Travelling to Turkey

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White beaches, exotic markets, fabulous food and friendly people – Turkey is one of the most fascinating places in the world. Turkey’s rich history due to its central location covers the Greek, Roman and Ottoman periods and gives the country a flavour quite unlike anywhere else in the world.

Famous for legends such as Helen of Troy and The Trojan

Horse, Turkey is also the site of the modern-day legend of the ANZACs. Explore the ancient ruins at your leisure, enjoy baklava and spicy coffee at a kafe, shop for carpets, alabaster or silk, or swim at a secluded beach.

5 useful phrases in Turkish

EnglishTurkish
Hello Merhaba
How are you? Nasilsiniz?
My name is… Ismim…
Pleased to meet you Tanistigimiza memnun oldum
How much? Ne kadar?

For more useful words and phrases in Turkish, visit the Insight Guides website.

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Risks of travelling to Turkey

As with travel to any country, there are risks, so be well-prepared before you leave.

Environment

Parts of Turkey are sometimes subject to earthquakes, especially in the north and east, so familiarise yourself with emergency procedures when you arrive. Turkey lies on several fault lines and minor tremors can occur at any time.

Crime and unrest

Public demonstrations can happen at any time, especially in Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir, and can become violent and escalate quite quickly. Avoid demonstrations even if they are peaceful – it’s best to leave the area if one occurs.

Petty crime is generally low, but as with any major city, thefts and pick-pocketing can occur, especially in crowds. Be wary of strangers in cafes and bars offering you drinks or food, which may be drugged, and avoid unsolicited offers to take you to nightclubs.

When travelling out at night choose a registered yellow taxi and make sure you note the number before entering. Passports have been stolen, even from locked rooms, so make sure yours is safe. Avoid entering restaurants where there is no menu or prices are not clearly posted.

It’s an offence to transport antiquities without a valid receipt and certification and if convicted you could serve a lengthy jail term.

There is a high threat of terrorist attack in some parts of Turkey, especially around significant dates such as the ANZAC ceremonies. Check the risks for your planned area with Smartraveller before you go.

The cost of skipping travel insurance

In 2014, Worldcare helped 10 Australians who travelled to Turkey, ran into trouble and made a claim on their travel insurance policy.

Most of our total claims cost for Turkey that year was for medical and hospital expenses (83%). Other common claims were for luggage and personal effects (7%), pickpocketing (3%) and cancellation fees and lost deposits (2%).

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If you are injured or get sick while travelling in Turkey, you can expect to be out of pocket an average of AUD $845 without travel insurance.

If your luggage or personal effects are lost, stolen or delayed in Turkey, it could cost you an average of AUD $169 without insurance.

Being pick-pocketed could cost you AUD $200 on average, and covering any cancellation fees and lost deposits could leave you AUD $110 out of pocket on average.

So it’s worth considering travel insurance, which is not expensive and may save you considerable cost and trouble.

Worldcare has a range of travel insurance options and inclusions to suit any holiday budget – even if yours is limited.

Before you travel to Turkey

As soon as adverse events such as violence, natural disasters and others that may affect your trip hit mass media, you are not covered unless you already have travel insurance, as it’s no longer ‘unforeseen’.

It’s wise to buy your insurance in advance of travelling, as you never know when disaster can strike and cause you to cancel or delay your trip. If your policy is arranged well in advance of travelling, you are protected. So take it out before you leave and you should be eligible to claim.

Should you need medical treatment, many clinics in Turkey will treat you for free on presentation of a valid travel insurance certificate. So it’s wise to take out travel insurance before you go.

Visa and entry and exit regulations are set by the Turkish government and change regularly, so it’s best to check before you go. Currently, Australian passport holders requite a visa to enter Turkey, which must be obtained before you arrive (you may be able to arrange this online via e-visa).

 

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