Keeping In Touch in Turkey

Keeping In Touch in Turkey



Airmail : letters under 1 oz. between North America and Turkey take 4-7 days and cost US$1 or CDN$1.45 (sending a postcard costs about $.50). Allow 6-7 days from Australia (postage AUS$1 for up to 20 grams), 4-8 from Britain , 6-8 days from Ireland (postage IR&0.32 for 25g), and 6-8 from New Zealand (postage NZ$1.80 for 20g). Mark enve­lopes “air mail” or “par-avion” to avoid having letters sent by sea.There are several ways to arrange pick-up of letters sent to you by friends and relatives while you are abroad, and most involve the FIT (post, telegraph, and tele­phone office), which are well-marked by their yellow signs. Large PTTs in major urban areas are open M-Sa 8am-midnight, Su 9am-7pm. Major PTTs in Istanbul are open 24 hours. Smaller post offices share the same hours as government offices (M-F 8:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-5:30pm).

General Delivery: Mail can be sent to Turkey through poste restante (the international phrase for General Delivery) to almost any city or town with a PTT (post, telegraph, and telephone office). To send a letter to someone in Bodrum, address it poste restante to: Ryan HARVEY, Poste Restante, Merkez Postanesi, Bodrum 48400, Tiirkiye. The last name should be capitalized and underlined. The mail will go to a special desk in the cen­tral post office (merkez postanesi), unless you specify a post office by street address or postal code. As a rule, it is best to use the largest post office in the area, and mail may be sent there regardless of what is written on the envelope. When possible, it is usually safer and quicker to send mail express or registered. When picking up your mail, bring a form of photo ID, preferably a passport. Some PTTs may charge a small sum for poste restante, but it generally does not exceed the cost of domestic postage. If the clerks insist that there is nothing for you, have them check under your first name as well. Some of the smaller PITs may send you with a slip to a larger PTT in the same city.

American Express: AmEx travel offices throughout the world offer a free Client Letter Service (mail held up to 30 days and forwarded upon request) for cardholders who con­tact them in advance. Address the letter in the same way shown above. Some offices will offer these services to non-cardholders (especially AmEx Travelers Cheque holders), but call ahead to confirm. Let’s Go lists AmEx office locations for most large cities in Practical Information sections; fora complete, free list, call US J800-528-4800.


Aerogrammes, printed sheets that fold into enve­lopes and travel via airmail, are available at post offices. It helps to mark “uçak ile” if possible, though “par avion” and “air mail” are universally understood. Tell the vendor the destination: Avustralya, Kanada, Büyük Bretanya (Great Brit­ain), İrlanda, Yeni Zelanda (New Zealand), Güney Afrika (South Africa), or Amerika. Most post offices will charge exorbitant fees or simply refuse to send aerogrammes with enclosures. Airmail from Turkey takes about one to two weeks, but longer when sent from smaller towns.

If regular airmail is too slow, there are faster, more expensive, options. The fast­est option is Acele Posta Servisi (APS), though this may not be available in every FIT. Companies including DHL and Federal Express can also send packages from their offices in larger Turkish cities.

A calling card  is probably the best and cheapest option. Calls are billed either collect or to your account. Many phone companies provide travelers with additional services, such as legal and medical advice, exchange rate information, and translation services. To obtain a calling card from your national telecom service before you leave home, contact the appropriate company below.

You can usually make direct international calls from public pay phones at the PTT (post and telephone office), but if you aren’t using a calling card you may need to drop your coins as quickly as your words. Note that a prepaid card (telekart) or a token-like jeton (both available at the PTT) must be deposited to activate the phone. No credit will be deducted from your card, and your jeton will be returned.

If you do dial direct, you must first insert the telekart or jeton. Since Turkey’s international access code is 00, you must then dial 0, wait for the tone, and dial 0 again followed by the country code and the number, without pausing. For a help­ful list of country codes, see International Calling Codes, below. Telekarts, which ¡ire cheaper and more widely used than the jeton, are available in denominations of 30, 60, 100, or 120 kontur (credits). Some calls cost more units than others, and during international calls, one credit lasts 2-10 seconds. Regular coins are not accepted. Magnetic-card public phones, abundant in big cities and resort areas, have on-screen instructions in English, French, and German. Calling card calls usually terminate after three minutes if you are calling from a public phone. You can also make use of the kontorlu telefon located in the PTT. The officer tells you how’ much you owre at the end of your call. Since there may be long lines for These phones, especially during the day, try to use one at night at one of the 24- hour PTTs. The same kind of phone is available at some hotels and restaurants, but it may cost you 20-500% more.

The expensive alternative to dialing direct or using a calling card is using an international operator to place a collect call. For an international Turk Telekom operator dial ® 115. An English-speaking operator from your home nation can be reached by dialing the access numbers of the appropriate service provider listed above, and they will typically place a collect call even if you don’t have one of their phone cards. Although incredibly convenient, in-room hotel calls invariably include an arbitrary and sky-high surcharge (as much as US$10).


With few exceptions, even the smallest village is accessible by phone. Local numbers have seven digits, and area codes have three. (In small towns, numbers start with the same three digits, so you may occasionally be given a four-digit phone number). The number for directory assistance in Turkey is ® 118. For operator-assisted calls within Turkey call s 131. The simplest w-ay to call within the country is to use the prepaid telekart, which can a certain amount of credits depending on the card’s denomination (see above). When making a long­ distance call within Turkey, insert the card into the phone, dial 0, wait for the tone to change to a lower pitch, and dial the area code and the number. A computer indicates how many credits you have left on your card. Phone rates are highest in the morning, lower in the evening, and lowest on Sunday and late at night.


Internet access is available in most regions of the country, particularly in the more touristed areas of Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Internet cafes are now common even in more remote areas such as the Black Sea and Eastern Turkey. Prices typically range from US$l-2 per hour. Let’s Go lists establishments that provide Internet access in the Practical Information sections of cities and towns.Though it’s sometimes possible to connect to your home server, in most cases this is a slower (and more expensive) option than taking advantage of free


Turkey and Cyprus are both two hours later than GMT, seven hours later than EST, and 10 hours later than PST. When it is noon in New York, it is 7pm in Turkey and Cyprus. When it Ls noon in California, it is 10pm in Turkey and Cyprus. When it is noon in London, it is 2pm in Turkey and Cyprus.

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By PremiumTravel / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

on Dec 14, 2016

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