Guide to Driving in Turkey

Driving in some areas of Turkey can be a true pleasure while in other regions it can be nightmare. In urban areas the roads are well-maintained and some signals are in English. As we move towards rural areas, the conditions are getting worse: the road signals are in written in Turkish characters while cracks and holes become a familiar view. On the highways, however, the conditions are decent. The asphalt is in top condition and you can drive without concerns. Coming back to rural areas we must warn you that slow-moving agricultural vehicles often use the main roads, so you should act with caution. There’s a pretty high rate of collisions and crashes and that’s because local drivers are not polite all the time. If your style is a bit more aggressive then you should revise that when driving on the streets of Turkey. Your car must be equipped with two warning triangles, a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit. And let’s not forget to mention that traffic is on the right and overtakes are on the left.

There have been reported cases in which locals pretended to be police officers and stopped tourists for a ‘routine control’, before robbing them and vanishing from the scene. It’s important to have a proper understanding of how a police car looks in Turkey. The base color is white and there are blue stripes on the sides. The word ‘POLIS’ is printed on the hood and on the side doors. Light beacons are also an indicator that we’re talking about an official car. In terms of documents you need an identification card, the car’s third-party insurance policy, car’s registration certificate and your national driver’s license. If you have an international driver’s permit it’s a good idea to have it with you. The legalized translated copy of your license it’s also mandatory.

Essential Driving Information

  • All the passengers of a car must wear the seatbelts, including the ones in the rear seats.
  • While driving it is considered illegal to use a mobile phone unless there’s a hands-free device attached to it. A blue-tooth ear device may work.
  • If you’re planning to stay for less than 90 days your domestic license will do the trick. It is mandatory to have a legalized translation of your license since Turkey is not yet in the European Union.
  • The dipped beam should be turned on only when the visibility decreases.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 90kmh (55mph)
Motorway: 120kmh (75mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 155
Ambulance: 112
Firefighters: 110
Other: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 18
Alcohol Limit: 0.05%
Petrol Price: €1.69/litre
Diesel Price: €1.45/litre
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