenging to find in Turkey. Carry photocopies of your passport and driver's license for identification.

Shop and Service Hours:
During the summer season, supermarkets, minimarkets, and many shops in tourist areas are open daily, often until late in the evening. Banks operate from 09:00 - 12:00 and 13:30 - 17:00 Monday to Friday. Post offices are open from 08:00 - 20:00 Monday to Saturday and 09:00 - 19:00 on Sundays. Museums typically operate from 09:00 - 17:00 Tuesday to Sunday, while chemists (eczane) are open from 09:00 - 19:00 Monday to Saturday, with duty chemists available 24/7 on a rota basis.

Insects in Turkey:
Mosquitoes may be present in certain areas, so it's advisable to use a plug-in deterrent. Ants are common in some rural areas.

Driving in Turkey:
Turkey has generally well-kept roads, but road users may seem unpredictable to UK drivers. Some coastal or mountain roads can be narrow and winding. Keep in mind that traffic drives on the right, and seat belts are compulsory. Strict drink-driving laws are enforced, with random tests common. Drive defensively, especially at night, and be cautious of inadequately lit vehicles, slow-moving lorries, and animals on the road.

Turkey invites you to immerse yourself in its diverse offerings, from historical wonders to culinary delights. Whether you're exploring ancient ruins, lounging on picturesque beaches, or considering investment opportunities, this comprehensive guide ensures you make the most of your Turkish experience. Enjoy the warmth of Turkish hospitality and the beauty of a land where the past and present seamlessly converge.

 Turkey beckons you to explore its diverse offerings, from historical wonders to culinary delights. Whether you're uncovering ancient ruins, relaxing on scenic beaches, or contemplating investment opportunities, this comprehensive guide ensures you maximize your Turkish experience. Revel in the warmth of Turkish hospitality and the allure of a land where past and present seamlessly converge.


Public Transportation:
Turkey offers an efficient public transportation system within towns and resorts, including dolmus (minibuses) that run fixed routes. These provide flexibility for passengers to hop on and off at their convenience.

Leisure and Adventure Activities:
For those seeking adventure, Turkey offers a range of activities such as watersports (windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing, and canoeing) on designated beaches. Scuba diving is also popular, with calm, clear waters ideal for both beginners and experienced divers. Walking, trekking, horse riding, and cycling are becoming increasingly favored ways to explore the picturesque countryside.

Historical and Cultural Sites:
Turkey boasts a rich historical tapestry, with ancient sites like Ephesus and Troy showcasing the country's diverse heritage. Explore the remnants of past civilizations, including the Byzantine Empire and the Great Seljuk Empire. The influence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, is omnipresent, and you'll encounter reminders of his transformative reforms throughout the country.

Turkish Cuisine:

Indulge in the delectable world of Turkish cuisine, renowned globally for its diverse flavors and freshness. Beyond the famous kebabs, savor meze (appetizers) with hundreds of options ranging from simple combinations to elaborate stuffed vegetables. Pair your culinary adventure with Raki, a clear anise-flavored spirit considered Turkey's national alcoholic drink. Explore local markets for traditional handicrafts, carpets, kilims, copper goods, painted ceramics, and jewelry.

Real Estate Opportunities:
For those considering more than a holiday, Turkey offers real estate opportunities, particularly in coastal regions. Whether it's a villa or property investment, Turkey's real estate market has been appealing to international buyers.

Medical and Health Considerations:
While no vaccination certificates are compulsory for entry to Turkey, it's advisable to check with your doctor for any recommended inoculations. Medical facilities in larger towns and resorts are generally well-equipped, but travel insurance with health coverage is recommended.

Best Times to Visit:
The main season for visiting Turkey's western Aegean and Mediterranean coastal resorts is between May and October, offering settled weather and long, sunny days. July and August are peak months, with temperatures reaching the mid-30°Cs. Even in late autumn and early spring, some properties are available for occupancy, allowing you to experience the changing seasons.

Embark on your Turkish journey, where ancient wonders, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality converge. Whether you're unwinding on sun-kissed beaches, delving into history, or contemplating a property investment, Turkey promises an enriching experience. Immerse yourself in the blend of tradition and modernity that defines this captivating nation.

Local Customs and Etiquette:

Respecting Turkish Culture:
Embrace local customs and traditions. Turks hold their cultural heritage in high regard, and visitors are appreciated when they show respect for local customs. Learn a few common phrases in Turkish to enhance communication and show appreciation for the local language.

Hospitality and Socializing:
Turkish hospitality is renowned worldwide. It is common for locals to extend warm invitations for tea or coffee. Accepting such invitations is a gesture of goodwill and an opportunity to engage in friendly conversations.

Dress Code in Religious Sites:
When visiting mosques or religious sites, dress modestly. Women should cover their heads, shoulders, and knees, and men should avoid wearing shorts.

Demonstrating Politeness:
Display politeness in interactions. The Turkish culture places importance on courteous behavior, such as greeting others with a handshake and using titles like "Mr." or "Mrs." when appropriate.

Safety and Health:

Emergency Services:
Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers. The universal emergency number in Turkey is 112, covering medical, fire, and police emergencies.

Medical Facilities:
Larger towns and resorts have well-equipped medical facilities. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance covering health-related issues.

Water Safety:
While tap water is generally safe in larger cities and resorts, it's advisable to drink bottled water in more rural areas. Check for seals on bottled water to ensure it's not tampered with.

Cultural Trivia:

Unique Contributions to the World:
Turkey has made significant contributions to language and culture globally. Words like "chock-a-block," "turquoise," "yoghurt," "kismet," "kilim," and "parchment" have Turkish origins.

Historical Landmarks:
Explore two of the Seven Wonders of the World in Turkey—the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (present-day Bodrum). Discover the historical roots associated with St. Nicholas, popularly known as Santa Claus.


Turkey beckons with its rich tapestry of history, warm hospitality, and diverse landscapes. Whether you seek the allure of ancient wonders, the relaxation of beautiful beaches, or the prospect of real estate ventures, Turkey offers an enriching experience. Immerse yourself in the fusion of tradition and modernity, and let the captivating spirit of Turkey leave an indelible mark on your journey.

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