Local Currency & & Banks
Turkey is no longer as cheap as it used to be because it is considered to be one of the luxury coastal resorts on the scale with Greece, Spain & even South of France. Inflation had its records high at some years running at 70% rate in short periods of time but recently it has dropped to single figures. Local currency which is Turkish Lira has acquired a battling number of zeros during the number of years which forced government to introduce Yeni Turk Lira (New Turkish Lira) abbreviated as YTL. Zeros were taken down. Coins were introduced in the denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 kurus as well as 1 lira which comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 & 100 lira.
Do not exchange money before coming to Turkey because rates are definitely better inside the country. Also, do not leave Turkey without exchanging it back to your own currency since it is not acceptable anywhere else in the world. Euros are widely accepted and can be used locally like in hotels, restaurants, shops and other public places.
Most banks in the country are open regular hours 8:30AM to noon and from 1:30PM to 5PM. There are state and private banks which provide exchange of currency but state banks considered to be giving a better exchange rate. Be aware of lines & expect to have delays during visits to local banks. If you have an emergency during off hours and need to exchange currency, you can find special exchange booths which are run by the resorts, airports & ferry docks. The simplest way to get hold of money in Turkey is to use widespread ATMs of the local banks. Screen prompts are given in English on request.
time is 2 hours ahead of GMT; 1 hour ahead of Mid-european time; 7 hours
ahead of Eastern Standard Time, USA; 7 hours behind Japan and 6 hours
behind Hong Kong.
electric current in Turkey is 50Hz, 220 volts AC in all parts of the
country. Plugs are different than USA, England and Italy. Most major
hotels in the main cities have adaptors for guest’s use.
Though service charges
are included, it is customary to show your appreciation to hotel staff,
to your guide and to the driver, if you feel satisfied. We suggest the
following tipping scale: Hotels staff €1.-, Driver €1.-/2.-, Guide
€2.-/3.-, usually 10% of the bills at restaurants and a round up at
offices carry the sign PTT in black on a yellow background. At a PTT you
can telephone, send mail, telegrams and faxes. For local calls buy
telephone cards, Istanbul area codes are "0-212" on the European Side
and "0-216" on the Asian Side. When calling abroad from Turkey, you must
first dial the International code "00" and then country code and the
number. GSM system is also used.
and most national flights land on Atatürk International Airport. You can
take a taxi, or the shuttle bus from the airport to Taksim, where you
should take a taxi to your hotel. Shuttle (Airport) buses depart from
Atatürk Airport every 20 minutes for the center (20km). It takes
approximately 30 minutes, the fare is approximately €5.- per person and
taxi fare is approximately €20.- for the distance between the Airport
and Taksim; the main square, close to your hotel or Conference Centre.
The taxis, all of them yellow, are numbered and taximetered. Prices are
higher after midnight when two orange lights show on the taximeter. The
price is indicated on the taximeter, which is placed next to the driver.
For more information about Turkey check out Travelling to Turkey