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Turkey Transport

Turkey Transport

Turkish Airlines (TK) provides an important network of domestic flights from Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Antalya, Dalaman, Izmir and Trabzon to all of the major Turkish cities. Turkish Airlines is the major carrier within the country. Istanbul is usually the final destination for international flights, and the hub for Turkish Airlines, offering domestic flights to all operating airports in the country.

Trains have declined in popularity in Turkey, losing the competition to buses and airplanes.Many trains of the Turkish Railways (TCDD) have sleeping cars, couchettes and restaurant cars. Some are now air-conditioned. Fares are comparatively low, but are more expensive for express trains. Discounts of 20% are available for students (though a Turkish student card may be required), groups, round-trips and passengers over 60. Children aged seven and under travel free. Tickets can be purchased at TCDD offices at railway stations and TCDD-appointed agents. The journey from Istanbul to Ankara takes five to nine hours, depending on the type of train. The newest development in the railways is the Fast Train project from Istanbul to Ankara. This, along with the undersea railway tunnel in Bosphorus called Marmaray will enable travelers to reach Ankara from Istanbul in about three and a half hours from European side of Istanbul and for slightly less travel time from the Anatolian side. Train lines within Turkey and to foreign countries can be found at Turkish State Railways.

Turkey has a fairly decent network of highways connecting every corner of the country. Bus and minibus transportation system is casual, and easy to figure out.Bus is the main public transportation mean in Turkey. It is cheap and frequent. The cost is about 4-8 USD (3-6 Euros) per 100 kilometers depending on the itinerary and the bus company. Since the bus market is very competitive and effective price reflects quality of service and the type of bus. Many private bus companies provide frequent day and night services between all Turkish cities. Thousands of modern, luxurious buses roar between Turkish cities and towns daily services are often faster and less expensive than trains. Tickets are sold at the bus companies' branch offices either at bus stations or in town centres.

A dolmus is a shared taxi which follows specific routes and is recognizable by its yellow band and operates between set points at a set fare. The dolmus provides services within large cities to suburbs, airports and often to neighbouring towns. They depart as the vehicle is full. Public transportation is inexpensive and convenient, but usually crowded, especially during rush hour traffic. It may be complicated though, as when you take the municipal busses, it is hard to tell where you are heading and where to get off.

Both chauffeur-driven and self-drive cars are available in all large towns. All international companies are represented. Traffic drives on the right. Drivers must have a valid driving licence or an International Driving Permit is required for visits of over three months. Green Card International Insurance, endorsed for Turkish territory in both Europe and Asia, and Turkish third-party insurance are also required.

There are many types of taxi, share-taxi and minibus in operation. Taxis are numerous in all Turkish cities and towns and are recognizable by their chequered black and yellow bands. Metered taxis are available. For longer journeys, the fare should be agreed on before departing. Each passenger pays according to the distance travelled to specific stops.

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