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Driving Guide

Turkey Driving Guide

Turkey is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit.

2021-08-06 · 9min read
Turkey Driving Guide

Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country that is located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Due to the country’s unique position between two large continents, Turkey is often considered a country of geostrategic importance where it has acted both as a bridge and barrier between the two continents. The rich culture and amplitude of influences prominent in this country have made a permanent mark, mainly reflected by its delectable cuisine and numerous archeological sites and religious monuments.

To make your stay in this country more exciting and manageable, securing an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is a must for you to easily rent a car, thus making the activity of driving in Turkey and exploring its fantastic tourist spots easier. The permit can also offer a more flexible schedule as it allows you to follow your own time and plan of exploring the country and its popular destinations. This approach is ideal for travelers who don’t want to be hassled by a rigorous schedule often manifested by tour guide companies.

How Can This Guide Help You?

To make the most out of your future travels, it is imperative to plan as a tourist in another country. In this regard, one can prepare in advance by getting useful information about the country you are about to visit. This guide can provide you with travel details that will certainly make your travel to Turkey a pleasant experience. These details will include exploring the country, renting a car, the beautiful places for you to visit, and do’s and don'ts as a tourist in Turkey.

This guide can also impart valuable knowledge on how you can safely and effectively explore all sites while driving in Turkey. The guide will focus on details such as driving tips in Turkey, driving in Turkey as a tourist, driving license types in Turkey, and safety reminders when driving in Turkey. So, to start your adventure in this wonderful country, continue reading and make sure to assimilate all the tips this guide can offer to make your journey the most pleasant experience.

General Information

Turkey is, without a doubt, a beautiful country, and like other places that are known for their beautiful scenery, it is best to explore it on an open road. Turkey is a richly diverse country where it was once a place of trade and of exchanging cultures. For this reason, the country is often dubbed as the point where East meets West that is often featured prominently in many travel plans. The country is simply a wonderful sight to behold and was made popular among tourists as there is an unlimited number of exciting things to see and do in its sites.

Geographic Location

Turkey is a nation that is recognized for its geographical location, lying partly in Europe and Asia. Because of this, the country served both as a barrier and bridge for the two continents. The nation is positioned between the crossroads of the Caucasus and the Middle East. The country has a land area that is larger than any European state.

A large portion of the country is situated in Asia, extending from the oblong peninsula to the Armenian highland. The remaining part of its landmass- Turkish Thrace (Trakya)- lies on the edge of southeastern Europe.

Languages Spoken

The official language, Turkish, is the first language spoken by 90% of the 71.1 million population. About 6% of the population speak minority languages such as Kurdish, although this isn't recognized as an official language. A total of 1.2% of the Turkish population speaks the Arabic language; most of these people are bilingual, with the capacity to speak both Turkish and Arabic.

All the rules apply to all non- European nationalities, except for British passport holders. If your British nationality is of a different type, you can verify the visa requirements with the Turkish Consulate General before your travel. These passports are classified under the ‘UK Special Passports’ of the Turkish e-Visa interface. You must apply from the Consulate General for a visa before your travel.

Circassian, Armenian, Greek, and Judezmo, a Romance language spoken by Jews, are just some of the other minority languages spoken by natives. As the English language’s prevalence is relatively low in Turkey, communication with the residents poses a challenge for English-speaking travelers. Nevertheless, this is a good way to learn more about the country. You can quickly learn words from the internet that will certainly help you during your vacation.

Land Area

The country stretches about 1,000 miles from west to east and has 300 to 400 miles of north-south extent. On the east, Turkey is bounded by Iran and Azerbaijan, on the north by the Black Sea, on the northwest by Bulgaria and Greece, on the southeast by Iraq and Syria, on the northeast by Georgia and Armenia, and on the southwest by the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea. The largest city and seaport in the country is Istanbul, and the capital is Ankara.

History

In 1923, Mustafa Kemal founded from the defeated Ottoman Empire the Anatolian remnants that are now being called “Modern Turkey.” Kemal was given the title for this discovery and is now regarded as the “Father of the Turks” It is also for the same reason that Kemal is now recognized as the country’s national hero. Kemas has adopted wide-ranging legal, political, and social reforms, which were made successful by his authoritarian approach to leadership.

In 1950, the period of one-party rule was eliminated in the country due to the election victory of the Democratic Party that favored multi-party politics. Periods of intermittent military coup and instability have fractured democracy in the country several times. In 1974, the Turkish military prevented the Greek invasion of Cyprus, which has since acted as the country’s patron state that Turkey only recognizes.

In 1945, Turkey joined the United Nations and subsequently became a member of NATO in the year 1950. Afterward, the country also joined the European Community as an associate member. Due to its many affiliations, the country was able to make many reforms in the succeeding decades, leading to the strengthening of its economy and democracy, and instigating membership talks to join the European Union.

Government

Turkey’s political system is primarily based on the separation of powers and secular parliamentary representatives. During the general elections in 2018, the majority of the seats in the Parliament were occupied by a political party that changed the leader of the ruling party into the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is considered as the head of the Government, who together with the Council of Ministers, exercised executive power.

The Referendum on 16th of April 2017 again amended the political system, and Turkey eventually adopted a new presidential system where the Executive powers were all exercised by the President. The role of the Prime Minister was eradicated and the president has all the rights to choose the country’s cabinet of ministers. The first President of Turkey was Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Tourism

One of Turkey’s fastest-growing and dynamic sectors is tourism. Because of the exponential success in Turkey’s tourism, 2.2 million people in the country were employed in 2018 and has recently contributed 7.75 of the country’s total employment. The GDP of the country in terms of total tourism was recorded in recent data to be 3.8%. Total service exports were majorly influenced by the travel exports from the country.

Recent data shows that in 2018, the country has attracted approximately 45.8 million international tourists. This has generated tourism revenue of 142.4 billion, which is an increase of 12% compared to what was generated in 2017. Russian, German, Bulgarian, Georgians, and tourists from the United Kingdom were the top inbound markets according to statistics conducted in 2018.

When visiting the country, you can expect that temperatures are below freezing throughout the interior during January. The snow cover of its different regions ranges from four months in some mountainous areas in the east and two weeks in the warmer regions. In summers, you can expect a hot climate that usually peaks around July. This pleasant climate condition in Turkey is why the country is visited by tourists all year round.

IDP FAQs

Exploring the country in the comfort of your own time will make traveling more fun instead of being a hassle. This can be achieved easily by renting a car so that you can drive anywhere at any time. In this regard, an important question that you should ask yourself before driving in a foreign country is if its government requires you to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). In Turkey’s case, the said permit is a must-have for those who plan on driving in Turkey as a tourist.

Getting an IDP is fundamental to a stress-free and safe trip to Turkey. Applying for this permit is easy and hassle-free as it can quickly be done online with the International Drivers Association’s help. To know more about the details of how you can get your hands on this significant permit, continue reading forward to ensure comfortable and smooth driving in Turkey as a tourist. Be a confident driver with an IDP.

Who Needs an IDP?

An International Driving Permit is an important document to carry for people who frequently travel abroad. The IDP allows you to access a vehicle and drive across a foreign country without being called out by the local law enforcement. It is an official translation of your regular driver’s license, and it permits local authorities from the country to evaluate whether you are competent to drive on their roads or not. Driving in Turkey on a UK license does not require you to get an IDP.

Apart from driving in Turkey with this international license as a tourist, the permit is also a reliable document to possess when visiting a country for business purposes. The permit enables you to travel at your own convenient time, with comfort, instead of riding in public transportation that can be exhausting.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Turkey?

A local driving license in Turkey for foreigners is not enough to allow you to drive in Turkey. Aside from your valid national driver's license in Turkey, you must acquire an International Driver’s License. The international driver’s license grants you the right to operate a car. Failure to do so will encourage authorities to subject you to a penalty, especially when driving without a valid national driver's license in Turkey. The said rule doesn’t apply to a person with a UK driving license in Turkey.

Do I Need an IDP in Cities and Districts of Turkey?

For most foreigners, yes is the answer to this question. The permit is not necessary if you’re driving in Turkey with a UK license. To have the right to drive in Turkey as a tourist, you must possess an IDP. However, this document is not a replacement for your domestic driver’s license. The permit is only a translation of your regular license. Therefore, when traveling by car as a tourist in Turkey, you need to have your IDP accompanied by your domestic driver's license.

Who Can Apply for an IDP?

Anyone with a valid driver’s license can apply for an IDP. As such, you need to secure a local license first from your native country before requesting an IDP. Keep in mind that this permit is just an official translation of your native license. This way, non-English speaking traffic enforcers in the country that you will visit can easily assess whether you’re competent to drive a vehicle or not. As repeatedly mentioned above, an IDP is not needed if you are driving in Turkey with a UK license.

If you’re ready to apply for an IDP, visit the International Drivers Association’s application page and choose an IDP package that will correspond to the validity of your IDP. Here are the requirements for your application:

If you’re ready to apply for an IDP, visit the International Drivers Association’s application page and choose an IDP package that will correspond to the validity of your IDP. Here are the requirements for your application:

● Passport

● Valid driver's license from your home country

● Passport size photo of yourself

You can't apply for an IDP with provisional driving licenses only. It should be a full driving license from your home country.

Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?

No. One important driving requirement in Turkey is the possession of an IDP. A regular driving license in Turkey for foreigners is not enough to allow you to drive in the country. An important thing to remember when traveling in a car around this country is you must carry your native license together with the IDP. The British driving license in Turkey is an exemption. The IDP is never a replacement for your domestic driver's license. This permit’s validity is for one to three years.

When you get your IDP from the International Drivers Association, you can travel to 200 other countries in a vehicle. This will enable you to access neighboring countries. The IDP translates your native license into 12 languages. So, when a law enforcer who doesn’t speak your language asks you to present your license, the IDP translates everything written on your regular license, especially licenses that are not in the Roman alphabet. This is one of those tips when driving in Turkey that everybody should be aware of.

Renting a Car in Turkey

The convenience of renting and driving your car when exploring a beautiful country is something that all travelers should have access to. This will not only make your journey more comfortable but will also save a lot of time and prevent you from experiencing the hassle of following a tight schedule. Renting a car is a sensible option so it would be easy to follow your itinerary. Bringing your own car is possible, but it can be quite a hassle to do so. So, how do you even rent a car when you are in Turkey? Worry no more as this guide will provide you with useful information about car rentals in Turkey.

Car Rental Companies

There are several methods of car rental in Turkey. One is through renting cars online, where you can book your desired vehicle before your trip. Another option is to go to a rental car service provider location directly. Between the two, booking a car online is a more convenient and popular choice for tourists.

Turkish rental cars are usually smaller European and Asian models with the standard manual transmission, air conditioning, and sound system. They’re usually described as being 5-seater cars, but five individuals will not travel in the car comfortably for long distances; instead, they’re good for three to four adults only, or two adults and one or two children, with just enough space for luggage. Their tiny engines make transporting four adults a slow process.

Documents Required

While rental companies don’t always check if renting tourists have an international license, it will undoubtedly pose a problem if you get caught by the local authorities or in a traffic accident. As such, it is imperative to check the rules of the rental service provider before traveling. There are specific driving in Turkey license requirements for car hire in the country. In most cases, a regular driver’s license and an IDP are the standard documents needed before car leasing.

Also, bear in mind that car rental providers in Turkey are strict with the people trying to lease their vehicles. In this regard, you must be at a certain minimum age and should possess the necessary documents before you can rent a car. You will typically be asked for the following before you’re eligible for car rental:

  • A valid passport or an official Identity Card if you are from European Union countries,
  • Payment of rental fees with the help of a valid credit card
  • A valid driver’s (driving) license. If you’re a tourist, a local license when driving in Turkey should be accompanied by an International Driving Permit
  • A minimum age requirement where the drivers should at least be 21 years old and above. Many agencies set an age limit for car rentals at ages 70 to 75 years old

Vehicle Types

Car rental service providers usually offer different cars to suit the different needs of their clients. You just have to be explicit with your specifications for them to suggest the best vehicle that fits your preference. Four- seater small cars are usually suitable for those who travel in small groups. As for those in large numbers, many rental companies can provide you with large vehicles that can accommodate 9 to 10 individuals.

Petrol cars are quite popular in the country in comparison to diesel cars. However, to save money for your travel, diesel cars are cheaper, and you should ask the rental company if they can provide you with one. Considering that you want to make the most out of driving in a beautiful country, it would be more practical to opt for a diesel car when exploring Turkey.

Car Rental Cost

For many tourists, price is a huge factor to consider when renting a car in Turkey. You want to make sure that you obtain the best deal possible without compromising your driving experience. Fortunately, car rental service in the country is considerably cheap, especially if you rent ahead of time. Car rental in Turkey for an economy vehicle usually costs $33 per day on average. A good tip is to rent cars only for defined local or regional itineraries.

With a rented car in Turkey, you can visit its popular tourist destinations and indulge in the natural beauty and rich historical background. To save money from doing this, try to cut your fuel cost significantly by renting a car that runs on euro diesel. Compared to petrol, diesel has higher fuel efficiency, enabling you to travel long distances at lesser fuel consumption. Further, you can get cheap car hire services by comparing different car hire rates from other rental providers. You might also need additional equipment such as GPS for your navigation needs. Having a GPS will help you navigate the map of the Turkish highway system.

Age Requirements

The lowest age limit for car rental in Turkey varies from one rental service provider to another. Most car rental companies in the country require you to be at least 21 years old before leasing one of their vehicles. Other rental companies require a minimum age of 23 years old. Other rental companies may require you to be at least 27 or 28 years of age to rent expensive car models.

The maximum age for car rental in the country also varies, but they allow drivers age 70 to 75 years old to rent a car from them. Another requirement by most car rental providers in Turkey is that you must have your driver’s license for at least a year before renting a regular car, and perhaps two years for renting a more expensive car model. Most car rental companies can also offer their driver’s service but may charge you some extra fees.

Car Insurance Cost

Driving in a foreign country for the first time can be scary for most people. In this light, many people avail car insurance services to somehow get a sense of security while driving. Many rental companies include insurance in their services so that their clients don’t have to look for one on their own. This is a way for rental organizations to ensure the safety of their car rentals and their clients.

Car Insurance Policy

Since your travel insurance does not cover potential theft or damage to your rental car, it is imperative to avail comprehensive car insurance when renting a vehicle. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), also called Collision Damage Insurance (CDI), is the type of insurance that is always included with the service of a rental car in Turkey. It covers potential damages to the rental car.

This insurance has a premium package that can cover all fees involved. However, CDW does not cover damage to tires, windshields, or the car’s headlights. The list below shows that add-ons that you can avail in conjunction with the CDW when renting a car in Turkey:

  • Headlights, Tires, and Windscreen
  • Personal Accident/Injury (PAI)
  • Third-Party Liability Insurance
  • Theft Insurance
  • Fire Insurance
  • Loss of Use
Istanbul Turkey roads by Umut YILMAN

Road Rules in Turkey

As a tourist in any foreign country, you should know the basic driving rules and regulations if you plan to drive when traveling. This will avoid the possibility of being stopped by local authorities that can pose fines and penalties during your travel. Most countries more or less share the same road rules and regulations. However, taking the time to learn about their driving laws can significantly make your travel more manageable. For this reason, when you are in this country, it is crucial to instill in your mind the primary living and driving laws in Turkey.

Important Regulations

If you decide on having your vehicle, there are a lot of driving requirements in Turkey that you should take into account. Your license, for example, can dictate whether you have permission to drive in Turkey. For example, driving in Turkey with a UK license is permitted, while driving in the country with an Indian license is not enough. Concerning the latter, an IDP is a requirement in conjunction with your regular driver’s license. Driving to Turkey with a dog is permitted, but you should meet the requirements that the country implements about pets.

Also, people below 18 years old are restricted from driving, and the country enforces a maximum age limit of 70 to 75 years old to its drivers. Drink-driving laws in Turkey are also being implemented, and you might want to bear them in mind before making the mistake of driving under the influence of alcohol. As a person in a foreign country, you need to respect these rules while driving on their roads and save yourself the trouble of being caught by traffic enforcers.

Driving in Turkey With a Dog

Driving to Turkey with a dog has some rules that should be followed by both local and tourist drivers. If you plan on bringing your pet while you drive, make sure to have the following information in mind:

  • You should have your animal companion microchipped with an ISO 11784 pet microchip called a non-encrypted device with a 15-digit tag.
  • Before your pet enters Turkey, your animal companion must be cleared for rabies by showing proof that it is vaccinated against the disease.
  • You must also carry a Veterinary Certificate for Turkey within the ten days pre-travel. The certificate must be granted by the Governing Authority responsible for the export and import of animals in your native country.
  • All pet cats and dogs must show evidence that they are free from any disease transmittable to humans before entering Turkey.

Drunk-driving

This country enforces severe punishments for traffic offenders and drunk drivers. Turkey has a strict law on drink driving, with an allowable blood alcohol limit of 0.05%. This rule only applies if you are driving alone - a system that is entirely alcohol-free is mandatory if you are driving with a passenger. If you are caught drink-driving, your license will be suspended, and you will be fined depending on whether it is your first, second, or third offense, starting at €141.

Before Driving

Driving on the roads of Turkey is a pleasure to those who know how to drive. What is allowed and prohibited on the road varies country by country, and it’s important to know what you can do and can’t do before getting behind the wheel. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for you to know the driving rules in the country to ensure an experience of safe driving in Turkey.

Turning Signals at an Intersection

You will encounter many roundabouts at many intersections, which are sometimes controlled by traffic lights and sometimes not. Unlike in North America and Europe, traffic in roundabouts is not given priority. Road users who are entering roundabouts have the right of way. If you intend to turn left, you should be in the left or middle lane before you turn.

If you proceed in a straight direction or plan to turn right, it is best to drive on the right. Priority is given to pedestrians and cyclists who are crossing cycle tracks or pavements in Turkey.

Parking

Upon arrival at your destination, park your car only on the allowable spots of the area. Park in well-lit locations if the area is dark. Be mindful if the country has parking rates so that you’ll not get surprised by your parking fees. Never forget to secure the doors of your vehicle and never leave your valuables inside your car.

Ensure You and Your Vehicle are in Good Condition Before Driving

As a responsible driver, you are expected to be vigilant and not be under the influence of alcohol before driving. People with eye problems are restricted from driving unless they have the necessary equipment, such as prescription glasses, to aid them while driving. Always observe if your car is in good condition by checking its battery, brakes, tires, car window, and engine. Also, make sure your tank is full for your entire trip in case there are no fuel stations around the area. Further, never drive on the roads of Turkey if you are sleepy or sick.

Seatbelt Laws

Wearing seatbelts is mandatory when driving in Turkey. It is also compulsory that all car seats have their seat belt to accommodate all possible passengers. If a medical condition hinders you from using a seat belt, you must retrieve from a medical doctor an exemption medical certificate accompanied by a Turkish translation. In case of emergencies, it is also required that you keep a fire extinguisher, two warning triangles, and a first-aid kit in the car at all times.

If you have a child as a passenger, there are stricter rules that you should follow in Turkey as a driver. An appropriate child restraint is used for children between 3 and 11 years old and less than 1.35 meters tall. As per the country’s laws, a 12-month-old child or weighing up to 9 kg should be positioned in the safety seat at the back of the car with the baby’s head facing the rear windows.

General Standards

When driving, be mindful and pay very close attention to the road and the different driving signs in Turkey. Avoid anything that might distract your attention, such as sounds from your mobile phone or loud music volumes. Also, do not read phone messages or receive calls while driving a car. If it is unavoidable, park your car in allowable parking before checking your phone. Lastly, do not forget to fasten your seatbelt and follow the speed cap of the road you are driving in.

Speed Limits

An important detail that you need to consider about Turkey’s speed limits is that they are typically measured in kilometers per hour. Ensure that you don’t go above it and accidentally break the speed limit. The speed limit varies around different areas in Turkey. A speed limit of 50kph is expected in built-up areas, 90kph on open roads, and a limit of 120kph on motorways. The fine for breaking these speed limits is dependent upon how much you have exceeded it.

Aside from avoiding penalties, it is important to stay below the speed limits to see the driving signs on the roads of Turkey. This will help you stay away from potential accidents, especially when driving in urban areas where roads are tighter because of the higher number of people. A slower speed is also advisable if you want to savor the beautiful sites you can pass on while driving.

Driving Directions

If you are a tourist visiting Turkey, you know that getting around a foreign country is quite tricky. Lucky for you, residents of the country are welcoming, kind-hearted, and always eager to help people out, especially those who are asking for directions. For English-speaking tourists, exploring Turkey can be difficult as most of the population cannot speak the English language at the conversational level

Tourist drivers should also know about the driving directions in Turkey. When approaching a traffic circle, make sure to give priority to vehicles who are entering it first before you. The same rule applies to pedestrians and intersections of most roads. When merging, the driver who is on the ending lane should give priority to the drivers on the other lane. Further, you should only merge when there is enough space on the other lane and it is safe for you to enter.

Traffic Road Signs

While most road signs in Turkey are similar to regular traffic signs in most countries, they do not conform to international and European standards. There are also local signs that are exclusive to the country that tourists should be aware of. If you are driving a car to explore the country, you’ll most likely encounter these signs that you might be unfamiliar with.

To avoid confusion and overwhelming yourself with what they mean, you should have a foundational knowledge about them to make for a safer and more enjoyable journey. The list below are the general road sign categories that you should know before driving in Turkey:

  • Warning signs- are often red or yellow to advise drivers of possible danger. They are mainly designed to alert drivers of potential hazards ahead
  • Information signs- are the most frequently used road signs in Turkey and are generally used to provide general information about the road a traveler is driving on
  • Mandatory road signs- are not suggestions but are mainly used when you are required to carry out a specific task. They are sometimes called information or advisory signs and are often considered the most important traffic signs in Turkey that you should know.
  • Priority Road Signs- are designed to clarify who has priority on the road or junction ahead
  • Prohibitory road signs- are generally used on all road types of the country. They are designed to restrict certain types of vehicles and certain maneuvers such as setting speed limits or prohibiting u-turns

Right of Way

When driving in Turkey, knowing which side of the road is the right of way is something that tourists should be aware of. Like most European countries, you have the right of way when you are driving on the right-hand side of Turkish roads. When people are crossing a pedestrian, priority belongs to them. If traffic lights are not present, pedestrians always have precedence.

The allowable age for operating a car in Turkey is 18 years old. However, this rule does not apply when renting a car, as car rental providers typically require an age requirement of 21 years old for them to allow you to drive one of their cars. These companies seek a higher age requirement when you are looking for a luxury vehicle to drive. You must also have your driver’s license for at least one year before being considered eligible for driving.

To qualify for a driver’s license, you need to pass both the theoretical and driving test in Turkey. The same can be said for foreigners who are planning to live in the country and want to travel in their car. They are also expected to pass a theoretical test and a practical driving test in Turkey. There are different driving license types in Turkey.

There are nine categories of driving licenses in the country, and you may only drive a vehicle in the category (categories) for which your license is valid.

Laws on Overtaking

In addition to the previously mentioned driving in Turkey laws, overtaking in the country also has a minor set of rules to be followed by local and tourist drivers. To know more about them, simply read the following information about overtaking in the country:

  • It is prohibited to overtake at road humps, on bends, bottlenecks, at junctions, and pedestrian crossings
  • When driving in Turkey, check the left and right sides of the road before overtaking
  • Overtaking in poorly lit areas where there is insufficient visibility on the road is highly discouraged
  • Changing lanes and overtaking at a bus stop is also forbidden in the country
  • It is essential to exercise caution and restraint when overtaking in interurban and urban areas. Only do so when freeways are present

Driving Side

Like many countries around the world, you always have to drive on the right side of the road when in Turkey. It is therefore expected that their vehicles have their steering wheels positioned on the car’s left side. You will most likely struggle if you are from a country that follows left-hand traffic like Australia and plans to use a Turkish car. Thus, one can suggest that you practice different cars before driving on the roads in Turkey.

Driving Etiquette in Turkey

If you plan to visit Turkey for a particular purpose, you should remember to respect the driving rules of the country and always exhibit your best behavior when driving on its roads. This will prevent you from getting into any potential trouble with the authorities and make your stay a pleasant experience instead of being a hassle. Further, try to learn some essential words and phrases that you will find useful in roaming around the country.

Car Breakdown

Experiencing car breakdowns is sometimes inevitable in a foreign country, and it is crucial not to panic. Car breakdowns are a huge hassle, and they can definitely ruin your entire trip if you don’t know what to do in this situation. The following are some of the things you should do when you’re in such an unpleasant circumstance:

  1. Make your vehicle as visible as possible. To do this, you can turn on your hazard lights to notify people that you are experiencing a driving issue. When parked in a safe and allowable spot, use conspicuous warning signals, such as warning lights, flares, or a hazard triangle to alert anyone of your vehicle’s presence. It is more practical to position your warning tool as far behind your car to get the attention of motorists or local authorities.
  2. Get off the road. Try to pull your vehicle away from the road with caution. If you are stuck in traffic, get out of your car, and carefully walk to another location. Driving on a busy street and if your car is parked on the shoulder, exit on the passenger side. If you own the car, lock it and leave a note containing your phone number on the windshield in case local authorities or traffic enforcers stop by your vehicle. If you are renting, contact your service provider before leaving and resting in a safe place.
  3. Keep the doors locked. If you are in a safe location where people can see you, try to wait inside your vehicle. Never unlock your doors and keep your seat belt fastened and try to contact someone you know or your car rental service provider.
  4. Exercise caution. It is imperative to be careful and exercise good judgment before accepting help from strangers. If you have a suspicious feeling about residents trying to help, stay inside the car, and lower your window enough to help them hear your voice. If help is on the way, politely decline the offer of others and say thank you.

Police Stops

Every driver needs to prepare for being stopped by local traffic enforcers, especially when you are a tourist driving in a foreign country. When placed in a situation like this, it is imperative not to panic and not feel intimidated by the local authorities. Try to remember that you have constitutional rights as a driver, but be mindful enough to exercise them if you did not violate any traffic rules.

When being pulled over, turn your hazard lights and slowly park your car on the side or shoulder of the road. Wait for the enforcers to talk to you. Afterward, greet the local traffic enforcer or police and immediately show your travel documents such as your passport, driver’s license, and IDP. Finally, wait for the police’s instructions and cooperate with them.

Asking Directions

Being a tourist trying to get their way around Turkey, you need to know that exploring a foreign country is quite tricky. Lucky for you, residents of the country are known to be very kind-hearted and welcoming to tourists. The country’s locals are typically eager to help people out, especially when asking for directions. For English-speaking tourists, exploring Turkey would prove difficult as most of the country’s population cannot speak English at a conversational level.

Below is a list that can provide you with some basic words and phrases that you can use when exploring Turkey:

  • Are there any vacancies available tonight?- Bu gece için boş odanız var mı?
  • Where is the train station located?- Tren istasyonu nerede?
  • Could I get a map?- Harita alabilir miyim?
  • What is the cost of this? - Bu ne kadar?
  • Do you have any recommendations?- Öneriniz var mı?
  • Thank you- Teşekkür ederim
  • Can you speak English?- İngilizce konuşuyor musunuz?
  • Are buses available from the airport to the city?- Havalimanından şehre otobüs var mı?
  • Is this the correct bus to the airport?- Havalimanı için doğru otobüs bu mu?
  • Excuse me, what is the fare?- Affedersiniz, bilet ücreti kadar?
  • I have a reservation- Rezervasyonum var

Checkpoints

When driving a car in a foreign country, it is sometimes ineligible to pass checkpoints, especially when crossing borders. This is especially true in Turkey as it contains thirty land border crossing points that you might pass through when driving. It is only normal for these borders to be guarded by local authorities and for them to stop and ask you some questions or look for travel documents before they let you pass through.

When passing these border patrols, it is imperative to exercise proper etiquette. Show respect to the border patrols by greeting them and immediately presenting your pertinent documents such as passport, driver’s license, and IDP. Always answer them politely when they have questions about your purpose. If they are not fluent in English, be considerate and speak slowly so that they can understand you.

You can also install a translating application on your mobile phone to allow for a more comfortable conversation with them. Allow them to check your vehicle when they ask for permission and open your back compartment for checking as well.

Other Tips

To travel in a car as relaxed as possible, you need to know how to enter the best roads when touring a country. This is done quickly by asking the locals, particularly transport vehicle drivers, as they are the most reliable people to ask for such information. Another way is by researching a map of the area on the internet so you can explore other roads aside from the highway.

Knowing the roads you’re going to travel on in advance will save you a lot of time and help you explore more of the country.

Driving Conditions in Turkey

Driving in Turkey is manageable, at least compared to driving in other countries like Morocco or Mexico. The majority of their roads are good, with clear signages, easy navigation, and straightforward parking. However, you may encounter aggressive drivers. Like any foreign road trip, driving in this country as a tourist has some things that you should be mindful of. So, to aid you in your plan of an epic Turkish road trip, continue reading below to learn some important information about driving in Turkey and help you deal with its undisciplined drivers.

Accident Statistics

According to the World Health Organization, Turkey loses about 10,000 lives every year due to road-related accidents. It has a traffic death rate of 13 fatalities per 100 000 population. A considerable portion of these mortalities (55%) are passengers and drivers of four-wheelers though pedestrians also constitute a significant proportion (19%) of these fatalities.

Common Vehicles

Different vehicles are observed to be present on Turkish roads. Apart from the regular car and van, other vehicles that can be used as means of transportation in the country include taxis, trains, metro, and local buses.

Road Situation

Roads in Turkey run in different variants, from single-lane highway roads to modern, divided, trans-European motorways that conform with the European standard. Major roads are good roads so it won't be a problem for you. Highways in the tourist-frequented southwestern, western, and coastal regions of the country are well maintained and always in good condition, while road situations in other areas vary. You'll also find Turkey's toll roads when traveling in the country. You can also encounter the horrendous traffic of Istanbul so it's best not to visit the country during peak season.

Driving Culture

As mentioned above, Turkish drivers frequently ignore traffic rules, including driving through stop signs and red lights and turning left from the far right lane. Other similar driving practices are often observed on Turkish roads, and you should drive defensively as a tourist if you plan on driving in the country. In an accident, drivers usually pull their cars on the street side and warn other drivers by alerting them with their emergency lights. Other drivers typically place a large rock on the road about 10-15 meters behind their car.

Other Tips

Other important traffic-related details about Turkish driving are necessary should you want to enjoy your trip. Speed limit signs are just one of the important pieces of information that you should know as a driver. Read more about them with the information written below.

What Are the Speed Units in Turkey?

The unit of speed commonly used when driving in Turkey is kilometers per hour. Speed limits vary in different areas of the country. As previously mentioned, the speed limit varies around different areas of the country. A speed limit of 50kph is expected in built-up areas; 90kph on open roads (the equivalent of a dual carriageway in the UK); and 120kph on motorways. The fine for breaking these speed limits is dependent upon how much you have exceeded them. If you're driving your own car, and the speedometer is showing an mph speed unit, it's better to rent a car.

Things to Do in Turkey

Turkey is known for its well-developed tourism, which means excellent plane connections. Airports are all over the country, the biggest of which is the Ataturk airport in Istanbul that can connect you to the whole world. Traveling to Turkey is a real paradise for tourists who have an adventurous spirit. It is mysterious, diverse, and rich in different cultures, which leave many tourists shocked in amazement when they visit the country. It offers many activities that can be done by driving a car.

If you find Turkey as an excellent country and plan to stay there for employment, there are certain things that you need to exert your effort into to achieve this. To help you with your plans, carefully read the following information on how you can attain your dream of living and working in Turkey.

Drive as a Tourist

Car travel is the best way to travel around Turkey. All tourists of legal driving age can drive in Turkey as long as they have the necessary documents. For people with a UK driver’s license, you are permitted to drive around the country without any additional requirements. For other tourists, your native license is inadequate to qualify you for driving. For example, if you have an Indian driving license, you must request an IDP before driving in the country before your travel. You don't have to take practical tests if you're driving as a tourist.

Work as a Driver

If you are planning to work as a driver in Turkey, you may need to apply for a Turkish driver’s license. To obtain this local license of the country, you should take the driving test composed of a theoretical and practical exam. Candidates must have an eyesight examination that should earn them a medical certificate before learning how to drive. You might also need to enroll in an authorized driving school.

Both practical and theoretical tests take place on specified dates and you may have to wait up to four months before participating in the exams. Once you have successfully passed the exams, present the relevant documents at the local Transport Registrar (Trafik Tescil Müdürlügü), which is situated at the local police station. Afterward, submit the following documents before the issuing of the driving license:

  • Original and copy of notarized proof of identity that is translated into Turkish
  • Certificate conferred after passing the practical and written tests
  • Document showing blood group and medical certificate
  • Copies of school diplomas notarized and in Turkish translation
  • Photographs

Work as a Travel Guide

If you truly love Turkey and have immersed enough in its culture and traditions, one enjoyable work that you can do in the nation is to be a travel guide. This is a perfect way for you to earn a living in this country. Not only will it give you more knowledge about the country as you do your job, but it will also help you earn enough to keep you financially secured while living in the country. Make sure to get a working permit for you to successfully do this. This is a sensible option if you want to work in the country.

Apply for Residency

To stay in Turkey permanently, you need a Turkish Residence Permit to serve as an authorization that will allow you to stay for longer than three months in the country. The permit is granted for purposes such as settlement, work, or studies. A residence permit enables you to reside in Turkey, get married, and convert your driver’s license into a Turkish one. Moreover, it allows you to get a tax number, open a bank account, purchase properties, and many more.

To apply for a Turkish residence permit, you need to follow several procedures. An important reminder is that the permit application process should be done a month before your scheduled entry date in Turkey. Afterward, you will be given a list of documents and will be given the option of selecting your available date and time for the appointment of the formal application process.

On the day of your appointment, you have to submit several documents to the Directorate General of Migration Management’s nearest office. The required documents for a Turkish residence permit are as follows:

  • Residence permit application form
  • Four biometric photographs
  • Original passport
  • Notarized copy of your travel documents such as a passport
  • Proof of financial resources for the timeframe of your stay
  • Health Insurance evidence

Other Things to Do

Other things can be done in the country of Turkey if you decide to stay longer or permanently. Due to its undeniable beauty, many are enamored and are enticed to live and work in the country.

Can I Convert My License in Turkey?

If you decide to stay permanently in Turkey, you should get the country’s driver’s license for you to still be able to drive. Getting the license in this country has similar procedures with other nations. Some of the prerequisites for its application include your native driver's license, visa, passport, and your international driver's license. It is also an important requirement to pass the practical and theoretical exam to acquire your driver’s license.

Both practical and theoretical tests take place on specified dates and you may have to wait up to four months before participating in the exams. Once you have successfully passed the exams, present the relevant documents at the local Transport Registrar (Trafik Tescil Müdürlügü), which is situated at the local police station. Afterward, submit the following documents before the issuing of the driving license:

The Top Destinations in Turkey

Turkey is considered a paradise by everyone who had the opportunity of visiting the country. With a diverse landscape that stretches from the mountains to its majestic seas, not to mention many historic ruins all around, Turkey is truly a sight to behold. The country is best to be explored by car travel, and we have chosen some of the best car trips you can take to make your stay in this fantastic country fun and a worthwhile experience.

Aegean Coastline photo by Enes Aktas

The Aegean Coastline

A beautiful destination in southern Turkey, the Aegean coastline is a perfect tourist attraction known for its amazing scenery the entire year. The place is incredibly wonderful during the summer seasons as it can provide the best beach spots that will surely leave you wanting to dive. It also offers a slew of other tourist attractions in the form of stunning villages and historic ruins. You can continue driving in southern Turkey to visit all the former Greek islands, including Bozcaada, Cunda, and the wonderful Gökçeada.

Driving Directions:

  1. Take Kennedy Cd., Avrasya Tüneli, D100 and Kozyatağı Kavşağı to Kozyatağı O2 Bağlantısı/İstanbul Çevre Yolu/O-2 in Küçükbakkalköy.
  2. Follow O-5 and E87 to Germencik-Ortaklar Bağlantı Yolu in Kızılcapınar. Exit from İzmir-Aydın Otoyolu/O-31/E87.
  3. Take İzmir Söke Yolu and Kuşadası Söke Yolu/D515 to Ege Yakası Sitesi in Soğucak.
Things to Do

If you wish to make your stay in this area worthwhile, here’s a list of the most enjoyable activities to do in the Aegean Coastline.

1. Walk in the Coastline

The coastline of the Aegean Sea is a perfect place to walk with your friends, family, or special someone. It is also the best spot to view the spectacular sunset in Turkey.

2. Swimming at the Beach

The Aegean Coastline has numerous beaches where you can swim and enjoy the relaxing waters of the Aegean sea. There are also numerous activities to participate in when you visit this attraction.

3. Take a Joy Ride

The roads that are located in the Aegean Coastline are in excellent condition, and they are the perfect place to drive your car while taking a view of the sea and feeling the cool breeze on your skin.

Istanbul Turkey Photo by Anna

Istanbul

Known as the largest city in the country, Istanbul provides the feel of historical places, and it is famous for Constantinople, which many tourists visit if they want to learn more about the country. For those who love shopping, the place has the Grand bazaar with different stores for you to buy your souvenirs when visiting this lovely city.

Istanbul is home to the Bosphorus River, which you can cruise and see how it partitions the country into the European and Asian sides. To have a daily dose of energy, try to enjoy some Turkish delicacies. Pudding, baklava, or Turkish delight, some revani, halva, or kunefe are just some of their most popular dishes.

Driving Directions:

From the Istanbul Airport, get on D020 in Ihsaniye and follow the road to Hasdal-Okmeydanı Bağlantısı to Piyalepaşa Bağlantı Yolu in İstanbul.

Things to Do

Fall in love with this amazing tourist spot by doing the recommended activities below.

1. Visit the Most Amazing Theme Parks

As one of the largest cities in Turkey, Istanbul has a lot of amazing attractions to offer to its visitors. Among the popular destinations that you can visit are the city’s theme parks, which are a great venue to have fun with your family or friends.

2. Enjoy Traditional Turkish Cuisines

Istanbul is the perfect spot to take a food trip in Turkey. Some of the traditional Turkish dishes that you can try in this area include unefe, baklava, and Turkish delights.

3. Go on a River Cruise

The city of Istanbul is surrounded by rivers -which you can ride a boat to tour the entire territory. Among the rivers where you can enjoy such activity is the Bosphorus River.

Cappadocia Turkey photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz

Cappadocia

Another place that is best to see during the summer season. Cappadocia can offer activities such as flying in a hot-air balloon. You can also get a sight of its unique rock formations, which are often dubbed as Turkey’s most beautiful natural wonder. The magnificent, swooping rock valleys of Cappadocia are every photographer's dream. And if you don't feel like hiking for the scenery, this destination is famous worldwide for its hot air balloon ride.

Driving Directions:

Driving a car in this area is fairly comfortable and is observed to be closest to the Kayseri Airport, which is 66.3 km or 55 minutes away from the airport.

  1. From Istanbul to reach Cappadocia, you can take Kennedy Cd., Avrasya Tüneli, D100 to Kennedy Cd., exit. Follow O-4 to Ankara - Niğde Otoyolu in Ankara and exit from Ankara Çevre Yolu/O-20.
  2. Continue on Ankara - Nigde Otoyolu.
  3. Take D750/E90, D300, Ankara - Niğde Otoyolu, Derinkuyu Yeşilhisar Yolu and Yeşilhisar Yolu to Ataturk Cd. in Yesilhisar until you reach your destination.

Things to Do

Cappadocia has a lot of amazing activities to offer to people who want to make their Turkish experience more enjoyable. Read below some of the popular things that you could do while in Cappadocia

1. Hiking on its Valleys

Cappadocia is surrounded by valleys that are popular among adventurous tourists who love to hike. The rock formations surrounding the area are not only a perfect place to test your stamina but also offer a beautiful view for you to do your photo-ops.

2. Ride on a Hot-Air Balloon

Another popular activity in Cappadocia is flying via a hot air balloon. You can get a great view of the area up in the sky and the fee for riding one is very affordable.

3. Visit the Goreme Open-Air Museum

This popular attraction in Cappadocia is famous for the historic sites that contain some of Turkey’s amazing churches, paintings, and cave houses that are centuries old.

Ephesus Turkey photo by Dragana Novoselska

Ephesus

Another wonderful tourist spot of the country is the mighty ruin of Ephesus. This ancient city is home to many ruins and temples that people visit because of their historical value and the knowledge that they can impart about the country. The site is safe to visit any time of the year, and many travelers recommend the guidance of a tour guide for you to know everything that the ancient site has to offer.

Driving Directions:

This location is easily accessed by car along the tree-lined Dr. Sabri Yalya Caddesi, from the Pamukkale/Kuşadası - Selçuk road.

  1. Ephesus is said to be 80 km south of Izmir, Turkey and from there and get on İzmir Çevre Yolu/O-30/E87 in Kazımdirik from D300.
  2. You can then follow E87 to İzmir-Aydın Otoyolu Belevi Bağlantısı in Belevi and exit from İzmir-Aydın Otoyolu/O-31/E87.
  3. Take D550 and Dr. Sabri Yayla Blv./D515 to Efes Harabeleri in Acarlar and continues to reach Ephesus.
Things to Do

Ephesus is known for the interesting activities that it can offer to its visitors. Listed below are some of them for you to read.

1. Visit the Ephesus Museum

Located at the heart of Ephesus, this museum is where the famous statue of Artemis is contained. The statue is a multi-breasted depiction of the Goddess. Another thing that is being showcased in the museum is the Gladiator room, which provides a visual presentation about the life of gladiators in the golden days.

2. Visit the Temple of Artemis

Once alluded to as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis is one of the most popular historical sites in Turkey. Still standing on the grounds of the site are the tall marble pillars that once served as the foundations of the temple.

3. Enjoy Local Cuisines in the Village of Tire

If you want to take another food trip in Turkey, then take time to visit the charming town of Tire, This rural area is famous for the markets that sell local foodstuffs that will surely satisfy your belly without damaging your wallets

Antalya Turkey photo by Atıf Zafrak

Antalya

While driving in southern Turkey, you will come across the town of Antalya. It is recognized as the 2nd most visited location in Turkey, and this is because this spot has the best climate that lasts the entire year. It has beaches that can offer water sports to its visitors, which are perfect for the summer. Moreover, it is home to many theme parks, perfect for families with children who love to be entertained.

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Topkapi Palace, it can take you a total of 8 hours to drive into this amazing location.
  2. You can get on İstanbul Çevre Yolu/O-1/D100 in Topcular from Adnan Menderes Blv.
  3. Next, take O-4, Gebze-Orhangazi-İzmir Otoyolu/O-5, Bursa Çevre Yolu/O-22/E90, Bursa Eskişehir Yolu/D200 and D650 to Akın Cd. in Antalya.

Things to Do

Visiting Antalya offers not only fun activities but also beautiful attractions to see as a tourist. Here’s a list of things you can do while in the area.

1. Temple and Museum Visits

Antalya is a perfect destination for those who have a penchant for learning about the country’s history and appreciate some of the materials that are produced in the country. In this light, the city contains a slew of museums and temples to satisfy your craving for knowledge.

2. Do Beach Activities

Surrounding the vicinity of Antalya are beaches where tourists often take a swim and enjoy different water sports. You can also enjoy a perfect view of the sunset in this area.

3. Air and Helicopter Tours

If you have a large budget during your Turkish adventure, you should take the opportunity of availing of a helicopter ride to tour the city and its neighboring regions. This is not only enjoyable but will surely be one of the amazing memories that you’ll never forget in Turkey.

You can savor all of these enticing activities in the beautiful country of Turkey in the palm of your hands with the help of an IDP. You can easily acquire this permit online from the International Drivers Association.

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