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Driving In Turkey

If you plan to be driving when you visit Turkey you should be familiar with some of the laws and conditions of driving in Turkey.

With a total of 354,421 km of roads, Turkey boasts an extensive network of modern, well-maintained routes linking its cities, small towns and major tourist areas. Unlike many emerging markets, Turkey has a very adequate infrastructure at the ready to cope with rapid growth.

As a modern country, Turkey also has a well developed public transport system, and therefore does not always require visitors to use a car. However if you wish to get off the beaten track, where public transport is limited, then driving will give you the freedom to do so.

Driving conditions

Some of the highways in Turkey only have two lanes and many of the roads across Turkey have pot holes which you should be cautious of.

Some of the bigger commercial highways including the one connecting Ankara to Istanbul are broader and offer better road conditions for driving however there are usually a lot of trucks and lorries driving on these highways which can slow things down.

Driving in the crowded cities of Turkey can be frustrating although there are some quieter highways which provide a pleasant driving experience in Turkey.

Driving laws

Motorists drive on the right hand side of the road and right of way always belongs to traffic coming from the right. In reality, however, you will often see this law ignored when driving in Turkey so you will just have to observe, go with the flow and get a feeling for what is acceptable. The speed limit for driving in Turkey is 90 km/h on the highways and 50km/h in towns, although once again these limits are often ignored and people driving in Turkey drive very fast.

Driving permit

Car hire companies and police will require you to show your full driving license from your home country. Provided you have your full driving license there should not be any need to obtain an international driving permit.

Main roads

The Bosphorus crossing to Asia has been greatly improved by the completion of the Istanbul bypass. In addition there are two Bosphorus (Bogazici) bridges which lead to the Istanbul - Ankara Expressway.

The E80 and E90 are the two main roads leading to Turkey from European borders and they also link the Iranian and Iraqi borders. All Turkish expressways are constructed in accordance with Asian and Middle Eastern international road standards.

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