[Featured Destination: Istanbul]: Fast Fact on Istanbul

Visa

If you are making entry to Turkey for 3 months:

Visitors from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, UK and USA will require to have the “sticker visa” for entry to Turkey.

If you are making entry to Turkey for 1 month:

Nationals of Norway, Hungary and many Eastern European and Central Asian countries could enter Turkey for up to one month upon purchase of the “Sticker Visa” at the customs hall.

Getting the “Sticker Visa” is a fuss free process that will take less than 10 seconds at the booth to the left of the ‘Other Nationalities’ counter in the customs hall and the officer will issue a stamp on the passport page.

Visiting the Mosques

Prayer sessions named as namaz usually last for 30 to 40 minutes, 5 times daily. It is advisable to avoid visiting the mosques during midday of Friday as most Muslims will be worshiping during this timing.

Attire to wear when visiting the Mosques:

Ladies – To have your arms and legs covered and a scarf to cover your head.

Men – To avoid shorts

All shoes must be removed prior entering the mosques.

Making overseas calls:

Country code for Turkey is (90).

To make a call in European Istanbul to Asian Istanbul, dial 0, followed by 216

To make a call in Asian Istanbul to European Istanbul, dial 0, followed by 212

Taxes & refunds

Value-added tax (VAT) known as the katma değer vergisi (KDV) applies in Turkey. The 18% VAT is usually included to the price of most goods and services.

Remember to look out for shops displaying blue, grey and white colour “Tax Free Shopping” sign on the shops’ window or inquired the sales assistants if it is possible to get a KDV iade özel fatura(special VAT refund receipt) when you are haggling over the price.

Foreigners are entitled to a refund of the VAT if your purchases are made from shops participating in the national “Global Refund: Tax Free Shopping” scheme and these purchases are taken out of the country within 3 months from purchase.

Bring along the refund receipt and goods you have purchased to the “Global Refund: Tax Free Shopping” desk and the staff will confirm the refund with a stamp on the receipt. You can choose to have the refund payment by either cash or credit to your credit card account at the departure lounge after you have gone through the immigration counter.

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