Practical Information about Istanbul



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Customer Care

Practical Information about Istanbul


Public Holidays
1 January: New Year's Day
23 April: National Holiday of the Sovereign and his Children
1 May: Labour Day
19 May: Ataturk Commemorations and Youth & Sports Day
30 August: Victory Day
30 September: Seker Bayram (End of Ramadan)
29 October: Republic Day
8 December (it may be changed) : Kurban Bayram (Feast of Sacrifice)

Working Hours
Banks are open weekdays from 8:30 am until noon or 12:30 am, depending on the bank, and from 1:30 am until 5.00 am. However, there are some banks which continue to serve during lunch breaks.
Museums are generally open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am until 5.00 am or 5:30 pm and closed on Monday. Palaces are open the same hours but are closed on Thursdays.
Shops and bazaars are normally open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 1.00 pm and from 2.00 pm to 7.00 pm, and closed all day on Sunday. But most stores in shopping malls and crowded streets are open seven days a week, including lunch breaks.
You can find restaurants or cafes open virtually at any time of the day or night.

Mail-Telephone Calls
Post offices are painted bright yellow and have PTT (Post, Telegraph, and Telephone) signs on the front. The central Post office is open Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 7am. Smaller ones are open Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 5.00 pm.

Dialling Code
The International Direct Dial (IDD) code for Turkey is 90, İstanbul is 212 ( European Side ) and 216 ( Anatolian Side )

Local Time
GMT +2 (+3 in summertime).

New Turkish Lira (TL) is the currency. This replaces the old Turkish Lira (with multiple zeros), which went out of circulation in December 2005.
In Turkey travellers' checks are rarely accepted. We recommend that you cash your travellers' checks at the banks.
ATMs can be found in even the smallest Turkish towns. Most accept international credit cards or bank cards (a strip of logos is usually displayed above the ATM). Almost all ATMs have a language key to enable you to read the instructions in English.
Credits cards are widely used in restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, super markets, boutiques, etc. VISA, MASTERCARD and EUROCARD are more widely accepted as compared to AMERICAN EXPRESS and DINERS Card.

You can purchase it at the airport counter on arrival in Turkey. To purchase a visa from the counter at the Istanbul airport, it is important to carry the exact amount in cash (Euro or Americal Dollars only). No credit card or traveller cheques are allowed. The visas cost around 10 euro and allow a maximum stay of 90 days in Turkey

France: İstiklal C 8 Taksim, 0212 334 87 30
Germany: İsmet İnönü Caddesi No:16 Gümüşsuyu, 0212 334 61 00
Italy: Boğazkesen Cad. Tom Tom Kaptan Sok. 15, Galatasaray, 0212 243 10 24-25
Spain: Karanfil Aralığı Cad. No:16 Levent, 0212 270 74 10   
Switzerland: Levent Plaza A Blok, K.3 Büyükdere Cad.No:173, 0212 283 12 82
UK: Meşrutiyet Cad. No:34 Tepebaşı-Beyoglu, 0212 334 64 00
USA: İstinye Mahallesi Kaplıcalar Mevkii No.2 İstinye, Sarıyer, 0212 335 90 00

There are no serious health risks associated with travel to Turkey. No vaccinations are required for entry. Tap water is heavily chlorinated. Bottled water, bottled sparkling mineral water or carbonated mineral water are also abundant. In the hospitals mentioned below, you are offered an excellent service and consultation with English speaking doctors.

Acıbadem Hospital      444 55 44         
Alman Hospital            0212 293 21 50
Amerikan Hospital       0212 311 20 00
Avrupa Florance Nightingale Hospital  0212 212 88 11
Cosmodent Dental Clinic         0212 291 15 15
Çevre Hospital 0212 274 69 25
Dentistanbul     0212 327 40 20
Dünya Eye Hospital     0212 444 4 469
Florance Nightingale Hospital   0212 224 49 50
İstanbul Cerrahi Hospital          0212 296 94 50
Memorial Health Group           0212 444 7 888
Metropolitan Florance Nightingale Hospital      0212 288 34 00
Vatan Hospital             0212 534 86 00

220V AC, 50 Hz, two-pin round plugs are standard.

Safety & Security
The streets of Istanbul are considerably safer than their counterparts in the United States or Western Europe. Travellers should nevertheless take care of their valuables, as pickpockets, although not as common as in the U.S. or Europe , do operate in the major cities and tourist areas.

Important Service Telephone Numbers
Ambulance: 112 (all over Turkey)
Police: 155 (all over Turkey)
Tourism Police: (0212) 5274503 (Istanbul only)
Gendarme: 156 (all over Turkey)
Coast Guard: 158 (all over Turkey)
Fire: 110 (all over Turkey)
Yellow Pages: 118 (all over Turkey)
Tourism Info: 170 (all over Turkey)

Tourist Offices
Atatürk Havalimanı Tourism Information Office
Ataturk Airport -Yeşilköy
+90 (212) 573 41 36 / 663 07 98    Fax:- +90 (212) 663 07 98

Beyazıt Tourism Information Office
Beyazıt Meydanı
+90 (212) 522 49 02

Karaköy Tourism Information Office
Karaköy Limanı Yolcu Salonu İçi
+90 (212) 249 57 76

Sirkeci Tourism Information Office
Sirkeci Train Station
+90 (212) 511 58 88

Sultanahmet Tourism Information Office
Meydanı (Hippodrome)
+90 (212) 518 18 02 / 518 87 54    Fax- +90 (212) 518 18 02

Good morning                         Günaydin          
Hello                                       Merhaba
Have a nice day                       Iyi günler
Good evening                          Iyi aksamlar
Good night                              Iyi geceler
Welcome                                 Hosgeldiniz
Good-bye (to be said to the person who leaves)          Gule Gule
Good-bye (to be said to the person who stays)            Allahaismarladik
How are you?                          Nasilsiniz?
Thank you                               Tesekkur ederim
How much does this cost?       Kaç lira?
Good Appetite                        Afiyet olsun
O.K.                                       Tamam
Too expensive                         Pahali
Cheap                                     Ucuz
I love you                                Seni Seviyorum