Just Returned from Turkey

Aug 7th, 1997, 01:06 PM
  #1  
L. Dorman
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Just Returned from Turkey

Just returned from 2 weeks in Turkey and would like to share information and/or travel adventures with those who have been or would like to go. We visited Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Ankara, Konya, Cappadocia, plus many other cities in Western and Central Turkey. I've also got a great referral for buying a carpet if anyone's interested. They were most professional and polite compared to some.
 
Aug 8th, 1997, 08:13 AM
  #2  
yvon
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hello ; we are planning a 3 week visit to T ukey next October & would appreciate if you could reccomend or comment on prices & caliber of hotels in Istanbul & Cappadocia as well as , if possible , any reccomendations for unusual things to do or see . Thank you in advance .
Yvon Montreal
 
Aug 9th, 1997, 08:59 PM
  #3  
Carolyn Thomas
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Hi. This is the first time I have used the Internet to chat so I hope I'm doiung the right thing. I spwent 5 weeks in Turkey about a year ago. 4 weeks on an Insight tour and a week in Istanbul and Selcuk. It was fantastic. I stayed at a fairly inexpensive hotel in Suntanahmet called Cevri Kalfa which I could recommend. If you get this message and would like further information let me knwo. Bye for now. Carolyn
 
Aug 11th, 1997, 01:43 PM
  #4  
Joe Kimble
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Wife & I (2seniors) going to Turkey & same cities in Spring or early Summer '98
Appreciate hearing of your experiences.
Cheers! Poppa Joe
 
Aug 16th, 1997, 10:58 AM
  #5  
betty
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Going to Turkey Sept l9. Interested in your thoughts and rug buying experience. Any suggestions? Thanx
 
Aug 17th, 1997, 12:25 PM
  #6  
Veronica
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Hi. I saw your message about a great place to buy a carpet and would like more info..... Going to Turkey and Cyprus for a month in early September (some time in the East) do you have any recommendations or places to avoid? ie: Ani, Lake Van region, Kars to name a few. I am not travelling alone but if there is anything to add that the travel books don't I would appreciate your feedback.

Looking forward to your reply...



 
Aug 17th, 1997, 05:18 PM
  #7  
Carol Seltzer
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We are leaving Sept. 2 for two weeks in Turkey. We will be on a tour but will have some free time. Would like information on purchasing a carpet and any other helpful tips on what to buy and sights we should not miss seeing.
Thank you.

 
Aug 19th, 1997, 02:38 PM
  #8  
L. Dorman
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Thanks to everybody for their messages! Seems like several people are looking for information on Istanbul and Cappadocia, so I'll start there. Best Istanbul hotels are in Taksim - we stayed at the Hyatt which was lovely, but the Ceylan Inter-Continental across the street looked nice, too. Also stayed at the Merit Antique across town which was clean, but not impressive and the neighborhood was nothing special. The Inter-Continental often has a special rate (USD$107) - check Click-It Weekends for listings. Do go to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, but bargain starting at 60%25 and expect to be bombarded with attention. We found some interesting items on the pedestrian walkway near the Hyatt hotel (Taksim Square) and it's a pleasant evening walk. Of course, you'll want to see the sights (St. Sophia, Dolmebahce Palace, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque). Also try to get to the Underground Cistern and Archaeological Museum. The Ministry of Tourism prints several good booklets (ask your tour guide or hotel concierge). The Hyatt also provides an extensive guidebook in the hotel room which you can take. In Cappadocia, we stayed at the Dedeman in Nevsihir which was fine. Be sure to tour the rock-carved cities of Goreme and Zelve Valley and the Byzantine frescoes. As far as buying a rug, I recommend two places - 1) Denizli or 2) Yuksel Halicilik. Ask for Hakan Ince at YH. Tel: 90(384)343 37 50 (or 51) Fax: 90(384)343 31 74
I'll try to post an address for them as soon as I find my bill of sale. I bought a 3'x5' cotton/cotton rug for about $500 (you can do better - I really didn't bargain). My companion bought two smaller 2'x3' silk rugs for $2200 total. The silk is the most expensive, then wool and then cotton. Several factors determine the price: single or double knotting, design, quality of workmanship, size and material. One way to check quality is to count the number of knots in a square inch on the back side - the higher, the better. Hand carry if you can - shipping costs a lot! Other prices for various items:
Bottled Water - small 50,000TL, large 150,000TL (do drink only bottled water and don't buy it in the hotels - too expensive)
Cab Rides - no more than USD$15 to cross town
Camel Bone Boxes - range from USD$20-$200 depending on size and painted design
Walnut/Mother of Pearl inlaid boxes - USD$20-$75 depending on size
Scarves - usually about USD$7-$15
In general, I got better prices when I offered US dollars rather than Turkish lira. The exchange rate as of July 1997 was approx. 147,000TL%3DUSD$1. By the way, our tour was run by Isram which was great and the tour guide (Soner) did a terrific job. Most of the people are really nice, but very competitive for your business. The cities are fairly westernized and we were surprised at the tolerance regarding clothing. You do see a few women wearing a chador (black cape/veil) but more just wear a scarf and overcoat. If you go to the beaches in Antalya (and it is hot there), be sure to see the waterfalls and wear flip-flops - it's a rock beach not sand. Finally, all of the food was delicious but mostly the eggplant, cherries, watermelon, fish, salads and desserts. Enjoy!
I know this is way too long, so if anyone has any other questions, let me know. Linda
 
Aug 19th, 1997, 02:39 PM
  #9  
L. Dorman
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Thanks to everybody for their messages! Seems like several people are looking for information on Istanbul and Cappadocia, so I'll start there. Best Istanbul hotels are in Taksim - we stayed at the Hyatt which was lovely, but the Ceylan Inter-Continental across the street looked nice, too. Also stayed at the Merit Antique across town which was clean, but not impressive and the neighborhood was nothing special. The Inter-Continental often has a special rate (USD$107) - check Click-It Weekends for listings. Do go to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, but bargain starting at 60%25 and expect to be bombarded with attention. We found some interesting items on the pedestrian walkway near the Hyatt hotel (Taksim Square) and it's a pleasant evening walk. Of course, you'll want to see the sights (St. Sophia, Dolmebahce Palace, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque). Also try to get to the Underground Cistern and Archaeological Museum. The Ministry of Tourism prints several good booklets (ask your tour guide or hotel concierge). The Hyatt also provides an extensive guidebook in the hotel room which you can take. In Cappadocia, we stayed at the Dedeman in Nevsihir which was fine. Be sure to tour the rock-carved cities of Goreme and Zelve Valley and the Byzantine frescoes. As far as buying a rug, I recommend two places - 1) Denizli or 2) Yuksel Halicilik. Ask for Hakan Ince at YH. Tel: 90(384)343 37 50 (or 51) Fax: 90(384)343 31 74
I'll try to post an address for them as soon as I find my bill of sale. I bought a 3'x5' cotton/cotton rug for about $500 (you can do better - I really didn't bargain). My companion bought two smaller 2'x3' silk rugs for $2200 total. The silk is the most expensive, then wool and then cotton. Several factors determine the price: single or double knotting, design, quality of workmanship, size and material. One way to check quality is to count the number of knots in a square inch on the back side - the higher, the better. Hand carry if you can - shipping costs a lot! Other prices for various items:
Bottled Water - small 50,000TL, large 150,000TL (do drink only bottled water and don't buy it in the hotels - too expensive)
Cab Rides - no more than USD$15 to cross town
Camel Bone Boxes - range from USD$20-$200 depending on size and painted design
Walnut/Mother of Pearl inlaid boxes - USD$20-$75 depending on size
Scarves - usually about USD$7-$15
In general, I got better prices when I offered US dollars rather than Turkish lira. The exchange rate as of July 1997 was approx. 147,000TL%3DUSD$1. By the way, our tour was run by Isram which was great and the tour guide (Soner) did a terrific job. Most of the people are really nice, but very competitive for your business. The cities are fairly westernized and we were surprised at the tolerance regarding clothing. You do see a few women wearing a chador (black cape/veil) but more just wear a scarf and overcoat. If you go to the beaches in Antalya (and it is hot there), be sure to see the waterfalls and wear flip-flops - it's a rock beach not sand. Finally, all of the food was delicious but mostly the eggplant, cherries, watermelon, fish, salads and desserts. Enjoy!
I know this is way too long, so if anyone has any other questions, let me know. Linda
 
Aug 20th, 1997, 11:43 AM
  #10  
Aram Kaprielian
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Hello,
I read your piece on your visit to Turkey and had some addtional questions:
1/ Did you by chance see the Hotel Divan in Istanbul? If so, what can you tell me.
2/ Did you visit Ephesus?
I am visiting the Summer of 1999 and want to create the perfect 14-day visit. Whatever you may pass along would be appeciated.
ARAM
 
Aug 20th, 1997, 11:44 AM
  #11  
Aram Kaprielian
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Hello,
I read your piece on your visit to Turkey and had
some addtional questions:
1/ Did you by chance see the Hotel Divan in
Istanbul? If so, what can you tell me.
2/ Did you visit Ephesus?
I am visiting the Summer of 1999 and want to
create the perfect 14-day visit. Whatever you may
pass along would be appeciated.
ARAM
 
Aug 20th, 1997, 05:54 PM
  #12  
Tomas.
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Hi Carolyn,
We are travelling to Turkey in September and would appreciate any info that you have on EASTERN Turkey.
For example, Erzurum, Kars, Ani, Van, Tat Van and Nemrut Dagi(ph.). We would also be interested in any encounters that you had with the Army, Kurdish people etc.. We look forward to hearing from you soon!!!
 
Sep 7th, 1997, 02:38 PM
  #13  
N. Vanzant
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Do you have a hotel recommendation in Izmir? Good restaurants, etc. Am going in November; using as a base for Ephesus. Thanks.
 
Sep 7th, 1997, 02:39 PM
  #14  
N. Van Zant
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Am interested in a hotel in Izmir. Near Konak. Using as a base for Ephesus. Sometime in November. Thanks.
 
Sep 8th, 1997, 06:40 AM
  #15  
jeff
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try hotel mercure 4 star in konak area for izmir stay..
 
Sep 8th, 1997, 06:40 AM
  #16  
jeff
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try hotel mercure 4 star in konak area for izmir stay..
 
Sep 25th, 1997, 01:19 AM
  #17  
George Holt
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TOMAS - I visited Eastern Turkey about 1986, probably different now but if you haven't left yet mail me and I'll copmpare notes. In fact I'd be interested in your experiences when you return.
 
Sep 25th, 1997, 01:44 AM
  #18  
George Holt
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N. Van Zant. Its quite a haul from Izmir to Ephesus. OK for a single trip but if your planning several visits you might like to consider staying somewhere in the Kusadasi/Selcuk area. Kusadasi is just a short drive from the site and Selcuk is right on the doorstep and houses the museum.
 
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