Taxi drivers in Turkey

Aug 13th, 2004, 09:31 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 61
Taxi drivers in Turkey

More often than not, taxi drivers were wonderful but I thought I'd post this one warning. Our concierge told us that many cab drivers will press the button for night time charges during the day- which can lead to costs 2x as much. They are prone to do this if they are not going to drop you off at a specific destination, such as a hotel who can verify the price and report them. If they try to leave you off not directly in front of your destination, be suspicious, walk out and get a policeman or hotel concierge. Despite this warning, I fell for the ruse. I had to go to an address near Taksim Square. I was suspicious that he the charge was approaching US$10 even though the hotel manager from where I departed from told me it shouldn't be more than $5. The driver vehemently denied it and let me out 5 blocks from my destination, pointing me in the wrong direction while at it. Had I been more careful and given him a hotel as a destination, perhaps he wouldn't have tried to pull a fast one or at least I could have somebody knowledgable about Istanbul taxi fares referree.

This was a one time incident and the only bad experience I had there, which I would like to add could happen almost anywhere.
abcdef is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Everybody gets cheated by a taxi driver sooner or later. If he overcharged you by $5, so what? It probably means a lot more to him than it does to you - Turkey is a poor country.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up. But I'd say, "welcome to the real world." I don't believe there is a country anywhere that taxi drivers don't run some scam or other on unknowing tourists.

Regardless whether Turkey is a poor country or not - and it's not all that poor everywhere in Turkey; they've done the same in major western capitals worldwide.
Aug 13th, 2004, 02:43 PM
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Just wanted to give people a heads-up since the rouse is predictable in this situation- ie, charging nightrates during the daytime. It's something future travelers can keep an eye out for. Yes, overcharging by taxis does happen in many places and it was "only" $7 (by the time he let me out of the taxi) but it doesn't make it right. Who are you to judge whether I'm worthy
abcdef is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 02:46 PM
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or if anyone is "worth" being cheated?
abcdef is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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The mistake we made in Istanbul (and we have done it one or twice in other locales) was to check to ensure that the driver was actually using the meter. On one ride the driver did not and asked for triple the going rate. Prior to questioning him, we made sure that we got out of the cab and had all of our bits and pieces. There was some discussion but in the end I pointed to a police officer on the corner and suggested that he could 'help'. This settled the issue quickly but the driver did leave in a huff. Have also been in few cabs here and there where I swear the meter was altered to run fast!
allanc is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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Wow, Goeff Hammer, I hope you aren't really serious!

With that kind of reasoning I suppose you also would say these:

Everybody gets pick pocketed once or twice. Go ahead and let them do it. They probably need the money more than you.

If a homeless person wanders into a restaurant and steals the steak off your plate, let him have it. He's probably hungry, and you can always order another one.

Most small hotels and B&B's are family run businesses and operate on a shoestring. So if they change your bill to include a few extra dollars, smile and say, "thank you".

Thanks for the heads-up, abcdef. Most people other than Goeff don't like getting taken whatever the amount.

Patrick is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I was in the U.S. Army stationed in Ankara many, many years ago, but when I read your post regarding taxis, memories flooded back of the way the USED to make a few extra lira by conserving fuel. There was a popular route for us from one of the highest hills in Ankara down to the main section of the city. At night, it was quite common to get into a taxi and hold on tight, as they would get underway, turn off the engine and lights as we careened downward. The drivers would flash their headlights as they approached intersections.

It was wild, to say the least, but during my 18 months there, no one was reported hurt in a traffic accident. I suspect transportation has improved...

JimF is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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Being poor doesn't give you the right to cheat or steal from another person.
degas is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 03:17 PM
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To the extent that crime is allowed to proliferate in a given area (whether through dishonest cabdrivers, pickpockets, muggers, or worse), everyone who lives there is harmed because tourists are less likely to go there and spend money to help the general economy. The country will not get richer unless it can provide safe, comfortable travel conditions and practice fair trade practices so as to promote commerce.
movingtarget is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 05:09 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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Turkey and Greece are two difficult places to ride taxis. In Athens when we 'politely pointed out to the taxi driver that he had not put the meter on he was furious , and he stopped the car and wanted us to get out. We refused because we were staying at the Intercontinental Hotel a little out of downtown and he stopped in the middle of no where. He alleged that the taxi was not working....finally he stopped another taxi and he took us into townI had the feeling that all the taxis waiting near the Intercontinental were the same.
This can happen anywhere in New York years ago we took two taxis at the same time ( big family) from the line waiting in the hotel Sheraton. One sure enough, mine, driven by someone apparently from Haiti had a meter that run at high speed. It was at the end we had a discussion because the other taxi was charging much less. Anyway this is only to say that it is true there are many honest taxi drivers and many not that honest.
Graziella5b is offline  
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