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I have been to Turkey several times. They (Turkish Airlines) are somehow able to consistently be one of the lowest cost and decent airlines.
It is a shame that the country under Erdogan (current leader) does not have better relations with Israel.
I do NOT wear a kippa in Public in Turkey. (I wear a hat/cap)
Even with a hotel for a few nights Turkish Airlines can beat many airlines in terms of price.
I stayed at a decent hotel in Istanbul for about 50$/night.
They have fares to Israel for about 704$ in May of 2015.
Ukraine / Russian airlines are cheaper sometimes but I don't think they are great ..
How does Turkish airlines do it?
The only things I can think of : lower fuel costs? Lower wages? govt subsidies?
The airline is quite ok and Turkey is one of the few Muslim countries that flies to Israel with four or more flights per day on average...
This is not meant to be an Ad for Turk Air....but it is in interesting ::) phenomena....

If you have any questions regarding kosher food or shuls contact Rabbi Mendy Chitrik at mchitrik@gmail.com.
« Last edited by jedderai on July 01, 2015, 10:53:51 PM »

Author Topic: Türkiye Master Thread  (Read 34985 times)

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Turkey Master Thread
« Reply #160 on: June 26, 2022, 01:45:26 PM »
Thank you very much for your help especially @ponash123. I’m not a big writer. I will just write some bullet points. Hopefully some people can get some iuseful info from it.
Day 1 Izmir Jewish tour/ synagogues/cemetery/roman ruins-with tour guide
Day 2 Pamukkale/Hierapolis/Kaklik cave-rented car and drove there
Day 3 Ephesus- with tour guide
Day 4 Cappadocia- Hot air balloon/Uchisar castle/lookouts/ pteery shop/Goreme open air museum/sufi whirling dervish show/Turkish night dance
Day 5-undergrund city/Zelve open air museum/ Greek village/carpet shop/imagination valley/
Day 6 shabes
Day 7 Istanbul-Haiga Sophia/blue mosque/ Topkapi Palace (moses stick, Muhamad’s beard. Lol)/ Spice Bazaar/Galata bridge
Day 8-Grand Bazzar/galata tower/Istikal street/ Taksim Square/ferry from Karakoy(European) to Kadikoy (Asian) (dolmoboce palace closed on Monday-miscalculated)
Day 9-Jewish tour synagogues and cemeteries
Tip-Buy a museum pass
I am in love with Istanbul. That place has energy.

I finally booked a return flight from TLV with a long stop in IST (9 hours).

Recommendations?
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Türkiye Master Thread
« Reply #161 on: Yesterday at 09:55:15 AM »
I finally booked a return flight from TLV with a long stop in IST (9 hours).

Recommendations?

You can visit the classics in the allotted time, if not shlepping.

You want to look at the news (I did not follow it up close), but Israel warned its citizens NOT to visit Turkey at this time, and talks about Iranians with locals, looking to harm Israelis.
(To many, Jews are Israelis)

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Türkiye Master Thread
« Reply #162 on: Yesterday at 10:04:41 AM »
You can visit the classics in the allotted time, if not shlepping.

You want to look at the news (I did not follow it up close), but Israel warned its citizens NOT to visit Turkey at this time, and talks about Iranians with locals, looking to harm Israelis.
(To many, Jews are Israelis)

Could you please name the classics in order of significance. Also what's the best way to get around? Do I need to exchange currency or will I manage with a CC?

IINM they lowered the warning level.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Turkey Master Thread
« Reply #163 on: Yesterday at 02:21:28 PM »
I finally booked a return flight from TLV with a long stop in IST (9 hours).

Recommendations?
Just had an 8 hour layover in May and after leaving our carry-ons at the locker station on the ground level, we did the following:

-Uber to Kadıköy. Crossed the 15 July Martyrs Bridge from Europe to Asia.
-20-30 minute ferry Kadıköy-Eminönü crossing the Bosphorus back to Europe.
-Eminonu Square, Spice market, and Grand Bazaar, then back to the airport.

If you have more time, there's also Galata Tower and Galata Bridge in that area.

If you're flying Turkish and the timing aligns, you might be able to utilize their layover tours, though it seems it is still suspended due to covid. More info can be found here.

Note that US Citizens need a visa to enter Turkey. We made the mistake of applying through a third party online company (I didn't realize it wasn't the government directly) which cost us an extra $100.

As a side note; You're probably better off using taxis. Our Uber from the airport started acting as if his car is causing problems (when it wasn't) when approaching the city and dropped us off next to a taxi refusing to take us further. On the return, it took 15-20 minutes for the Uber to arrive and when realizing we're going to the airport he asked for more money. We refused and he ended up taking us.

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Turkey Master Thread
« Reply #164 on: Yesterday at 02:26:58 PM »
Just had an 8 hour layover in May and after leaving our carry-ons at the locker station on the ground level, we did the following:

-Uber to Kadıköy. Crossed the 15 July Martyrs Bridge from Europe to Asia.
-20-30 minute ferry Kadıköy-Eminönü crossing the Bosphorus back to Europe.
-Eminonu Square, Spice market, and Grand Bazaar, then back to the airport.

If you have more time, there's also Galata Tower and Galata Bridge in that area.

If you're flying Turkish and the timing aligns, you might be able to utilize their layover tours, though it seems it is still suspended due to covid. More info can be found here.

Note that US Citizens need a visa to enter Turkey. We made the mistake of applying through a third party online company (I didn't realize it wasn't the government directly) which cost us an extra $100.

As a side note; You're probably better off using taxis. Our Uber from the airport started acting as if his car is causing problems (when it wasn't) when approaching the city and dropped us off next to a taxi refusing to take us further. On the return, it took 15-20 minutes for the Uber to arrive and when realizing we're going to the airport he asked for more money. We refused and he ended up taking us.

Thanks.

I was wondering if leaving my luggage in a locker in the Business lounge is an option.

I specifically want to visit the cemetery and Ashkenazi shul, as well as at least one address in the Galata area.

I've been doing some online research and it seemed like Uber just summons a regular taxi, but from your post it seems like that's not the case. I read that there are two local apps (itaksi and bitaksi) which seem to work, but I don't know if those will work for a foreigner.

Is a Visa not obtained at the airport/passport control? How about Israeli Citizens, is a visa required?

Did you need to exchange currency, or can one manage with a CC?
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Turkey Master Thread
« Reply #165 on: Yesterday at 02:50:10 PM »
Thanks.

I was wondering if leaving my luggage in a locker in the Business lounge is an option.

I specifically want to visit the cemetery and Ashkenazi shul, as well as at least one address in the Galata area.

I've been doing some online research and it seemed like Uber just summons a regular taxi, but from your post it seems like that's not the case. I read that there are two local apps (itaksi and bitaksi) which seem to work, but I don't know if those will work for a foreigner.

Is a Visa not obtained at the airport/passport control? How about Israeli Citizens, is a visa required?

Did you need to exchange currency, or can one manage with a CC?
I thought about leaving in the lounge as well, but we ended up leaving the airport prior to visiting the lounge as FWIU you need to either enter the country or clear customs as a transfer passenger before you can access the lounge and we didn't want to waste time doing both. Also, I doubt they'll officially let you leave it there and not sure how/when they check for left over luggage. FWIW, the locker fee was like $2.50.

Uber did summon a taxi. What I meant was if I did it again, I'd just hail a taxi.

Not sure about getting a visa at the airport, but it seems you can apply online with the government directly so that's what I would do.

I did take out some lira at the airport ATM. You can probably make do with a CC, but it came in handy for street vendors.

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Turkey Master Thread
« Reply #166 on: Yesterday at 03:03:28 PM »
I thought about leaving in the lounge as well, but we ended up leaving the airport prior to visiting the lounge as FWIU you need to either enter the country or clear customs as a transfer passenger before you can access the lounge and we didn't want to waste time doing both. Also, I doubt they'll officially let you leave it there and not sure how/when they check for left over luggage. FWIW, the locker fee was like $2.50.

Uber did summon a taxi. What I meant was if I did it again, I'd just hail a taxi.

Not sure about getting a visa at the airport, but it seems you can apply online with the government directly so that's what I would do.

I did take out some lira at the airport ATM. You can probably make do with a CC, but it came in handy for street vendors.

I'm not sure what you mean by "doing both" as far as accessing the lounge. Could you please clarify?

Since I'm not planning on visiting the bazaar (will leave that to when I visit with DW) any other importance to having local currency?

Also, my current flight schedule is leaving TLV 7am and landing in IST 9:20am with the flight to NY leaving at 6:30pm. Is that reasonable, or am I better off taking a flight the night before, taking a nap for a couple of hours at the airport, and then starting my day earlier in IST?
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Turkey Master Thread
« Reply #167 on: Yesterday at 03:25:42 PM »
I'm not sure what you mean by "doing both" as far as accessing the lounge. Could you please clarify?

Since I'm not planning on visiting the bazaar (will leave that to when I visit with DW) any other importance to having local currency?

Also, my current flight schedule is leaving TLV 7am and landing in IST 9:20am with the flight to NY leaving at 6:30pm. Is that reasonable, or am I better off taking a flight the night before, taking a nap for a couple of hours at the airport, and then starting my day earlier in IST?
It is my understanding, and I might be wrong on this, that when arriving at IST you first have to clear customs before you can access the lounge. They have two separate lines, one is for transferring passengers, and one is to enter the country. If we had done the "transfer" line, then went to the lounge, we'd have to go through customs again to enter Turkey. As the lounge is airside, it didn't make sense to do the opposite either.

I paid the taxi with cash, but I'm guessing they take CC. If you can confirm that online, I don't think you'll need cash.

We had a similar schedule arriving IST at approx 10:30AM. I guess timing depends on what you want to do and when you want to it.

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Re: Türkiye Master Thread
« Reply #168 on: Yesterday at 05:49:02 PM »
Looks like Israeli citizens are exempt from a visa, since I doubt my Israeli citizenship renouncement will be approved by then, I guess I can save myself $20 (if paid online in advance) or $30 (if paid upon arrival at the airport).

Turkish visa fees: https://www.mfa.gov.tr/data/KONSOLOSLUK/vize-harc-miktarlari-en.pdf

Turkish visa requirements by country: https://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

Turkish eVisa online application: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan