Turkey is located in southeastern Europe/Asia Minor and has a population of 70.6 million people. Turkey is abundant with historical ruins, and is the setting from where many a tale is told, such as where Achilles battled the Trojans in Homer's Iliad and Alexander the Great defeated the Gordion Knot. If you're not a history buff, Turkey also borders the Black and Aegean seas, as well as the Mediterranean, meaning it is also the home of beautiful coastlines. Turkey is a favoured destination for European medical tourists and currently has more than 15 hospitals who have achieved JCI accreditation. The national language of Turkey is Turkish, and Kurdish is also spoken by a small minority in the south. English, French and German are widely spoken in the tourist and city areas.

Medical tourism

Turkey has a large Medical Tourism industry with a great number of service providers catering to a wide range of specialisations. The most prevalent specialisations are Cancer treatment, Cardiology, Cosmetics, Dental, Eye, Hair transplants, Infertility treatments, Neurology, Obesity, Orthopedics, Spinal and Transplants. See the box to the right to view a full list of available treatment areas.

Best time to travel

The largest distinction in Turkey's weather is between the coast and the inland areas. The coast has moderate temperatures in the winter and hot, humid summers. The inland area of Turkey on the other hand is a land of extremes with very cold winters and very hot summers. These differences are more prevalent the further east one travels, meaning that eastern Turkey may not be the best place to visit during the winter months (December through to April) and can be very hot in summer (July through to August). The Black Sea coast on the other hand, can be quite pleasant and if you're interested in a beach escape, April through till September are best for the Black Sea beaches. Mid-May through to September are best for those on the Aegean and Mediterranean beaches.

Money and costs

The currency in Turkey is the Yeni Türk Lira (TRY, symbol YTL) and in general Turkey can offer good value for money. Find up-to-date exchange rates and conversion through a currency conversion tool. Vistors can live quite well in Turkey for around 106YTL per day and over. Cities such as the capital of Istanbul will have higher prices.


Visitors from the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland (among many others) need a tourist visa to enter Turkey. However, Turkey has a sticker-type entry visa system where a sticker-type visa is available at the point of entry for a fee. These visas are generally valid for stays of up to 90 days.

Getting there

Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport is Turkey's busiest point of entry. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is also located in Istanbul (although a little further out of the city) and mainly services flights from the cut-price European carriers. In the summer months you can also fly into several other airports that are opened to services the tourist rush. Istanbul receives direct flights from Australia, Canada, the USA and continental Europe from airlines such as Emirates, Japan Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Air Canada.

Dialling codes

To call Turkey, the country dialling code is +90.

Useful links

Find more in-depth information on Turkey at:

Lonely Planet -​turkey

Turkey Tourism -

Turkey Embassy in the USA -

Turkey Embassy in the UK -

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Page last updated: Friday, 2nd September 2011