What to see in Turkey
-The colour turquoise was named for the luscious blue-shaded ocean of the Turkish west coast. Visit Bodrum and Fethiye to see why.
-Visit ancient Troy, and get bonus views over the Dardanelles and the hills of Gallipoli.
-Ancient Ephesus ranks as one of the world's greatest historical sites and is a better preserved Roman ruin that any found in Italy.
-The Blue Mosque is a global symbol of Istanbul and is famed for its elegant dome and minarets.
-Explore the riches of Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul; then buy some treasures of your own at the famed Grand Bazaar.
What to do in Turkey
-Go hot-air ballooning over Cappadocia's unique landscape at sunset.
-Paraglide over the magnificent beaches and turquoise sea of Oludeniz.
-Taste kebab, kofta and pharmaceutical-grade coffee in a traditional cafe.
-Take a Blue Cruise along the Turkish Riviera.
-Go trekking up Mount Ararat and look out for the remains of Noah's Ark.
In Turkey, business associates are addressed by their first names. If the associate is male, then his name is followed by 'bey', and 'hanim' is used for females. A formal, conservative dress code is observed in Turkey, and women should be careful to dress particularly conservatively. Gifts are common and are usually something the associate would use in business such as a pen or other office stationary. Business hours throughout Turkey are generally 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken over lunch.
The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey have very hot and dry summers, and wet, mild winters when the coastal towns more or less shut down between October and April.
Winter in Istanbul and Cappadocia can be very cold with a dusting of snow. The peak tourist season is during high summer, roughly between July and September, and this is the ideal time for a beach holiday in Turkey.
The spring and autumn months are also a good time to to visit, with warm days, cool evenings, and no mosquitos.
Eastern Turkey should be visited during summer as roads and mountain passes may close due to winter ice and snow.
Although it is difficult to stereotype in a country that runs from Armenia to Greece, the Turkish people are in general welcoming and hospitable. Most visitors will stay in modern Istanbul or in one of the popular holiday resorts where locals are likely to be fairly open-minded, however tourists should respect religious customs, particularly during the month of Ramadan. Dress modestly when visiting mosques or religious shrines. There is a smoking ban on all forms of public transport and in outdoor venues.
Travellers to Turkey do not have to pay duty on the following items: 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 200g tobacco.
Alcohol allowance includes 1 litre or 700ml bottle of wine or spirits. Other allowances include 5 bottles of perfume up to 120ml each; gifts to the value of TRY 500, tea and coffee for personal consumption, jewellery and guns for sporting purposes. Tape recorders, record players and transistor radios have to be declared on arrival. Restricted items include playing cards limited to one pack.
Best time to visit Turkey
Turkey is best visited during the periods April to June and September to October when the weather is warm without being too hot, and the bulk of the summer tourist rush is over. Istanbul has mostly mild weather and can be visited year-round. The busiest times are July and August, plus early September; beaches and attractions are at their most crowded and prices at their highest during this time.
As in many Western countries, there is a threat from terrorism in Turkey and there have been a number of incidents, including explosions in Istanbul, the capital Ankara, and in the coastal tourist resorts. The Istanbul Ataturk International Airport has been the most recent target. There are also continuing incidents of local terrorism in eastern Turkey, particularly the southeast. Visitors should avoid any public demonstrations. Street crime is relatively low although visitors should guard their valuables at all times. Many parts of Turkey lie on a major seismic fault line and are subject to earthquakes and tremors; several fairly recent earthquakes have shaken eastern Turkey, the southwest and southeast.
Tipping is a way of life in Turkey and it is customary to give some small change for most services, or a small percent of the bill. In bigger hotels and restaurants if a service charge is not added to the bill, it is customary to tip between 10 and 15 percent. For taxi fares it is enough to round up the bill. Attendants at Turkish baths expect to share about 15 percent of the total bill if service has been good.