Discover Turkey travel guide 

Turkey is a country where the largest city, Istanbul spans across two continents — Europe and Western Asia.

A popular destination, Turkey’s sheer diversity allows tourists to ski down snowy mountain slopes, cruise on the Bosporus, Mediterranean and Black sea, wander through unique local markets and visit historical monuments from the ancient Greek, Persian, Roman or Ottoman empires.

Eight countries border Turkey, including Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Syria. Turkey is on Eastern European Standard Time (EET) which is 2 hours ahead of Universal Coordinated Time (UTC+2) during winter and 3 hours ahead during daylight savings in summer.

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Emergency Numbers

Medical emergency/ambulance dial 112
Police dial 155
Fire dial 110

Main Ethnic Groups

80% Turkish
20% Kurds

Main Religion

99.8% Islam

Geographic Facts Capital city: Ankara (5.7 million people)
Largest city: Istanbul (16 million people)

Turkish people are a very friendly bunch of people. The mix of European, Asian and a mostly Muslim population means that Turkey has a unique style of culture and customs.

  • Turkish people don’t tend to smile at strangers. If you smile at a stranger they may think you are making fun of them, so don’t be offended if you don’t get a return smile.
  • You may see two friends holding hands — this includes men. However, you will rarely see couples touching or showing affection in public.
  • Pointing is considered rude and removing your shoes when visiting someone’s home is customary.
  • Some Turks can be quite blunt when expressing themselves, but it’s not meant in an offensive way.
  • Tesekkur ederim = Thank you
  • Merhaba = Hello
  • Hoscakal = Goodbye
  • Lutten = Please
  • Ne kadar? = How much does it cost?
Turkey has hot summers and cold winters, so Spring and Autumn can be the best time to visit for mild temperatures. Spring is also a great time to see the tulips blooming across the country.
From the mountain ranges to the coastlines, the climate around Turkey varies depending on where you plan on visiting. Temperatures below are averages for Istanbul:
Jun to Sep
19° / 27°
Oct to Dec
9° / 15°
Jan to Mar
4° / 10°
Apr to Jun
13° / 21°
Most of Turkey is well covered by public transport, from long- distance buses, trains, flights and ferries. In the cities it can seem more difficult to get around especially in Istanbul due to the large population. Traffic is dense and often having a rental car is the hardest way to get around — trams and buses are a better and faster option. Taxis are easy to come by but to ensure you’re getting a legitimate and fair taxi, ask your hotel to call one for you.
Dialing code +90

Visa - Canadians You will need a visa. An E-visa can be obtained prior to entering the country.
The drinking age in Turkey is 18 or over.
Tipping is customary between 5% and 10%, depending on service. Tips must be in cash, preferably in Turkish Lira, and be given directly to the waiter.
Language is Turkish
Turkish Lira
(CAD$1 = TRY₺5.87)
*average rate, 2017-2021.
Drive on the right side of the road.
Electrical / device: 230 V - 
Type C and F plug. 

  • Turkish people eat the most bread per person — at least 3 times their own body weight annually.
  • 460 participants created the world’s largest floating human logo. They waded into the Marmara Sea from Kumyaka Beach and formed a peace symbol.
  • A Turkish diver spent exactly 3 days underwater, breaking the previous world record by nearly 1 day.
National icons are Tulips, Red Fez Hat and Turkish delight (lokum).
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.
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