Turkey is three hours ahead of GMT and observes daylight savings hours at the same time as other European countries.
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira, which has been in place since 1 January 2005. Turkish Lira is easy to get hold of in the UK should you wish to take some cash with you, although ATMs are widely available at banks in Turkey. Banks are open from 09:00 to 12:00 and 13:30 to 17:00. Occasionally banks will close in the afternoon so if you need money, make sure you go in the morning just to be sure.
Electricity and Plugs
220 volts. The sockets are generally European but a universal adapter can be useful in some hotels that aren’t as up to speed! Power cuts are not uncommon…
Schedules change every year at the discretion of prefectural decision-makers. Public buildings close between noon and 13:00; public services are closed on weekends. In general, in summer on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, administrations and some public institutions are closed in the afternoon. In cities, shops open their doors around 09:00 and close around 19:00 or 20:00.
In the summer, however, traders can stay open until midnight (and seven days a week, especially in tourist areas and coastal regions).
In the off season, less attention is paid to adhering to specific hours and schedules tend to fall within the discretion of each merchant. Be aware that some shops will close during Muslim religious holidays.
Monday is generally the closing day for museums, although there are exceptions (such as the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul which shuts on Tuesday) so it’s best to check before you go. Regular hours are 09:00 to 17:00, but they vary widely from one place to another (depending on season). Some smaller museums close for lunch too.
Cumhuriyet (Republic), Hurriyet (Freedom) Miliyet (The Nation), Sabah (Morning) are the main Turkish newspapers. The Turkish Daily News has an English version if you want to keep up with local news and some international papers are available in select places.
Big post offices are open from 08:00 am to midnight, Monday to Saturday and from 09:00 to 19:00 on Sunday. Smaller offices have the same hours have more limited hours. Mail is quite uneven between Turkey and the UK but you will find boxes with yellow letters for international mail. Stamps are sold in post offices.
To phone Turkey from the UK, add 00 90 to the front of the number you’re dialling (removing the first zero from the number you’re dialling). To call the UK from Turkey, use 00 44 before dialling the number (again, without the first zero).
Internet and Mobile Coverage
WiFi is pretty universal across hotels in Turkey so you should have no problems there. 4G is widely available in the main tourist areas but if you go off the beaten track, it becomes patchy. Check with your mobile phone operator for information on usage in Turkey.