Atatürk
Boncuk
Bus
Climate table
Dolmus-Minibus
Festival of Sacrifice
Kurban Bayrami Kümbet
Market
Money change
National holidays
Nazar
Potable water
Rent a car
Religious holidays
Road conditions
Tipping
Toilets
Traffic
 
The Boncuk, and there is more
you should know about Turkey








Atatürk

  Atatürk, a very short but important note:
The history of modern Turkey starts with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, President of the Turkish Republic from 1923 until his death in 1938.
Dramatic steps were taken by Atatürk, Father of the Turks, this title was officially given to him during his presidency.
In his program of modernization, secular government and education played a major role. Making religious faith a matter of individual conscience, he created a truly secular system in Turkey, where the vast Moslem majority and the small Christian and Jewish minorities are free to practice their faith. As a result of Atatürk's reforms, Turkey -unlike scores of other countries- has fully secular institutions.
These are his main reforms
*the Latin alphabet
*the introduction of the surname
*voting rights for women
and it was he, who made the 23. of April World *Children's Day
Atatürk still nowadays is highly admired. That's why you see his picture everywhere

Boncuk




protects from evil eye

  Nazar Boncuk,
that is the Little Magic Stone that protects one from the *Evil Eye*

This is a typical item, a specialty of this region you should take home as a souvenir, it's called the Boncuk, the Little Magic Stone that protects one from the *Evil Eye* (pronounced 'bon-dschuk'), you will see this blue glass piece everywhere here on the Aegean Coast.
But what is behind this superstition? In a shortened version we will try to explain.

Once upon a time (yes, it starts like in a fairy tale) there was a rock by the sea which, even with the force of a hundred men and a lot of dynamite, couldn't be moved or cracked. And there was also a man in this town by the sea, who was known to carry the evil eye (Nazar). After much effort and endeavor, the town people brought the man to the rock, and the man, upon looking at the rock said, "My! What a big rock this is." The instant he said this, there was a rip and roar and crack and instantly the immense and impossible rock was found to be cracked in two.

The force of the evil eye (or Nazar) is a widely accepted and feared random element in Turkish daily life. The word *Nazar* denotes seeing or looking and is often used in literally translated phrases such as "Nazar touched her", in reference to a young woman, for example, who mysteriously goes blind.

Another typical scenario. A woman gives birth to a healthy child with pink cheeks, all the neighbors come and see the baby. They shower the baby with compliments, commentating especially on how healthy and chubby the baby is. After getting so much attention weeks later the baby is found dead in his crib. No explanation can be found for the death. It is ascribed to Nazar. Compliments made to a specific body part can result in Nazar.
That's why nearly every Turkish mother fixes with a safety pin a small Boncuk on the child's clothes. Once a Boncuk is found cracked, it means it has done his job and immediately a new one has to replace it.

Bodrum Panorama BlickJazz Photographythis boat could be yours







The *Otogar*

  Buses
The bus is still in Turkey the main form of transportation. Every town, every area in Turkey can be reached from the bus station, the *otogar*. Otogar is a word combination, ("Oto" means car, "Gar" comes from the French word Gare for station). Go there and you'll find all bus companies - tickets can be obtained right here. A confusing picture sometimes as there are so many agencies - so do decide on a serious company. And specially in summertime do book in time.
All buses have good comfort and air conditioning and a stop on the way for having a meal is always arranged.


  Money Matters
Turkish currency is the Lira (TL) and the time of high inflation is over.
But don't change at home,
change in Turkey! The rate is a lot better here. Unless you've just won the lottery!
Check your money and receipt before leaving the bank Get used to the color and denomination of the Turkish Lira (TL) before going out to spend them. Spread them out somewhere and have a good look Calculate an exchange rate to fit each note, and round up or down so you can remember it. The rate to the Euro nearly exact 1 : 2
When you buy something, make sure you understand how many TL are needed, shopkeepers often write the sum down to avoid confusion, and count your notes out carefully. Anyhow many of the restaurant owners or shop keepers are used to western currencies.

Daily updated changing rates here or in our Bodrum_News








The *dolmus*

  Dolmus
The Dolmus (dolmush) is typically Turkish and can be found everywhere. These are mainly minibuses traveling relatively short distances. A dolls usually waits and starts in the bus station () until it is full and then leaves. You can board a dolls anywhere on its route by signaling it to stop for you. Similarly you can get off at a convenient point anywhere along the route. The destination of the dolls is posted in the windscreen. There are services to all places on the Bedroom peninsula. In summer the latest hour of departure of the minibuses or dolls is 24.00.
This kind of public transport is cheap and efficient and works very well all over Turkey.


Climate of the Turkish Aegean region
(average figures in Celsius)

month

day over temp.°

water °

hours of sun
daily

% humidity

April

18°

17°

8

68

May

21°

20°

10

67

June

25°

22°

12

62

July

28°

25°

13

58

August

29°

27°

12

58

September

25°

25°

11

59

October

21°

23°

9

61

market in Bodrum

  Market day in Bodrum
Every Tuesday there is a cloth market and every Friday, there is a market with fruit and vegetables in Bodrum. Traders and farmers come to Bodrum to sell their produce. This ranges from all kinds of fruits and vegetables to imitation Rolex watches and items of clothing. good to watch as well in the
video
It is well worth a visit and you should try to bargain before buying anything.


    National holidays
Official holidays are:
January 1st - New Year's Day
April 23rd - Children's Day
May 19th - Day of youth and sport
August 30th Victory Day.
October 29th Republic Day

Religious holidays
In Islam there are two big religious festivals.
During the fasting time (
Ramazan or Ramadan), Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual intercourse between sunrise and sunset. Armada marks God's revelation of the Koran, Islam's holy book to the Prophet Mohammed.
This 4 weeks fasting time is followed by the Sugar Fete (
Seker Bayrami), when people visit each other and offering sweets.

About two months later
Kurban Bayrami is celebrated - 'The Festival of Sacrifice', which is Turkey's longest religious and also secular holiday. This festival commemorates Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Isaac (Koran Rura 37).
Following Islamic tradition, several million rams are sacrificed in Turkey every year. Every devout household who can effort it buys one. After morning prayers on the first day of the festival the sheep is killed, skinned and butchered for a feast later in the day. A sizable portion of the meat is given to the poor, and the skin is given to a charity organization, which raises funds by selling the skins to leather factories.
The following days are spent visiting family and close friends, with Turks frequently traveling long distances to be with their families for the holiday. This means that all forms of public transport are fully booked, roads are very busy and accommodation of all types in the resorts will be scarce and expensive.


Zisterne

  Kümbet
In simple words, these are cisterns, covered and made from field stones to collect the rainfalls in wintertime.
Kümbet is the Turkish name for it.

    Roads
The roads all over Turkey have improved and are much better now then a couple of years ago.The time is over - when roads where classified in *dusty* and *non-dusty* roads. But to get good and detailed maps is still a problem here - not everywhere available. That pump stations sell a variety of maps, as you are used too, don't expect that here. You better buy them at home.

Traffic
Your first impression of traffic in Turkey will be shocking: queue jumping and honking cars, specially taxis who are not bothered about traffic lights and over taking in most impossible places. Pedestrians appear to have suicidal tendencies.Bikes and motor-bikes without light and opposite the One-Way street - that's absolute normal.
Statistics show that Turkey has the highest record of road accidents. The average driver drives without any consideration to other road users. Their primary weapon is their horn.

Rent a car - self drive
Coming to Turkey by plane and then rent a car is for sure a perfect way to spent your holidays. But prices compare to European countries or US are high. Be careful and drive the defensive way in Turkey.
Car rental, jeep and motorcycle can be found throughout the town and all over the peninsula. You can choose from well known international companies or local firms. Do check insurance details carefully before entering into any hire agreement.



toilet

  Toilets
To find public toilets in Turkey is still a problem - also in the Bodrum area. Although the hotels have improved their standards, in little restaurants you will be shocked once in a while.
A Tip: All mosques have public toilets (in Turkish "Tuvalet"). "Bay" is man; "Bayan" means lady.



Tipping

The service on bills is not specially indicated in hotels or restaurants, you should calculate 5 to 10%. In some of the existing travel guides the amount of 15% is recommended - (living here) this we found to high.
Of course as for every service, tipping is expected and the salaries are very low in Turkey, so many people are dependent on this sort of extra income.
If the car is standing nicely washed and polished in front of the hotel next morning - an English pound or two dollars would be just nice.
In general - like everywhere all over the world: the right tipping can open doors - so it does in Turkey.


Drinking water

Water from the tap is mainly water for use, like for washing, you should not drink it. To have drinking water -we recommend the mineral water in those plastic bottles.This water has an outstandingly good quality all over Turkey.



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