Turkish Lira, ATM's can be found in all major cities. We did not use traveller cheques. We exchanged money at the first petrol station and had a reasonable exchange rate. Always check the bills as you get easily the wrong change. The bills are in Millions which can be easily confusing.
Visa's can be bought at the border (check your local embassy first). We paid 10 euro per person. We had our car registered in our passport and had to sign a declaration form. It all took us half an hour to cross the border.
Driving in Turkey
Outrageously expensive at around 1.833 000 lira per liter. (even more expensive then holland and germany!)
Speedlimits are regularly checked outside villages were the speedlimit is 90 km/hr or otherwise signposted. Check for cars alongside the road. A policeman will report speeding cars to a police roadblock sometimes a few kilometres further. Also check opposite traffic signalling for these checks but better stick to the limits.
The average speed we drove was around 55 to 60 k an hour due to difficult roads. This might help you planning your road trip through Turkey.
The rules are:
Highway 120 km/hr
Outside villages 90 km/hr
Village 50 km/hr
Roads can differ every few hundred meters and it can’t be said which roads are good or bad. Some highways are in excellent condition, some not. The little of the beaten track roads will definetely provide a bumpy ride. If there is a signpost for bumpy roads believe us, its going to be bumpy. Good shockabsorbers are a necessity if you want to keep your car in one piece. Our advise is not to drive at night. Two reasons, locals tend to blind you with their lights and there is no way you can check roads for holes in it. If you have to drive at night, stick behind a local driving at the same speed and see what he is doing!
Parking in cities is advised on ‘oto parks’. These are secured car parks where its safe to leave your car. Never leave valuables inside your car or else hide them from view as forreign car registrations plates makes it an easy target.
Places to stay
Please do not stay on the campsites near the city centre. They are overpriced at 18 Euro per camper, extremely dirty and the sea of marmare smelled (when we were there) like a toilet which made our clothes and the car smell the same. Better options is staying in a guesthouse below the blue mosque in Sultanamet. This safes you a lot of money on taxi's as there are no busses after 9 in the evening to the campsite and it's safe to park your car!
Dogubuyazit (Iran border)
Underneath the Ishak Pasa Palace is a perfect campsite where all overlanders meet up and exchange information. Fresh water available and a beautiful spot to stay!
Live stock (cows, goats) and dogs wonder the roads feely in little towns. Adjust your speed accordingly. Trucks can be a pain in the .... as they are very polluting and slow on hills. Allways question yourself how much you are in a hurry before overtaking, especially on blind curbs.
Every now and then you see huge water streams coming from pipes beside the road. These can be used to drive underneath to get rid of dust. Problem can be that these water stream flood the road making it extremely dangerous to drive through at high speed, as we encounterd.