When traveling to Istanbul, you should remember that there are varied requirements for entry into Turkey, depending on what country you are from:
For Americans, Canadians, Australians and Irish Nationals: You must have a valid US passport and visa. At the point of entry, you need to present a visa. Most visas issued would be valid for three months and may either be single entry only (for Americans) and multiple entries (for Canadians, Australians and Irish nationals). This can be obtained upon your entry to the country.
For UK Nationals: You must have a valid UK passport. If you are a British Citizen or an Overseas British National (living in Hong Kong), visas can be obtained upon entry and are valid up to three months, multiple entries.
Upon entry, your passport will be checked to make sure that it is valid at least until the period of your stay in Istanbul and any other part in Turkey. The customs officer will also check if you have tickets onward to another destination or return tickets. Also, they will check that you have enough money to support your stay in the country. The fee for the visa is about 20 US dollars. It will also be helpful to note that many travelers have been denied entry because they looked unkempt. So it is best to keep a neat appearance.
There are also citizens from countries where Turkey has an agreement and these nationals do not need a visa to enter the country. For a three-month stay, nationals of the following countries only need a valid passport: Argentina, Bulgaria, Andorra, Chile, Bolivia, El Salvador, Japan, Israel, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ecuador, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, Nicaragua, Morocco, Monaco, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Iran, New Zealand, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Northern Cyprus, Vatican City, Venezuela, Tunisia, and San Marino. Meanwhile, nationals of Macedonia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina don’t need a visa for a two-month stay – a valid passport will do. Nationals from Macau, Kirghizstan, Costa Rica, and Kazakhstan also need only a valid passport, but only for stays of until one month. Note that as of this writing, Turkey is not yet a part of the European Union.
Custom Agents Istanbul
When entering Turkey, you may bring personal items without having to pay duties. However, some items are only limited to one unit per person – video players, portable radio/cassette/CD player, a camera with up to five rolls of film, a pair of binoculars, a typewriter and other items specified in the Turkish Embassy website. For obvious reasons, you are not allowed to bring drugs into the country, as well as weapons and other sharp instruments.
When leaving Turkey via Istanbul, you should be able to show receipts for the purchases you made. That way, you can easily declare your items. Carpets are charged with duties, but some that are antiques will not be allowed to be taken out of the country. This also goes for porcelain, ancient coins, and other items. If you really want to bring home an authentic antique, you will have to have it authenticated by a museum official and a permit is needed for its exportation.
If only we could communicate and get rid of any barriers using sign language! Then we wouldn’t have a hard time searching for the right signal for “Where is the nearest loo?” Of course, most locals in Istanbul know how to speak English. But of course, learning a few phrases will help.
Really, you don’t need to get a course on Turkish to get on your vacation. You just need to know the requisite phrases so that you can ensure your enjoyment.
Hello, how are you? Mer-ha-ba. Na-sill-si-niz?
Thank you Te-she-koor e-de-rim, saa- ōl
Welcome Hōsh gel-dee-neez
Response to someone saying “Welcome” Hōsh bull-dook
Good morning Goo-naii-dun
Good afternoon Too-naii-dun
Good evening Ee-y ak-sham-lar
Good night Ee go-je-ler
Good bye Hoska Cal
Have a nice day! Ee-yee gunler!
Excuse me (To get someone’s attention) Pardon, bakarmisiniz?
Excuse me (to pass by someone) Pardon, gesebeelirmiyim?
Are you English-speaking? Een-gee-leez-je bee-lee-yōr-moo-soo-nooz?
I don’t understand An-lami-yo-room
Speak slowly, please Loot-fen daha yavas konusun
Where is the hotel? Otel nerede?
Where is the loo/toilet? Tuvalet nerede?
How much? Ne kadar?
Check, please. He-sop loot-fen
Lunch ōr – le ye-me-ee
Dinner/Supper Ak-sham ye-me-ee
Days of the Week:
What is your name? Admiz ne?
My name is Anne? Benim adim Anne (or your name).
It’s my pleasure to meet you. Memnun oldum
I love you Seni seviyorum
Help! Eemdat! Or Yar-dumet!
Purified water Temeez Soo
Beef Sih-ir et-i
Seeing the convergence of East and West is an everyday experience for ex-pats living in Istanbul. New ex-pats need not worry as there are more than 250,000 foreigners living there. Expats flock to Istanbul because of its enormous diversity. Within just one city, you can find positive energy and unrestricted vibrancy.
Istanbul offers a wide range of lifestyle choices and alternatives you can find your perfect spot. The city is a great place for youngsters and dynamic singletons to start a new life in Turkey. This pulsating city is very hectic, fast-paced, and truly global. Also, both the accommodation and employment options are fantastic. Also, many ex-pats find adjusting to the Istanbul lifestyle easy because of the locals that are welcoming, friendly, and helpful, not to mention interesting.
Many ex-pats would say that living in this Turkish city costs a lot more than you think. Well, it depends on your lifestyle. You can live expensively in the more costly suburbs, where much more is going on. It can also get insanely pricey if you always get out and do a lot of expensive things, go to posh places, and drive a car. But you can always choose to live cheaply, buy your food from the weekly market, and live in the outer, less expensive suburbs.
Traffic in Istanbul is terrible and parts of the city are a sea of dusty streets with very little trees and unsightly apartment buildings. There are also foreigner prices, which can be very annoying. But when you see the charm and beauty of the city and experience the warmth of the local people, all is forgiven!