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The Republic of Turkey stretches between western Asia and south-eastern Europe, where it is bordered by a number of different countries. Turkey lies to the south-east of Bulgaria, to the east of Greece and to the south-west of Georgia. Directly east of Turkey are Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran, while to the south-east are Iraq and Syria.
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About Turkey


Turkey is at the center of “Eurasia”, where three regions of the world, Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East intersect. Granted a unique location at the heart of Euro-Asia, Turkey has far been discovered by tourists from all parts of the world. Geographically, the country is located in the northern half of the hemisphere at a point that is about halfway between the equator and the North Pole, at a longitude of 36 degrees N to 42 degrees N and latitude of 26 degrees E to 45 degrees E. Turkey is roughly rectangular in shape and is 1,660 kilometers wide. Because of its geographical location the mainland of Anatolia has always found favor throughout history, and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a centre of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on three sides.

Area & Boundaries
The actual area of Turkey inclusive of its lakes is 814,578 square kilometers, of which 790,200 are in Asia and 24,378 are located in Europe. The land borders of Turkey are 2,573 kilometers in total, and coastlines (including islands) are another 8,333 kilometers, Turkey has two European and six Asian countries for neighbors along its land borders. The land border to the northeast with the commonwealth of Independent States is 610 kilometers long; that with Iran, 454 kilometers long, and that with Iraq 331 kilometers long. In the south is the 877 kilometers-long border with Syria. Turkey's borders on the European continent consist of a 212-kilometre frontier with Greece and a 269-kilometre border with Bulgaria.

Geographical Regions
Turkey is generally divided into seven regions: the Black Sea region, the Marmara region, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, the East and Southeast Anatolia regions. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a narrow but long belt. The land of this region is approximately 1/6 of Turkey's total land area.

The Marmara region covers the area encircling the Sea of Marmara, includes the entire European part of Turkey, as well as the northwest of the Anatolian plain. Whilst the region is the smallest of the regions of Turkey after the Southeast Anatolia region, it has the highest population density of all the regions.

The Aegean region extends from the Aegean coast to the inner parts of western Anatolia. There are significant differences between the coastal areas and those inland, in terms of both geographical features and economic and social aspects.

In the Mediterranean region, located in the south of Turkey, the western and central Taurus Mountains suddenly rise up behind the coastline. The Amanos mountain range is also in the area.

The Central Anatolian region is exactly in the middle of Turkey and gives the appearance of being less mountainous compared with the other regions. The main peaks of the region are Karadag, Karacadag, Hasandag and Erciyes (3.917 meters).

The Eastern Anatolia region is Turkey's largest and highest region. About three fourths of it is at an altitude of 1,500-2,000 meters. Eastern Anatolia is composed of individual mountains as well as of whole mountain ranges, with vast plateaus and plains. The mountains: There are numerous inactive volcanoes in the region, including Nemrut, Suphan, Tendurek and Turkey's highest peak, Mount Ararat, which is 5,137 meters high. At the same time, several plains extended along the course of the River Murat, a tributary of the Firat (Euphrates).

The Southeast Anatolia region is notable for the uniformity of its landscape, although the eastern part of the region is comparatively more uneven than its western areas.

Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides, by the Black Sea in the north, the Mediterranean in the south and the Aegean Sea in the west. In the northwest there is also an important internal sea, the Sea of Marmara, between the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, important waterways that connect the Black Sea with the rest of the world. Because the mountains in the Black Sea region run parallel to the coastline, the coasts are fairly smooth, without too many indentations or projections. The length of the Black Sea coastline in Turkey is 1,595 kilometers, and the salinity of the sea is 17%. The Mediterranean coastline runs for 1,577 kilometers and here too the mountain ranges are parallel to the coastline. The salinity level of the Mediterranean is about double that of the Black Sea.

Although the Aegean coastline is a continuation of the Mediterranean coast, it is quite irregular because the mountains in the area fall perpendicularly into the Aegean Sea. As a result, the length of the Aegean Sea coast is over 2,800 kilometers. The coastline faces out to many islands. The Marmara Sea is located totally within national boundaries and occupies an area of 11,350 square kilometers. The coastline of the Marmara Sea is over 1,000 kilometers long; it is connected to the Black Sea by the Bosphorus and with the Mediterranean by the Dardanelles.

Most of the rivers of Turkey flow into the seas surrounding the country. The Firat (Euphrates) and Dicle (Tigris) join together in Iraq and flow into the Persian Gulf. Turkey's longest rivers, the Kizilirmak, Yesilirmak and Sakarya, flow into the Black Sea. The Susurluk, Biga and Gonen pour into the Sea of Marmara, the Gediz, Kucuk Menderes, Buyuk Menderes and Meric into the Aegean, and the Seyhan, Ceyhan and Goksu into the Mediterranean.

In terms of numbers of lakes, the Eastern Anatolian region is the richest. It contains Turkey's largest, Lake Van (3.713 square kilometers), and the lakes of Ercek, Cildir and Hazar. There are also many lakes in the Taurus mountains area: the Beysehir and Egirdir lakes, and the lakes that contain bitter waters like the Burdur and Acigoller lakes, for example. Around the Sea of Marmara are located the lakes of Sapanca, Iznik, Ulubat, Manyas, Terkos, Kucukcekmece and Buyukcekmece. In Central Anatolia is the second largest lake in Turkey: Tuzgolu: The waters of this lake are shallow and very salty. The lakes of Aksehir and Eber are also located in this region.

The Climate
Although Turkey is situated in a geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, the diverse nature of the landscape , and the existence in particular of the mountains that run parallel to the coasts, results in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates, the inland Anatolian plateau experiences extremes of hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.

Turkey's population is about 80 million and %40 live in country side. The major cities are Istanbul, Ankara [capital], Izmir, Adana, Antalya, and Bursa.

The Turkish language belongs to Ural - Altaic group and has an affinity with the Finn - Hungarian languages. Turkish is written in the Latin alphabet and is spoken by at least 150 million people around the world.

Although %99 of Turkey is Muslim, it is a secular state that guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Muslims.

Turkish Airlines provides an important network of domestic flights from the national airports of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Trabzon, Dalaman and Antalya to all major Turkish cities. There are bus connections to and from airports and city terminals.

Time Differences and other differences in measurements

Local time:
GMT+3 hours (April-September) GMT+2 hours (October-March)

Time Differences:
Argentina -5, France -1, Netherlands -1, Australia +8, Germany -1, Saudi Arabia+1, Austria -1, Greece 0, Sweden -1, Egypt 0, Italy -1, Switzerland -1, England -2, Japan +7, Spain -1, USA -7 (EST) -10 (WEST) * These time differences are for the period October-March; however, they may show variances according to each country's own time-saving adjustments.

Weights and measures:
Metric system.
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters , 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
1 yard = 0,9144 meters, 1 meter = 1.0936 yards
1 mile = 1,6093 kilometers, 1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
1 pound = 0,4536 kilograms, 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds

1 acres = 0,4047 Hectares, 1 hectare = 2.471 acres

1 UK gallon = 4.546 litres, 1 litre = 0.2199 UK gallons
1 US gallon = 3.7831 litres, 1 litre = 0.2643 US gallons

Currency Unit
New Turkish Lira (YTL) is the national unit of currency. The banknotes are of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 liras. Coins of 1 lira, 50, 25, 10, 5, 1 kurus. Daily official and free-market exchange rates for foreign currencies are published in all newspapers. Foreign currencies can easily be changed at the banks, change offices and PTT branches. Eurocheques can be cashed immediately and troches have the facilities to exchange money at the current international exchange rates, as well as international postal orders and travelers' cheques are cashed on proving the identification. Major credit cards like American Express, VISA, Diners Club, MasterCard, Access, JCB and Eurocard are also in use in Turkey, being accepted at most establishments
Working Hours

Government Offices
Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30) , (13:30-17:30)
Saturday-Sunday (closed)

Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00) , (13:30-17:00)
Saturday-Sunday (closed)

Monday-Saturday (9:30-13:00) , (14:00-19:00)
Sunday (closed)

Official Holidays

Jan 1: New Year's Day

Apr 23: National Sovereignty and Children's Day (anniversary of the establishment of Turkish Grand National Assembly)

May 19: Atatürk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day ( the arrival of Atatürk in Samsun, and the beginning of the War of Independence.)

Aug 30: Victory Day (victory over invading forces in 1922).

Oct 29: Republic Day (anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic)

Religious Holidays: The dates of these religious festivals change according to the Muslim lunar calendar and thus occur 12 days earlier each year.

Seker Bayrami: Three-day festival when sweets are eaten to celebrate the end of the fast of Ramadan.

Kurban Bayrami: Four-day festival when sacrificial sheep are slaughtered and their meat distributed to the poor.

Postal System

Turkish post-offices are easily recognized by their blue PTT letters on a yellow background. Major post offices are open from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m., Monday/Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m., Sunday. Postal charges vary for different services depending on destination. Post restante letters should be addressed "postrestant" to the central post-office Merkez Postanesi, in the town of your choice. You have to show your identification card to collect your letters.

All PTT branches have the facilities to exchange money at the current international exchange rates, as well as international postal orders and travelers' cheques. There is also an express postal service (APS) operating to 90 countries for letters, documents and small packages. A wide variety of special stamps are available in all PTT centers for philatelists.

To phone from PTT telephone booths, which are extensively found in all areas; telephone cards are used. Local, inter-city and international calls can be made from all PTT offices. Besides these main offices there are also mobile PTT services in the touristic areas.

Some important service numbers are;
155 Police
112 Emergency
110 Fire

Other Useful Information

Super (peremium) - Unleaded (at some places). Normal (regular) - Diesel.

Electricity is supplied at 220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. (Industrial:380 V) Plug: European round/ 2-prong plug.

Can bu used for cleaning, but bottled water is adviced for drinking and can be obtained at all shops. (Although tap vater is safe to drink since it is chlorinated, it is recommended to get advice from the concemed authorities of the places resided.)

Newspapers and Magazines:
Foreign newspapers and magazines are available in big cities and tourist areas. Also there is a Turkish daily newspaper, Daily News, published in English.

At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths, barbers and hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 10%-15% of the total is common. Taxi drivers, do not expect tips or even rounded fares.

Taxis are numerous in all Turkish cities and recognizable by their yellow color. The fare shown on the meter reads according to distance travelled.

Visiting a mosque:
Five times a day, the "müezzin" calls the faithful to prayer in the mosque. Before entering a mosque foreign visitors should remove their shoes, like Muslims do. Women should cover their heads and arms, and not wear miniskirts. Men should not wear shorts. (In certain famous mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.

Tourist Information Offices (Abroad)

AUSTRALIA: Suite 101, 280 George Street Sydney NSW 2000, Phone : (61-2)92233055, Fax : (61-2)92233204,

Singer Strasse 2/8 1010 Vienna, Phone : (43/1)51221 28-29, Fax : (43/1)5138326

Rue Montoyer4, 1040 Brussels, Phone : (32-2)5138230-502 2621,Fax : (32-2)5117951

Constitution Square,360 Albert Street, Suite 801, Ottawa,Ontario, K1R 7X7
Phone : (613)2308654, Fax : (613)2303683

Vesterbrogade II A, 1620 Copenhagen V, Phone : (45-31)223100-228374, Fax : (45-31)229068

Mikonkatu 6 C 18,00100, Helsinki, Phone : (3580)666044-666055, Fax : (35-80)666061

102, Avenue Des Champs-Elysees, 75008 Paris, Phone : (33-1)456278-68-456279-84, Fax : (33-1)456381-O5

Tauentzien Str 7,10789 Berlin Phone : (49-30)2143752-2143852, Fax : (49-30)2143952,
Baseler Strasse 37, 60329 FrankfurtMain, Phone : (49-69) 233081-82 ,Fax : (4989)232751
Karlsptaz 3/1, 80335 Munich, Phone : (4989)594902-5943 17, Fax : (4989)5504138

First floor, 170-173 Piccadilly London WI V 9DD, Phone : (44-171)6297771, Fax : (44-171)4910773

1, Benyehuda, 63801, Tel-Aviv, Phone : (972-3)5176157-5171731, Fax : (972-3)5176303-6054156

Piazza Della Repubblica 56, 00185 Rome, Phone : (39-6)4871190-4871393, Fax : (39-6)4882425

233-6 Jingumae Shibuya-Ku Tokyo, Phone : (81-3)34706380, Fax : (81-3)34706037

P.O. Box 15518 De'eyah, 35456 Kuwait, Phone : (965)2424248-241 5804-06,Fax : (965)2424298

 Herengracht 45l, lOl7 BS Amsterdam, Tel : (31-20)6266810-6244006, Fax : (31-20)6222283

Chistyprudny Blv. No:5/10, Moscow, Phone : (70-95)9290572, Fax : (70-95)9290573

20-B Nassim Road, Singapore, 258397, Phone : (65)7329702-7328571, Fax: (65)7328032

Pza. De Espana, Torre de Madrid, 13-3, Madrid, Phone : (34-1)5597014 - 5597114, Fax : (34-1)5476287

Kungsgatan 3s-111 43 Stockholm, Phone : (46-8)6798320-21, Fax : (46-8)6113828

Talstrasse 74, 8001 Zurich, Phone : (41-1)2210810-12, Fax : (41-1) 2121749

821, United Nations Plaza, New York N.Y. 10017, Phone : (1-212)6872194-5-6, Fax : (1-212)5997568
1717 Massachusetts Avenue N.W. Suite 306 Washington D.C.20036, Phone : (1-202)4299844-4299409, Fax : (1-202) 4295649

Contact Information:

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the UK
43 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PA, UK
Tel: (020) 7393 0202.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1730 (appointment only).

Turkish Consulate General in the UK
Rutland Lodge, Rutland Gardens, London SW7 1BW, UK
Tel: (020) 7591 6900 or 09068 347 348 (recorded visa information; calls cost 60p per minute).
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1230 (visas).

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the USA
2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 612 6700 or 6740 (consular section).

Turkish Tourist Office in the USA
821 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: (212) 687 2194.

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