General travel information for Turkey
Geographic Location: Located in the border area between Asia and Europe, between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Highest elevation: Ararat (5137 m above sea level)
Longest river: Kizilirmak (1,153 kilometers)
Government Republican unitary state
System of government: presidential
Neighboring countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Iran, Syria
Area: 783,562 km²
Residents: Approx. 83,155,000 people (2019)
Population density: 103 residents per km²
Religions: 99% Muslim
Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY); One euro is approximately TRY 7.6.
Climate: Mediterranean climate on the coasts, continental climate in Anatolia
Time zone: UTC + 2 to UTC + 3
Area code: +90
Country code: TR, TUR, 792
Electricity: In Turkey Type F and C sockets are used. The mains voltage is 230V with a 50Hz change interval.
Travel climate in Turkey
Although Turkey is considered a warm European country with pleasant temperatures, different climate zones can be recognized depending on the region. Northern Turkey has a balanced climate with warm summers with an average of 20 degrees Celsius and mild winters with average temperatures of 6 degrees, little rainfall and a lot of sun. The Black Sea coast has a mild and humid maritime climate. With rainfall of almost 1,200 mm per year, it rains the most here.
In the south, the climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers and mild and humid winters. In summer the temperatures here are often over 30 degrees Celsius. In winter there is precipitation and cool down winds from November to January with a still pleasant 10-15 degrees Celsius.
In the interior of the country and especially in Central Anatolia, on the other hand, there is a continental climate with extreme temperature differences. In the summer it can get up to 40 degrees in exceptional cases and in winter the temperatures can drop below -3 degrees, exceptionally even below -10 degrees Celsius. Winters can also be cold and snowy on the Bosphorus, although there is a rather humid maritime climate. The best time for our motorcycle trips to Turkey is in early or late summer, when the temperatures are warm but not too hot.
Cities and regions in Turkey
Geographically, Turkey is mostly divided into the seven regions of Marmara, Central Anatolia, Aegean Mediterranean, Black Sea, Southeast Anatolia and East Anatolia. Regardless of the geographical breakdown, the predominantly centrally administered country is divided into 81 provinces, each of which is administered by a governor. The administrative districts and municipalities are located below the provinces in the administrative hierarchy.
Urbanization is well advanced in Turkey and the majority of the population lives and works in the large metropolitan areas on the west coast and the region around the Ankara, Sivas, Kayseri and Konya area in central Turkey. Apart from that and in particular the southeast and northeast of the country are only very sparsely populated.
The capital and seat of government is Ankara in Central Anatolia with around 4.5 million residents. The Grand National Assembly as well as the command commandos of all branches of the armed forces have their seat here. Ankara is one of the major industrial and service centers in Turkey and a university city.
Mega-metropolis, the largest city in the country and at the same time the most important economic and cultural conurbation in the country is Istanbul, which is located on the Bosporus and is divided by the strait and thus extends over an area of approx. 1,270 km² on two continents. The former Constantinople today has over 11 million residents; Approx. 12.6 million people live in the entire metropolitan area of Istanbul. This makes Istanbul one of the largest cities in the world.
The third largest Turkish city is Izmir with over 3.7 million residents. After Istanbul, the city has the second largest trading port in Turkey. The former capital of the Ottoman Empire Bursa (approx. 2.8 million residents) is now an important business location for the automotive and textile industries.
The largest and economically strongest city in southeast Turkey is Gaziantep (approx. 1.8 million residents). Other megacities in Turkey are Adana (approx. 2 million residents), Konya (approx. 1.2 million) and the tourist stronghold of Antalya (1.1 million).
Culture and sights in Turkey
The culture of today’s Turkey is a fusion of the old Turkish nomad culture of Central Asia and Siberia, the culture in the Ottoman Empire with its Byzantine, Persian, Arab, Caucasian, Armenian and Kurdish influences as well as the strong European tendency since the founding of the republic by Ataturk. Of course, Turkish culture is also religious and shaped by Islam, which is evident in many religious traditions and, above all, in the country’s impressive mosques. The cultural center of the country is the metropolis of Istanbul with the famous Hagia Sophia mosque.
Traditional Turkish art manifests itself primarily in the form of decorative handicrafts, which includes in particular the knotting of complex carpet patterns, which is widespread in the Arab world, but also the ornate decoration of objects, porcelain and tiles as well as artistic font design. The prohibition of images in Islam has for a long time forbidden the artistic representation of living beings and thus also images and sculptures of people. Turkish folk music also has a long tradition, especially in Anatolia. A typical instrument in Turkish folk music is the saz, a type of long-necked lute. The wind instrument zurna and the drum davul as well as the shepherd’s flutes Kaval and Ney are popular in rural areas and are very often heard along with traditional songs and dances at weddings and other celebrations. In addition to Turkish folk music, Turkish art music developed in connection with Sufism from the 14th century, which is played on lutes, zithers and flutes (Tanbur, Ud, Kanun, Ney) and follows a tone pattern that is completely different from the European tone system. In order to preserve the artistic music tradition, the State Ensemble for Classical Turkish Music has established itself in Istanbul. Ney) is played and follows a tone pattern that is completely different from the European tone system. In order to preserve the artistic music tradition, the State Ensemble for Classical Turkish Music has established itself in Istanbul.
The rich legacy of the diverse and extensive Turkish cultural history can be discovered at numerous locations that have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO:
- Archaeological site of Troy
- Safranbolu City
- Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital
- Hattusha, the capital of the Hittites
- Historical areas of Istanbul
- Nemrut Dag
- Selimiye Mosque, Edirne
- Xanthos Letoon
- Goreme National Park and the rocks of Cappadocia
The well-known natural paradises of Turkey are mainly concentrated in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, whose impressive landscapes are made accessible by numerous national parks. For lovers of barren steppe landscapes and rough mountainous areas, Central Anatolia with the Tuz Gölü salt lake or the high mountains of Eastern Anatolia offer lonely natural adventures away from the tourist crowds. A detour to the shores of Lake Van in the far east of Turkey is also worthwhile.
Holidays with a fixed date in Turkey
January 1st New Year
April 23rd National Sovereignty and Child Holiday
May 1st Labor and Solidarity Day
May 19th Memorial Day for Ataturk / Sports and Youth Day
July 15th Democracy and National Unity Day
Aug 30th Victory Day
Oct 28th Day before National Holiday
Oct 29th Republic Day (National Holiday)
Medical advice for Turkey
For legal reasons, we as a tour operator are not allowed to communicate any binding medical information for Turkey and therefore refer to the information provided by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Robert Koch Institute and the German Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health
Travel advice for Turkey
You can obtain current travel and safety information, information on entering and leaving the country, as well as special criminal information and recommendations for your stay in Turkey from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Foreign mission in Turkey
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ankara (there are further general and honor consulates in Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Bodrum, Bursa, Edirne, Gaziantep, Kayseri and Trabzon). Administrative
District / Consular district: Turkey
Street address: Ataturk Bulvari Nr 114, 06680 Kavaklidere – Ankara
Postal address: Almanya Federal Cumhuriyeti Büyükelçiligi, PK 54, Çankaya, 06552 Ankara, Turkey
Telephone: +90 312 455 51 00, for emergencies + 90 533 430 5278
Fax: +90 312 455 53 37
E-Mail: Contact form
Official languages: Turkish
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Berlin
(There are other general and honorary consulates in Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Mainz, Munich, Münster, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Regensburg)
Street address: Tiergartenstraße 19-21
Postal address: Tiergartenstraße 19-21, 10785 Berlin
Telephone: 030 27 58 50
Fax: 030 275 909 15
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http: //www.berlin.be.mfa.gov.tr