DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
Turkey plays a key role in European drug trafficking, and 75% of dings seized in Europe have passed through the country. The Turkish government has adopted a stringent policy (including fines and jail sentences) against those caught with drugs. If caught, a meek “I didn’t know it was illegal” will not suffice. Remember that you are subject to the laws of the country in which you travel, not to those of your home country, and it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these laws before leaving. If you carry prescription drugs while you travel, it is vital to have a copy of the prescriptions themselves and a note from a doctor.
Avoid public drunkenness; it is culturally unacceptable in most parts of Turkey and can jeopardize your safety. Since Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol, it is improper to drink in some of Turkey’s more traditional towns and during the holy period of Ramadan.
Common sense is the simplest prescription for good health while you travel. Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration and constipation, wear sturdy, broken-in shoes and clean socks, and use talcum powder to keep your feet dry.
BEFORE YOU GO
Preparation can help minimize the likelihood of contracting a disease and maxi¬mize the chances of receiving effective health care in the event of an emergency. For tips on packing a basic first-aid kit and other health essentials, see p. 62.
In your passport, write the names of people who may be reached in case of a medical emergency, and also list any allergies or medical conditions. Matching prescriptions to foreign equivalents is not always easy, safe, or possible. Carry up-to-date, legible prescriptions or a statement from your doctor with trade names, manufacturers, chemical names, and dosages. While traveling, be sure to keep all medication in your carry-on luggage.
IMMUNIZATIONS & PRECAUTIONS
Travelers over two years old should be sure that the following vaccines are up to date: MMR (for measles, mumps, and rubella); DTaP or Td (for diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis), OPV (for polio), HbCV (for haemophilus influenza B), and HBV (for hepatitus B). For recommendations on immunizations and prophylaxis, consult, the CDC (see below) in the US or the equivalent in your home country, and check with a doctor for guidance. Below is a list of immunizations for travel to Turkey.
If you are concerned about being able to access medical support while traveling, then you may employ special support services.