Religion in Turkey
About 99% of the Turkish population is Muslim. Of these, 4/5 are Sunnis, and 1/5 are Shiites. Despite the fact that Turkey is a secular state (Islam has ceased to be considered the state religion since 1928), the population is very sensitive to the observance of religious norms and rules. In addition to Muslims, followers of Christianity (Armenian, Greek and Syrian Orthodox) and Judaism live in Turkey. In general, religious intolerance is not typical for Turkey.
Transport in Turkey
The most popular means of transportation in Turkey are buses and fixed-route taxis. In big cities, at any time of the day, you can find a bus for almost any direction. But keep in mind that they are often crowded. Ordinary taxis are also common, in which there are two tariffs: day and night (night – twice as expensive). The fare must be negotiated in advance.
You can rent a car. To do this, you must have a passport or a photocopy of it and a driver’s license (driving experience – at least a year). Cars are issued to persons over 21 years of age. It is possible to rent with a driver. Payment is made in cash. The purchase of gasoline is carried out independently, for cash at gas stations. The road surface is asphalt, and the major highways are well maintained.
Plant and Animal World in Turkey
The nature of Turkey is truly amazing. Landscapes vary from snow-capped mountain peaks to arid steppes. More than 6 thousand species of plants grow here, and a third of them are endemic.
Minerals in Turkey
The main minerals of Turkey are chromites (Taurus, Western Pontic Mountains, Izmir-Ankara Trough), borates (Western Pontic Mountains), bauxites (Taurus, Pontic Mountains), tungsten, mercury, antimony (Menderes, Kirsehir, Western Pontic Mountains), copper (Pontic Mountains, Taurus), coal (Pontic Mountains). Industrially developed deposits of oil, manganese, iron, lead, zinc, asphaltite, brown coal, magnesite, barite, corundum, asbestos, fluorite, sulfur, phosphates, rock salt are known.
Banks in Turkey
Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 17:00, lunch break – from 12:00 to 13:30. Some banks are open non-stop. At the resorts, banks work seven days a week, at airports – around the clock.
Money in Turkey
The New Turkish Lira or YTL came into circulation on 01/01/2005.
The letter “Y” is the first letter of the Turkish word “Yeni” (“New”). YTL consists of YKr (“New Kurush”). Old and new money and coins will be in circulation throughout 2005. The “old” banknotes will be withdrawn from circulation on January 1, 2006. After January 1, 2006, the Central Bank of Turkey will still convert the old money into new ones within 10 years, the word “New” will be later omitted from the name of the currency and YTL (New Turkish Lira) will be called TL (Turkish Lira) again.
Banknotes – 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. Coins – 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 New Kurush and 1 New Turkish Lira.
It is not recommended to change money by hand. It is most advantageous to import money in US dollars. In addition, in some places you can pay with them, like the euro. Credit cards are also accepted, such as: American Express, Eurocard, Diner’s Club, Visa, Mastercard.
Rate: 10 Turkish Lira (TRY) = 0.61 USD
Political State in Turkey
According to politicsezine, Turkey is a constitutional republic. At the head is the President, who is elected by the Parliament for 7 years. Parliament, which consists of 2 chambers, has legislative power. He is re-elected every 4 years. The current (June 2004) President of Turkey is Ahmed Necdet Cesar. Turkey is a member of NATO and the UN.
Population in Turkey
The number of inhabitants in Turkey is about 65.5 million people (as of 1999). 70% of the population lives in cities. According to the national composition, Turks live most of all in the country – about 80%. 15% are Kurds. The rest of the population – Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Circassians, Georgians.
The official state language in Turkey is Turkish. In some regions of the country, Kurdish and Arabic are also spoken. In large cities and tourist centers, you can explain yourself in English, French or German. And in the favorite places of rest of our fellow citizens, merchants understand the Russian language quite well.
Cuisine in Turkey
Turkish cuisine is delicious and varied. It has absorbed the culinary traditions of many peoples of Asia and the Caucasus, which have undergone some changes over time.
Of the national Turkish dishes, one can name kebab – a kind of shish kebab. Dolma is also widespread – a kind of cabbage rolls: meat or rice filling in cabbage or grape leaves, cooked in olive oil. Also typical for Turkish cuisine are manti – dough stuffed with minced meat.
All meals are served with a wide variety of appetizers, which are laid out on a large tray. Widespread and various seafood.
Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted with traditional Turkish sweets: baklava (otherwise, pakhvala – a layer of walnuts and pistachios between two sheets of puff pastry), bulbul yuvasy (a kind of baking in the shape of a bird’s nest), sutlach (sweetness made from rice and milk).
As for drinks, Turkish coffee will be offered (finely crushed coffee beans are poured with hot water and served with foam). In the afternoon, in the heat, ayran will quench your thirst well – yogurt diluted with water. The national alcoholic drink – cancer – aniseed vodka, which is usually drunk diluted with water one to one.