Miscellaneous tips for travel in Turkey

Mar 16th, 2004, 05:52 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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An interesting note on the wearing of a fez; while you will see them openly sold, turks informed me that this is strictly a tourist item, and is not politely worn in public. The fez was worn by government officials under ottoman rule - it is not a happy or proud association for present day turks.
Try to notice graveyards while in Istanbul, especially the one by the grand bizaar. You will see grave stones topped with a fez or a turban - the sign of government officials of yore.
ncanavan is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 07:33 AM
  #42  
gdm
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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My tips after a wonderful trip
1 learn a little turkish
2 get off the beaten path a little
3 turn to the experts! we were very impressed by the hospitable, generous, friendly people we met - we were helped enormously by bus drivers, hotel workers and owners, turkish tourists, students, etc, etc when booking hotels, making itinerary changes, finding new places to visit, etc.
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Mar 16th, 2004, 02:46 PM
  #43  
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ncanavan,
As I understand it, under Ataturk and the consequent modernization of Turkey, wearing the fez was strictly forbidden. After declaring Turkey a republic, Ataturk made many radical changes -- becoming secular, westernizing dress, adapting the Roman alphabet--so that it would become a modern, European country. Wearing the fez was associated with the older, Ottoman world which Ataturk was striving to move away from. He succeeded admirably, but sometimes, his methods were on the harsh side. So the book by Jeremy Seal is a search for the older, often hidden world of the Ottoman, pre-Republic Turkey.

The fez is now just a tourist item, and not worn at all anymore. But the ida that wearing the fez became a criminal act is interesting, especially with the pull between the traditional and the modern, the east and the west.
progol is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 07:41 PM
  #44  
 
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Three tips from our stay in Turkey.

One, don't change too much money before you arrive. There are forex exchange booths everywhere. There lire depreciated by almost 100,000 in the short time we were staying there so if we had changed earlier we would have been stiffed. The rates are very competitive at the forex booths.

Two. If you are caught with too much local currency and want to change it back to US prior to your leaving, check the US currency VERY carefully. I almost got landed with a (very good) counterfit $50. It had the water mark and all, just the ribbon through the middle missing.

Three. An easy word to learn is how to say thank you. You can pronounce it - "two sugar dream". Just say it quite fast.

Turkey has to be one the best places in the world I have been to. I could easily spend a couple of months travelling through getting to know the place. I also found Turks to be very friendly people (and they were not trying to sell me a rug).

Steve
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Mar 16th, 2004, 07:47 PM
  #45  
 
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Eek Marko!!! 16 days!! Are you packed!!! I almost am!

I have seen the Seal book at B&N, I'll have to go back and see if they still have a copy. Also I did see that Settle had written Blood Ties. I'm going to see if I can get some sort of PB copy to take w/ me. Might be fun reading for the plane. Although I also have my Travelers Tales for Turkey ready to go.

Midnite Express...funnee!!! Marko do you email from the road or will you have time?

The weather is so cold over there right now. I"m getting a tad worried. I'm a soft skinned Californian..and 60 is freezing to me!! In Kars I think it was its like 7 degrees. Now Im wondering if I should toss in my waterproof ankle boots. GAD!
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Mar 16th, 2004, 07:55 PM
  #46  
 
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Nice to gather in all of these positive vibes here. Thank you all for your contributions. (We're leaving for Istanbul in four days, so we're consuming this thread as quickly as things are added.)
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Mar 16th, 2004, 08:03 PM
  #47  
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This is especially for Flyboy-- have a wonderful time! I've posted earlier about my trip to Turkey, but these excerpts are just about Istanbul. We did all of the following...
-------------------
Primary Sights: Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofya, Hippodrome, Yerebatan Saray (Underground Cistern), Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Suleymaniye (mosque), Chora Church, Archeology Museum, Galata Tower &Taksim,

2ndary sights/activities: Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Pierre Loti Cafe, Rustem Pasa Cami & Sokollu Mehmet Pasa, Mosaic Museum, taking the ferry to the Asian side and walking around a neighborhood, taking a hamam, shopping at the Arasta Bazaar, seeing the Gates of the City and the old walls.

We enjoyed it all; some of the surprises, though, are the smaller mosques (beautiful and intimate); the Mosaic Museum (a small gem); taking the ferry up the Bosphorus and getting to the overlook of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea; the magic of seeing the Aya Sofya, with all its layers of history.

Prepare for the onslaught of the carpet dealers. They are everywhere and overwhelming; it?s not dangerous at all, but exhausting to deal with. We found it easier to develop a sense of humor and a banter, and over time, it didn?t bother us as much.

Favorite Istanbul restaurant: Daruzziyafe, opposite the Suleymaniye entrance. Excellent food, beautiful atmosphere.

Disappointment: Sarnic, overpriced bland food in a dramatic setting of an underground cistern. Mavi Ev?s food was good, not great, but the setting on the rooftop is lovely (hotel where we stayed).
progol is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 08:44 PM
  #48  
 
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Have a great flight flyboy, I always find the nearest Internet Cafe whereever I go, its the easiest way to keep in touch. I always take a disc of photos that I have trawled from the net of the places we intend to visit, my kids (and I) then add them to outgoing emails to friends so they can get a feel (and a little bit jealous) for our trip ! This time I also intend to add some short MP3's of Turkish and Greek music, it all adds to the news ! On the same disc I carry images of all documents and passports etc as well as passport style photos of all of us just in case. I make 4 copies of the disc, one for each bag.
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Mar 17th, 2004, 06:13 PM
  #49  
 
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Hey Flyboy....viya con dios!!! Have a super trip and let us know how it was when you return!! We can all share our memories then!!!

Marko....wow you are super on the pooter. I'll be lucky to get on line and get here to retort! Lets hope we can all meet up via cyber space.

Arent we all lucky that we have the time and can work hard for the $$ then go spend it on travel!!! Life does have miracles!!!
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Mar 17th, 2004, 08:04 PM
  #50  
 
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I work so I can afford to travel (yeah and eat, drive,educate kids ,support the government etc etc)
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Mar 21st, 2004, 08:00 PM
  #51  
 
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I just booked a table at the rooftop restaurant of the Mavi Ev, I hope the food is as good as the view appears to be.
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Mar 21st, 2004, 08:14 PM
  #52  
 
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Marko, Ou la..Dinner at Eight I hope! Sounds like it will be fun and nice!! A real treat.

I'll have at least one nite on my own before the tour..I'll have to see how brave I am about venturing out and about.

I work all year and save every paycheck and then each spring go on a trip and spend the wad! Husband is very understanding of my passion for my suitcase! He thinks I'm a loon but at least he is understanding and waves me a nice goodbye!
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Mar 21st, 2004, 08:33 PM
  #53  
 
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Leanne, dinner at Nine !!
My wife is sick of listening to the Turkish language in the car...but at least I know how to ask for a wine list !!! One of the most important phrases in any country, ranking jsut below where is the toilet !
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #54  
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Marko,
We stayed at the Mavi Ev and ate there one night; the food was good, not great. I know it's gotten a lot of great reviews, but we didn't thi nk the food was all that special. But the location is fabulous, though. Paule
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 07:49 PM
  #55  
 
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Ah nine!!

And listening to Turkish lang. tapes...very clever. I've jotted down a few phrases but have no idea how to pronounce anything..I"ll have to check the local library.

Meanwhile I am listening to Turkish Music in my car....drums and all those strange little oboes and horns. I love to pull up next to teenies and blast out my multicultural rock and roll!! I get strange looks!!
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:56 AM
  #56  
 
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Phrase books are ok, but you really need to hear the language being spoken by a native to get inflection right. I don't have any Turksih music but I hope to bring some back !
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:14 AM
  #57  
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Leannat,
The guy who wrote the Lonely Planet book for Turkey also made a language tape which my husband and I used. Believe me, it was very helpful to hear what the language sounded like before we travelled! I'll have to check to see what the address is and I'll let you know.
Paule
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:06 PM
  #58  
 
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MARK

If you want to hear some turkish on the Internet go to:

http://www.turkish-center.com/demo_giris.asp

Click "ENTER" then click "UNIT 2"

There are some Turkish lesson. I hope you can learn Turkish BUT Turkish Structure is not as same as English as you might learned.

Sinan Akdeniz
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Mar 24th, 2004, 02:21 AM
  #59  
 
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Sinan, I find the structure of turkish to be very logical and the pronunciation consistant....unlike english !! The main trouble that I have is that there is very so shared linguistic roots.....but thats half the fun !! Kemal Attaturk has a lot to be proud of when it comes to the language that he introduced.
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Mar 24th, 2004, 03:22 AM
  #60  
 
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what I meant to say was so few shared linquistic roots.....damn red wine !
Red and typing just not compatible.
:0
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