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Five Things To Remember Before Visiting Turkey

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It has a rich history, the locals are very friendly, and their cuisine is to die for. Turkey is also quite close to Europe which means that visitors get a sort-of “east meets west” type of experience that can make for some fond memories. However, before you go, here are five things you need to know.

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You Need a Visa

Before you even think about what you are going to get up to in Turkey, you need to sort out a visa. Turkey requires most foreign nationals to obtain a visa prior to entering the country and you will be stopped at the border without one. It’s relatively easy to get a Turkey Visa for Australian Citizens and it takes a couple of weeks to arrive.

The Country is Quite Conservative

Remember, it’s a predominately Muslim country with highly conservative views. Whilst foreign tourists will be given the benefit of doubt, it’s always a good idea to act conservatively and not behave like you would at home. It’s always a good idea to cover up, male or female, especially if you are heading outside of touristy areas.

You Will Need Cash

Whilst there are plenty of ATMs, not everywhere processes card payments. Always carry small denominations of cash in the Turkish Lira, and U.S. Dollar if you can. Be aware that not all ATMs will take your debit card and may only accept major credit cards such as American Express.

Make Effort with Locals

Turkish nationals are very friendly and curious, and they will go out of their way to help you as a tourist if you make a little effort. Using a few phrases of the local language and exercising good behaviour is always enough to appease Turkish citizens who will be pleased to help.

Watch Out for the Bathroom Situation

Whilst many places in Turkey have western toilets that we are used to – particularly in hotels, restaurants and museums – outside of the more common touristy places you will find traditional Turkish “squat” toilets which can throw westerners off.

It’s worth being aware of this as it is something that many people are taken aback by when they visit the country. Turkey is a beautiful country of historical significance that pulls in millions of tourists from all around the world each year. Despite the peculiar political situation, it is a very safe country and you will have no trouble so long as you plan and do your research, and act accordingly whilst you are there.

11 February 2020

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