Practical Information

Ombudsman Institution is pleased to welcome you to the 2nd İstanbul International Ombudsman Conference on Principles of Good Administration & Ombudsman. Please make sure to read all the practical information below. If you still have questions, kindly contact:  Gizem Mumcu, Project Assistant, info@iocturkey.org.tr We hope that you will find the following practical information helpful for your visit.

Visa Arrangements

Please make sure that your passport is valid for more than 6 months at the time of your application. If your passport is not valid for more than 6 months, we kindly ask you to obtain a new passport.

Depending on your nationality, most probably you do not need visa to Turkey and your stay as a tourist is limited up to 3 months (for one entrance). In case you need visa (check HERE), for tourist visas, you are kindly advised to enter the Electronic Visa (e-Visa) Application System and easily obtain your e-Visa online ( www.evisa.gov.tr )  in approximately three minutes.

If you are flying to Turkey, you can also buy your visa at the Turkish airport upon arrival. You will see the visa desk, situated just in front of the passport control. You must buy your visa, which will be stamped on your passport by the official, before you join the queue for passport control. Fees for e-Visas obtained via the e-Visa website (www.evisa.gov.tr ) are lower than the fees for visas obtained upon arrival to Turkish airports.

Information regarding visa fees can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.( https://www.mfa.gov.tr/data/KONSOLOSLUK/vize-harc-miktarlari-en.pdf). Each passport-holder, including infants, must purchase a visa.

For more detailed information please see the official website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.  https://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

Please note that, if you need an invitation letter from the OI to apply the visa, please contact us.

Emergency Services in Istanbul

  • Police emergency: 155
  • Medical emergency : 112
  • Tourist Police: 0212 5274503 (Istanbul only)
  • Fire emergency: 110
  • Fire emergency: 177 (Woodland/Forest fire service)
  • Maritime emergency (Coastguard): 158
  • Missing child/Women’s helpline: 183

Health

Participants must hold a valid travel insurance (including health) for Turkey for the duration of their stay. First aid services will be available at the hotels. If necessary, patients will be referred to medical facilities.

Pharmacists will also be able to offer advice and prescribe basic medicine, which can prevent you having to pay excess medical fees. Most neighborhoods in the city will have a 24/7 pharmacy, with many pharmacists being able to communicate in English.

Climate

Climate in Istanbul is generally similar to Marmara region; summer months are warm and humid with very little rain especially between July-August, winter months can be cold and wet with some snow but not that much extreme as some other areas of Turkey.

During the summer months, air temperature can go up to 30 degrees Celsius, highest recorded temperature in Istanbul was 45 degrees. During winter months, the temperature is around 10 degrees with much colder nights, lowest recorded temperature was -15 degrees. Istanbul occasionally gets some snow, but it is not more than 10-12 days in a total winter period. Average rainfall is 787 millimeters a year. 35% of the rainfall occurs in winter, 23% in spring, 14% in summer, and 28% in autumn. Generally, north-eastern winds prevail in Istanbul, with a long-term average of 3.2 meters/second. Strongest wind speed recorded until today is 424 m/sec.

November is the end of autumn in Istanbul. Expect much colder, wetter weather across the country by the end of the month, as winter approaches. The average temperature is just 12C, with barely warmer highs of 14C. The highest temperature ever recorded is 34C, though this is very unlikely to be the case by the end of the month. Overnight, the temperature falls to a low of 9C and it will feel quite cold

Public Transportation

Public transportation in the city is cheap and plentiful, helping you to reach all your necessary destinations. Available methods include trams, metros and buses. Fares for all three can either be paid for by purchasing a token from a sales booth or vending machine, or through using an Istanbul Card, which gives you discounts on journeys.

If you plan to use public transportation a lot during your stay, it is advised you invest in an Istanbul Card. If you are travelling with children younger than 6, they do not have to pay.

Roads are frequently congested and barely move between 7 A.M. and 10:30 A.M. and after 4 P.M. It is highly advised that you use public transport or walk during these times, as waiting times can be excessive.

Language

Turkish is the official language in the country. English is not commonly spoken among the local community however very frequently spoken at touristic locations and the hotels.

Currency

The Turkish Lira is the currency of Turkey. The currency rankings show that the most popular Turkey Lira exchange rate is the USD to TRY rate. The currency code for Lira is TRY, and the currency symbol is . Participants may exchange money at any licensed exchange office. There are exchange offices working around the clock in the city and at the Airport. The exchange rate depends on the currency market and may change daily.

Cash point machines (ATM) are available in most areas, which accept major credit and debit cards and give instructions in English. It may be a good idea to inform your bank in advance that you are travelling to Turkey as some will automatically put a stop on cards after the first usage in an attempt to combat fraud.

Electricity 

Turkey operates on 220 volts, 50 Hz, with round-prong European-style plugs that fit into recessed wall sockets /points.

Time Zone

Time Difference: Turkey is in the Eastern European Time Zone. Eastern European Standard Time(EET) is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).