BirdingTours Europe Turkey Fact and Travel Tips
Tour Introduction : Birding in Turkey

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Travel Documents
Make sure your passport will still have at least six months’ life in it after you enter Turkey.
Generally speaking, entering Turkey by air is pretty painless. The only snag to be aware of is that most people need a ‘visa’, which is really just a stamp in their passport issued at the point of entry. If you fly into the country you must first join the queue to pay for the stamp in your passport before joining the queue for immigration. Rarely do customs officers stop you to check your bags at airports. The cost for a visa will be around € 15 for most Europeans. Other nationalities may need to pay different amounts.

Money
After decades of rampant inflation, the lira is now stable. The Yeni Turk Lirası (new Turkish lira; YTL) was used between 2005 and 2008 as an anti-inflationary measure; watch out for people dumping their old-currency kuruş coins on you.
  • ATMs. ATMs dispense new Turkish lira to Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro cardholders. Look for these logos on the machines; they are found in most towns. Virtually all the machines offer instructions in English, French and German. You can usually draw out about €350 per day. Note that if a stand-alone ATM booth swallows your card, it may be tricky getting it back in a hurry – these booths are often run by franchisees rather than by the banks themselves.
  • Cash. US dollars and euros are the easiest currencies to change, although many banks and exchange offices will change other major currencies such as UK pounds and Japanese yen. You may find it difficult to exchange Australian or Canadian currency except at banks and offices in major cities.
  • Credit cards. Visa and MasterCard/Access are widely accepted by hotels, shops, bars and restaurants, although not by pensions and local restaurants outside main tourist areas. You can also get cash advances on these cards. Amex cards are rarely accepted.

Recommended vaccinations
The World Health Organization recommends that all travellers, regardless of the region they are travelling in, should be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, as well as hepatitis B. While making prepar­ations to travel, take the opportunity to ensure that all of your routine vaccination cover is complete. The consequences of these diseases can be severe and outbreaks do occur in the Middle East. Rabies is also endemic in Turkey, so if you will be travelling off the beaten track you might want to consider an anti-rabies jab.

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Dangers & annoyances
Although Turkey is by no way a dangerous country to visit, it’s always wise to be a little cautious, especially if you’re travelling alone. Be wary of pickpockets in buses, markets and other crowded places. Keep an eye out for anyone lurking near ATMs.

Electricity
220V 50Hz 
European plug with two circular metal pins. Power surges are not uncommon. If using your own laptop, it’s a good idea to bring a surge protector from home.

Social Etiquette
  • Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting.
  • Pointing your finger at someone, turning the sole of your shoe towards anyone and blowing your nose is considered very rude.
  • If you must blow your nose in public, especially restaurants, turn or leave the room and blow quietly.
  • Only pick your teeth with a hand shielding your mouth.
  • Public affection with the opposite sex is frowned upon.
  • Hospitality is very important and visitors should respect Islamic customs. Informal wear is acceptable, but beachwear should be confined to the beach or poolside. Smoking is widely accepted, but prohibited in cinemas, theatres, city buses and dolmuses (shared taxis).
  • Turks indicate ‘yes’ (evet) by nodding their head forward and down. To say ‘no’ (hahyur), the head is nodded up and back, lifting the eyebrows at the same time, or just raising the eyebrows. Turks may also make a ‘tsk’ sound to indicate ‘no’. By contrast, shaking your head from side to side means ‘I don’t understand’. ‘Thank you’ is expressed by raising a hand to the heart, sometimes accompanied by a slight nod of the head.
  • In big cities it is acceptable to take photographs at will. However, in more rural areas, it is best to ask permission first, especially if you want to photograph women who are wearing headscarves.
  • Bargaining is only practiced in touristic places. 
When bargaining, check the average price of the item
in several places. Try and negotiate the price down
by 15-20% of the average price.
  • If you are happy with the service in your 
restaurant, taxi, hotel or any other service, a tip 
of 10-15% is an appropriate way to show your 
appreciation.
  • When visiting a mosque, dress modestly and 
take off your shoes before entering. Women may 
be asked to wear a scarf on their heads.

Turkey Facts and Travel Tips

Tour Map of Turkey

Tour Description Turkey

Photo Gallery Turkey

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Turkey Main Tour Info

  • Tour dates
    10th - 20st of June 2014
  • Price 2014
    € 2.195 p.p.
    € 400 Single supplement.
  • Deposit
    € 250 p.p.
  • Includes
    All accommodation, all meals and transport, full-time guiding, and airport transfers
  • Excludes
    International and domestic flights, insurance and personal costs.
  • Tour-party
    Minimum 6, maximum 10 fellow travellers
  • Your flight planning
    The tour starts in Van at 12h00 (mid-day) on the 10th of June. The tour ends at Adana on the 20st of June at 16h00. Both cities have regular flights with the Major Turkish cities. A flight ticket from Istanbul - Van and Adana - Istanbul will cost around € 290.

Turkey Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1 - Tamara Hotel - Arrival at Van – Ercek Lake, Bendimahi marshes
  • Day 2 - Tamara Hotel - Caldiran plain, foothills of Mount Tendurek and Mount Ararat, Ishakpasa palace
  • Day 3 - Kardelen Hotel - Sodaligol, northwest coasts of Van Lake – Tatvan
  • Day 4 - SV Business Hotel - Nemrut Crater Lake and travel to Diyarbakir, short stops on River Tigris
  • Day 5 - Arte Hotel - Mount Nemrut (komagene) and surroundings of Ataturk dam
  • Day 6 - Tilmen Hotel - Kizilkuyu, Birecik wadi, Bald ibis station, Pistachio gardens, gravel pits – Gaziantep
  • Day 7 - Adana Plaza Hotel - Isikli and Durnalik on the way to Adana stop for at Kirmitli bird paradise – Adana
  • Day 8 - Adana Plaza Hotel - Tuzla and Akyatan Lake
  • Day 9 - Zeus Hotel - Yumurtalik lagoons later Lamos valley
  • Day 10 - Zeus Hotel - A full day at the Goksu Delta
  • Day 11 - Goksu Delta - In the afternoon transfer to Adana to catch flight back home

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Latest Trip Report Turkey

Sultan-MarshesWe had visited Turkey during September 2012. The tour was a "recce" tour. We had travelled from the Sultan Marshes, to the Adalaglar Mountains, Goksu Delta and from there to Adana and Gaziantep. Although September is not the very best time to visit Turkey, we all had a marvelous tour, enjoying good birding, beautiful scenery, fantastic food and lovely people. Turkey will certainly be one of our prime destinations in the future.
You can read more about our adventures in this trip report..

Tour Leader : Pieter Verheij
Tour Guides : Peter Jones and Emin Yogurtcuoglu
Tour report : Peter Jones

(Trip report under construction)

Meet your Tour Guides for Turkey

EminEmin yogurtcuoglu.
Although Emin is still young (26 years old) he is considered to be one of the best birding guides in Turkey. He is extremely enthusiastic and will not rest before everybody in the group has seen the bird he wants to show. He is not only a very knowledgeable guide, but probably also one of the most enjoyable with his catching sense of humour. We have worked this year with him and are very happy that we could contract him again for this tour.

Peter Jones as guide and Tourleader.
Author, naturalist, co-founder of Spanish Nature and founder of the Andalucia Bird Society. Peter has been involved in a great many environmental projects and has had several works published over many years. Peter has a passion for birds, having also been involved in scientific research into birds for over 36 years, but his many interests also extend to flora and fauna. Peter is well known and liked by the great many who have already been guided by him in many different countries. There can be no finer testimony to Peter's popularity than the fact that many friends of various tour operators will sign-on tours in the knowledge he is their guide.
Tour leader: Each tour will have a representative of Worldwide Birding Tours to accompany it, ensuring attention to detail, and fullfilling our pledge not to send you on holiday, but to take you.