Life in Turkey


It is highly recommended that foreigners who wish to visit Turkey for different reasons, should overview the related information about our countrys visa procedures in advance before arrival.

Visa procedure for touristic and business purposed visits to a country may differ in relative to work and education visits. Also Turkeys visa policies may change from country to country according to reciprocity principle.

Some applicants may be exempted from getting a visa to Turkey if it is for touristic or business purposes. Others can obtain their touristic Visa through electronic Visa. All other applicants who want to obtain a visa for working and education purposes will need to apply to our Turkish Representations abroad.

According to the different countries, an information note about Turkeys visa regime is available in the following address: www.mfa.gov.tr

Foreigners who wish to enter Turkey need to carry a visa, a visa exemption, and the date of when their resident permit duration ends. They will need to request for a passport or documentations that can shows a passport that is valid for atleast 60 days.

Exampe: A Foreign visitor owns a visa that has 90 days resident permit duration, they will need to have 150 days (90 days + 60 days/ 5 month) valid passport or a travel document at the time of their entrance in Turkey.

Passports must have a validity of 6 months atleast from the expiration date of the visa. They have 90 days to do so.

For more visa information, please visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sub.en.mfa?cc4e437c-6769-4d79-9017-10b63c651224

For more information regarding residence permit, please visit Turkish National Polices official website:  http://www.egm.gov.tr/EN/Pages/Residence-Permit-Procedures.aspx

Please keep in mind that your university can assist you with your residence permit procedures. You do not have to do it alone, help is there.

Many Universities in Turkey provide campus accommodation to all international students who wish to stay on the campus or in state dormitories. Meals generally are not included in the fee but dormitories have canteens where students can eat breakfast and other meals for a nominal, relatively low cost. All fees are fixed in Turkish Liras. Regardless of their nationality, all international students must pay the same amount as Turkish students. In addition, most Turkish dormitories are segregated by sex. It is advised that students bring enough money that can be easily converted to Turkish Lira. Credit cards may not be accpeted. In Turkey, all processes related to accommodation in state dormitories are carried out by General Directorate of Higher Education Credit and Hostels Institution. For detailed information, please visit www.kyk.gov.tr web page.

If you are looking for a room that you can share, you may find vacancies posted in hostels, language schools, or other similiar areas regarding accommodation. In addition to the other sources, students can also have a chance to find an apartment in their universitys campus.

All international students who are recieving education in Turkey can take advantage of the general health insurance coverage in Turkey. Students who have "general health insurance", can use all state hospitals without any fee, and can use private hospitals by paying a moderate fee. To benefit from the General Health Insurance System in Turkey, you can go to your schools international Student Office to get more information. Then with the necessary documents, students can go to the Social Security Institution to apply. When you complete your application, you will pay your general health insurance fee which is determined on an annual basis within 1 month from the date of Social Security records.

If you don't apply for general health insurance system within the given time period (3 months) you cannot benefit from the general health insurance services of the State. But, if the students has an international health insurance they can use it or can get benefit from private health insurances in Turkey. Some universities may also offer special health insurance policy for their international students.

Please also bear in mind that Turkey is known for providing high quality health services at low costs. For this reason many many patients from neighbour countries as well as from developed western countries prefer to come to Turkey to get healthier and cheaper treatments for surgery, dental, and eye examinations.

Students can benefit from their health insurance in Turkey, and in order to not face any problems we recommend students to go for checkups, visit their dentists.We also recommend students to bring along their glasses, a spare pair of contact lenses and their optical prescription with them. Lastly bringing along a first-aid kit can be really useful.

Turkey is home to the worlds earliest settlements and numerous civilizations ranging from the smallest of communities to the greatest of empires.

Turkey is the cradle of cultures and civilizations connecting Europe and Asia and also the capital of civilizations that have reined the lands of Anatolia for centuries.

Since the beginning of history, Anatolia, well known as one of the earliest settlements, has continued to flourish with the migration of various tribes, and accumulated a large cultural heritage through a line of succeeding empires and civilizations. Many empires ranging from the Sumerians to the Hittites, the Lydians to the Byzantines and the Seljuks to the Ottomans have once thrived and expired within the borders of Turkey.

To get more information about holiday cities of Turkey and to decide which cities to visit in Turkey, please visit the official tourism portal of Turkey http://www.goturkeytourism.com

The Mediterranean and the Aegean climates have a cool moist winter season, and a warm rainless summer season.

The climate in the Aegean region of Turkey is great throughout the year, even during the winter.

The weather in the eastern region of Turkey, bordering Georgia and Iraq, has hot summers and sonwy icy winters.

Turkeys climate and weather along the coast of the Black Sea is a continental climate. In Turkey, humidity levels can be quite high. During winter, especially in the months of December and January, the weather is cold and temperatures can drop below zero.

The weather in Turkeys capital, Ankara, as well as the central Anatolian region is cold in winters and hot and dry during summer. Turkeys central climate is known as a mixture between a continental climate and a steppe climate.

To get more information on Turkeys weather please visit the Turkish State Meteorological Services official website: http://www.mgm.gov.tr/

Turkey has been the homeland to numerous communities and civilizations from the beginning of the history of mankind and Anatolia has been the harbor of the magnificent Turkish culture for more hundreds of years. Due to the geographical continents that connects Europe and Asia, Turkish culture has been evolving with the influence of all these civilizations. Anatolia has been the cradle of different civilizations throughout history and the effects of these cultures also reflect the Turkish cuisine and social life.

If you are curious about; Turkish customs, traditions, folk dances, theatre, cinema, fine arts, literature, traditional and modern music,please visit official tourism portal of Turkey http://www.goturkeytourism.com

One of the best things about Turkish culture is the variety of its cuisine! You will find not only Turkish food, but also many delicious samples of food from the western and eastern kitchen cuisine.

Eating habits have been shaped according to the prevalent cultural, geographical, ecological, economic characteristics and is shaped according to historical duration.

In summary, the variety of products offered by the lands of Asia and Anatolia, the interaction with numerous different cultures over a long historical process, and the new tastes developed in the palace kitchens of the Seljuk and Ottoman empires have all played a part in shaping the new our culinary culture, which you would very much enjoy.

For more information about traditional Turkish and Ottoman cuisine and more, please visit the official website of Ministry of Culture and Tourism: http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN,35306/culinary-culture.html

These are afew popular native foods in Turkey:  

1-            Kebap

2-            Simit

3-            Yoğurt Ayran

4-            Kahvaltı (Ballı-Kaymaklı)

5-            Lokum

6-            Baklava

7-            Fındık Fıstık (Kuruyemişler)

8-            Meyveler

9-            Pide

10-         Lahmacun

11-         Turşu

12-         Maraş Dondurması

13-         Mantı

14-         Dolma Sarma

15-         Kuru Fasulye

16-         Kestane Şekeri / Kebab

17-         Tavukgöğsü Tatlısı

18-         Türk Kahvesi Lokumu

19-         Börek

20-         Sahlep (Vahşi orkide köklerinden kremalı tarçınlı mucize içecek)

21-         Aşure

22-         Boza

The monetary unit is the Turkish Lira (TL). Travelers checks are not favored nor accepted in Turkey. ATMs can be found in even the smallest Turkish towns. Most accept international credit cards or bank cards (a strip of logos is usually displayed above the ATM). Almost all ATMs have a language key to enable you to read the instructions in English. Most commercial establishments accept international credit cards such as Visa, Master Card and American Express.

The banking systems are highly developed, you can easily find a bank and ATM anywhere. You can make payments at any ATMs by using your credit cards. You can open an account on your name, to get an ATM card you need a resident document.

The value-added tax, is known as KDV, is 18%. Value-added tax is nearly always included in quoted prices. Certain shops can deduct the tax, therefore you need to ask wheter any deductions can be made.

The electrical current in Turkey is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two or three round prongs.

Jan 1: First Day of the New Year

Apr 23: National Sovereignty and Children's Day (anniversary of the establishment of Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1920)

May 1: Labour and Solidarity Day (since from 2009)

May 19: Atatürk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day (the arrival of Atatürk in Samsun in 1919, and the beginning of the War of Independence)

Aug 30: Victory Day (victory over invading forces in 1922).

Oct 29: Republic Day (anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic in 1923).

Ramazan Bayrami: Three-day festival that is celebrated the end of the fast of Ramadan month. Also known as "Şeker (sweets) Bayramı" because it's customary to offer candies to family members and friends that come to visit.

Kurban Bayrami: Four-day festival where sheeps or cows are sacrificed and their meat are distributed to the poor.

The dates of these religious festivals change according to the Islamic calendar and thus occur 10-11 days earlier each year. (This is due to the 10 days and 21 hrs difference between the Gregorian and Lunar calendars). According to this;

Standard time zone: UTC/GMT + 3 hours

To make a long-distance call (any call outside of your area code), you have to dial the long-distance prefix (0) before the seven-digit local phone number. Below are the area codes for Turkey´s major cities:

Adana  322

Ankara 312

Antalya 242       

Bursa 224

Istanbul (Asian side) 216

Istanbul (European side) 212

Izmir 232

Each Turkish mobile provider are assigned with a range of area codes (or mobile prefixes).

Turkcell 530-539,

Vodafone  541-549,

Turk Telekom  502-506

Important Note:

You have exactly 120 days of duration to use the mobile phones that you bring along with you. Before this duration ends, you will need to go to a GSM Operator with your passport in order to register your mobile device. This operation will cost 140TL, or 38 $. If you purchase your device from Turkey you do not have to do this process.

Useful telephone service numbers:

155 Police

112 Ambulance

110 Firefighter

170 Tourism Info

Planning your travel to Turkey is exciting, however before going to Turkey, you may find the information and tips below useful:

Documents you need to bring along with you: your passport, with a valid visa; travel documentations, tickets and a acceptance letter from your university. (The address of your new university, plus the telephone number of the person related will be helpful to you).

Health and travel insurance: Firstly, get advice from your university they may offer a special insurance policy for their students. Asking different insurance companies can also be helpful. For information about vaccinations and other health-related considerations, check out our health section.

Do not forget that most airlines charge for excess baggage.

Temperatures in Turkey vary from season to season and from region to region. For information about Turkeys weather, check our Weather section.

Bridge to the world

You have many reasons to come to Turkey! Each outskirt has its own spiritual and geographical features that attracts many people from all around the world. For example, Istanbul is the only city in the world that connects the two continents, Asia and Europe. The city, which is located in both Asia and Europe, has been the capital city for many civilizations for thousands of years throughout its history.  Turkey is more than a bridge between two continents. Actually, Turkey is a country in which East and West meet in a much broader sense. Turkey has been successful in blending these two cultures and being home to cultural and historical richness and legacy for thousands of years.

A lot of scholarship opportunities

The chance to study abroad is a dream for many students, especially in todays global era.  According to the UNESCO, 3,6 million students were enrolled in higher education abroad in 2010, and the number is increasing every year. In this challenging competitive environment, there are a wide variety of scholarship opportunities in Turkey available for you. Many of these scholarships are provided by the republic of Turkey State.

For more information, please visit http://www.turkiyeburslari.gov.tr/index.php/en/turkiye-burslari/burs-programlari

There are also different scholarship processes in private universities. (%100 - %75 - %50 Scholarships

An ideal place for living

The experience of studying abroad is more than just attending a school in a foreign country. So, when deciding where to study abroad, you should first ask yourself where you want to live.  With its cosmopolitan cities and small towns, Turkey offers a variety of cultural experiences to international students. Bringing different cultures, religions, people, lifestyles and definitely different cuisines together. Turkey has served as a gate to Western World for Eastern cultures and to Eastern World for Western societies.

Weather is another important consideration to take when deciding to study abroad. Turkey is one of the few countries that you can experience and enjoy all four seasons thanks to its geographical position and climate. Being surrounded by three seas, Turkey is an ideal destination where you can see lots of sun during the summer and enough snow to do skiing in the winter.

Costs of living and studying

The costs of studying and living abroad is another factor that you will need to take into consideration while making your decision about studying abroad. Compared to other international student destinations, Turkey offers significantly lower annual tuition fees and much lower living expenses. According to the Mercers 2013 Global cost of living rankings, Turkeys metropolitan cities are in the very bottom row of the most expensive cities list. 

A door to your dream job

One of the main questions you will have after graduation is what will happen after this? International students who graduate from Turkish universities have a lot of options. For example students can choose to continue their education by doing a masters degree, and return home with a widely accepted diploma that will ease them to find a job either in or out of Turkey. In addition, international students are able to work part-time on campus during their education.

Turkey is progressing towards being one of the leading economies of the world with its developing and growing economy.  The number of Global brands doing business in Turkey and working together with Turkish brands is increasing.  As of June 2013, the number of international companies operating in Turkey is 34,000, 50% of these companies are from European Union countries. As Turkey is a favorite country for international investors, you can also have the chance to work in one of these international companies. You may also witness your classmates or other friends achieve significant success in their careers in Turkey and even in the world. So, you can use these contacts to open doors to new opportunities for yourself.       

Quality of education

In the last 10 years, the Turkish higher education system has developed significantly both in terms of quality and quantity. Turkish universities now offer a rich field of choices for international students.

The quality of the system has also reflected the international ranking lists. According to The Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2014, 7 Turkish universities have entered in the top 100 university list, and 3 of them are in the top 10. In addition, 9 Turkish universities took place among the top 800 world universities ranked by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) in the UK. 19 Turkish universities took place among the top 1000 world universities ranked by METU Informatics Institute.

Turkish universities offer high quality studies and are a integral part of the European education space. There is an increasing number of universities offering programs taught in English, and these include medicine, engineering, humanities, business, and finance. Turkey is part of Bologna Process since 2001 and also a member of many different international platforms. This is important for students in two different ways. First being that all students can continue their education in other countries with the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and second they can get their diplomas recognized by other countries.

University industry cooperation

Regarding the link between university-industry, starting with the year 2000, many techno-parks and technology development centers have been established within the university campuses. The Law on Technology Development Centers, which entered into force in 2001, draws the framework for the legal status of these institutions. As of 2014, there are still 32 technology development centers operating and an additional 11 are under construction in different universities. Associate Degree qualifications are also included in Turkish higher education system. Within this degree, universities offer two-year programs, all of which are vocational oriented and at the end of their two year study period, graduates are expected to be employed as intermediate staff in related sectors. The curriculum design of these programs is done in such a way that gives the student the opportunity to do their internships in firms of the related sectors.

Language

In Turkey, the most common languages used in higher education institutions are; Turkish, English, and Arabic. There are also higher education institutions where education is taught in German or French. However, if you have applied to an academic program that is taught in Turkish, you are expected to learn Turkish.

Turkey is one of the most common spoken languages in the World. For those International students who want to enhance their Turkish, Turkey is an ideal place for international students studying in English to learn Turkish aswell. There are some alternative ways to do so:

Turkish Language Teaching and Research Center at the respective university (TÖMER)

Language Center at the respective university

Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Cultural Centers,

For more information please visit: http://www.yee.org.tr/en/

Private Language Schools

Student Clubs

Hello Merhaba mehr-hah-bah

Good morning Günaydın gew-naye-dun

Good evening İyi akşamlar ee ahk-shahm-lahr

Good-bye (said by person leaving) Hoşçakal Hosh cha kal

Good-bye (said by person staying) Güle güle guele guele

How are you? Nasılsın? nah-suhl-suhn

Whats up / Howre you doing? (İnformal) Naber? na berr

I am fine İyiyim ee-yeem

Thank you Teşekkür ederim. te-shek-kewr-lehr

Youre welcome Birşey değil. (in response to Thank you) beer-shey deh-eel

Please Lütfen. lewt-fehn

I dont understand Anlamadım an-la-ma-duhm

Pleased to meet you Memnum oldum mem-noon oll-doom

I am sorry Pardon puhr-dohn

Excuse me Pardon puhr-dohn

Yes Evet. eh-vet

No Hayır. hah-yuhr

Bon Appetite! Afiyet olsun! af-ee-yeht ul-sun

What? Ne? neh

Help! İmdat! im-duht

When? Ne zaman? neh-zah-mah

One bir beer

Two iki ee-kee

Three üç ewch

Four dört dirt

Five beş besh

Six altı ahl-tuh

Seven yedi yeh-dee

Eight sekiz seh-keez

Nine dokuz doh-kooz

Ten on ohn

1. Hoş geldiniz  ”Your arrival is lovely/welcome”             

Said as a greeting to visitors to make them feel at home.

2. Şeytan tüyü “The devil’s feather”

What seems like an insult is actually a compliment used to describe someone who has a mysterious, with devilish charm.

3. Taş attı da kolu mu yoruldu? “Did he throw a stone so his arm got tired?”

Said to berate someone who’s being lazy.

4. Bir yastıkta kocasınlar “May they grow old with one pillow”

By this they mean to tell couples to never go to bed angry, this is said to newlyweds who traditionally share a single, long pillow in a marital bed.

5. Etekleri zil çalıyor “The bells on their hems are ringing”

I recently learned this evocative saying used to describe someone someone who is very excited.

6. Pabucu dama atıldı “His shoe has been thrown onto the roof”

Often said of a father when a new baby monopolises the mother’s attentions, or by anyone who has been passed over in favour of another.

7. Balık etli  “Fish fleshed”

Turkish men usually like women with a bit of meat on their bones, and this is a lovely compliment to curvy girls.

8. Havadan sudan  “Of the air and water”

Turks love to chat, often at length, and about nothing in particular. This is a great way of describing idle chatter — a lot like Irish craic.

9. Elini sallasa ellisi  “If he waves his hand, fifty will come”

A great way to comfort a friend after a breakup, it means that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

10. Ciğerimin köşesi  “The corner of my liver”

This anatomic description is actually used to describe someone who is very precious to you. You might hear it featured as a lyric in love songs.

11. Armut piş ağzıma düş   “May the pear be cooked on the tree and fall into my mouth”

This describes a person who doesn’t like to work, to whom everything comes ready and done — or falls literally in their lap.

12. İyi ki doğdun  “It’s good that you were born”

Turkish for Happy Birthday. I think this expression is a lot more meaningful than the English version, and I even use the literal English translation on my non-Turkish friends’ birthdays.

13. Boşver  “Give empty”

Perhaps my favorite saying, Boşver means “let it go,” a la Frozen.

14. El elden üstündür  “A hand is superior to another person’s hand”

Said to show that there’s always someone who can do a better job.

15. Battı balık yan gider  “A sunken fish goes sideways”

This one’s pretty hard to parse, but it means that the worst-case scenario has already happened (the fish has sunk), so you might as well stop worrying and have some fun!

16. Ateş almaya gelmek   “Coming over just for a light”

You can cheekily accuse a visitor of this when you want them to stay a while longer.

17. Cami yıkılmış ama mihrab yerinde ”The mosque is a ruin but the mihrap is standing”

One of my personal favorites, this phrase describes an older woman who retains her charms. It’s like saying a church is in ruins but the pulpit is standing. Basically, it’s the opposite of “mutton dressed as lamb.”

18. Geçmiş olsun  “May it be the past”

Said when someone is sick or has had a bad experience. I love how it recognizes someone’s pain, but also expresses the hope that it will soon be behind them.

19. Nazar değmesin  “May you not be touched by the evil eye”

Said after giving a compliment, particularly to a child. Although I’m a pretty rational person, I do believe in the power of the evil eye and use this saying a lot.

20. Hayırlı olsun  “May it be auspicious”

Said whenever someone has a new undertaking, such as a new job.

21. Allah analı babalı büyütsün   “May God let him/her grow up with both a mom and dad”

Perhaps the most meaningful thing you could wish for a newborn child.

22. Kolay gelsin   ”May it be easy for you”

This is a great way to acknowledge another person’s labors, even a stranger on the street, who has a difficult task at hand.

23. Çok yaşa “May you live long”

Turkish for “bless you,” çok yaşa is said after someone sneezes. The sneezer then replies sende gör (may you also see my life) or hep beraber (may we all have many more years to live).

24. Kafayı üşüttü  “They’ve caught a cold in their head”

Turks have a congenital fear of catching a chill, which can strike any part of your body. If you’ve caught a cold in your head, it means you’ve gone crazy.

25. Sıhhatler olsun  “May it bring your health”

Older generations who grew up before hot running water in homes, and who only had baths once or twice a week, will say this when you come out of the shower in case you catch a chill (see above).

26. Başınız sağolsun   “May your head stay healthy”

A thoughtful way of wishing someone condolences when they are grieving the loss of a loved one.

27. (Benim) ilk göz ağrım  “The first pain of my eye”

This is said to a first love or first child to avoid giving them the evil eye (I used to feel very jealous when my grandmother said this to my brother, her oldest grandchild.)

28. Ellerine sağlık  “Health to your hand”

Said to someone who has created something beautiful with their hands, particularly to a cook or a Turkish mom after she’s cooked up a feast for her family.

29. Bir musibet bin nasihatten iyidir  “One bad experience is worth a thousand warnings”

No explanation needed.

30. Güle güle gidin  “May you go laughing”

This is said to departing visitors to help take the edge off sad goodbyes.

 

"A Campus University in The Middle of History"