Life in Aksaray
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Turkey is considerably less than in the UK and other Mediterranean countries such as, Spain, Greece and Cyprus. Locally grown fresh produce is common and food is generally much cheaper.
In Aksaray, cost of living is cheaper than most European countries. For instance, the cost of dining out in a good restaurant is about 5-10 Euros (15-35 TL). Essentials such as food stuffs, water and electricity is rather cheap. Fruit and vegetables are notably fresh and cheap in season.
Public transportation is convenient in all cities and considerably cheap. The inter-city transportation is also quite inexpensive and comfortable. International students may use the semester breaks or other official holidays to explore the country.
Students have the opportunity of renting an apartment flat, but price may vary depending on the district, quality and size. Many students share accommodation to keep costs down and usually find places to meet their needs and preferences. Average cost of an four-room apartment ranges between 150-200 Euros . Apart from rental, monthly paid utilities for Electricity about 15-20 Euros , Water Bill about 10 Euros , Heating 100 Euros , and for waste and disposal 15 Euros
Shops are usually open everyday including weekends until nearly 20:00. Supermarkets are open until 22.00. Shopping in Turkey is irresistible for the wide range of unique and beautiful crafts available there. Once you see the variety of products with this "very different" and unique Turkish style, you will want to take some home to share with your friends and family. In Aksaray, you can have a good time at Parksite which embodies both a Supermarket and lots of clothes shops. Also, there is a cinema and a big zone with a large number of fastfood restaurants. Moreover, especially on Saturdays and Tuesdays, you can go to the Farmer’s Markets to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at fair price.
The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). Notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 , 200 TL.
Coins are in the denominations of 1 TRY, Kuruş is in denomination of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50.
Weights and Measures
Metric system is used in Turkey: metres(m), kilogrammes(kg), litres(l) and cubic metres(m3) for fluids.
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
1 yard = 0,9144 meters
1 meter = 1.0936 yards
1 mile = 1,6093 kilometers
1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
1 pound = 0,4536 kilograms
1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
Meals and Restaurants
Sanitation is taken seriously and strictly controlled in general by authorities .Those who are vegetarian will be able to find vegetable food or at least omlet which is very popular in Turkey, almost in every town. The Turkish and Ottoman Kitchen is one of the world leading kitchens (Supposed to be the third after the Chinese and French). Dishes are mainly cooked with meat (lamb, chicken and cow -please note that in Turkey pork is not eaten-) and vegetables (Beans, Eggplant, Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Potatoes, Courgette). Rice, macaroni , local specialties made from flour (Pide, Manti, Gozleme, Borek...), sweets (Baklava, Kadayıf, Burma, Sobiyet ...) are all widely eaten. Most of the restaurants display their food in windows, or waiters can bring the samples if you request. Restaurants are usually open everyday including weekends until 22.00. Apart from the restaurants, there are also cafés and bars which prepare light meals and snacks.
Road and Traffic
In Turkey traffic runs on the right lane. Speed limits for cars and motorbikes are the following: 50 km/h in towns, 110 km/h out of towns and 120km/h on motorways. People driving with over 0.5 g of alcohol per litre of blood are fined. Drivers must wear their seat belts at all times and it is illegal to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet.
Transports within Turkey are mainly by land as well as railway. However, you can also travel by plane.
In Aksaray, as there is no train or plane, you have to travel by bus. Dolmuş is the main means of transport, however there is no ticket so you must pay cash. Private minibuses circle the city all day long and most locations are within easy reach.
Each city has a bus station (otogar), where each bus company has its own office, where you can make reservations and buy tickets. Alternatively, you can buy tickets from local travel agencies.
Taxis can be found within the city and identified with their original yellow color. They operate using taxi-meters and the fare depends on the length of your journey. They are naturally more expensive than dolmuº, but foreign visitors usually find the fares quite reasonable .
Emergency Services and Pharmacies
Medical Emergency Services in hospitals are operational 24 hours a day. Medisaray Hastanesi and Aksaray Hastanesi are the two main private hospitals. There are also many other health centres and clinics in Aksaray. If you are in a hurry and need to reach to a hospital or a health center, you can call a taxi.
All pharmacies are open from Monday to Friday, from 8.00 to 19.00, and pharmacies on duty are open 24 hours. They are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, only pharmacies on duty are open these days.
The phone number of Medical Emergency Service is 112. (all over Turkey)
There are two types of security force in Turkey - local police department and military police, gendarme.In many areas you will see that there is the one or the other, and that both fulfill the same function. In some places, there are also specialist tourism police with fluent second language. If you need to report a crime you should go to the nearest police station. In touristic areas there will usually be someone available, who speaks English or you can always request a translator. You will usually be asked to submit and sign a statement. It is advisable to request a copy of any relative document in case you need it at a later stage.
The phone number of Police Emergency is 155. (all over Turkey)
Aksaray has got the Continental climate, the summers are hot and dry, winters are cold and snowy. There is temperature difference between day and night. Mean daily temperature in Aksaray is 11.5°C. The highest temperature recorded in August is 38.4°C and the average temperature recorded in January is -2°C. Minimal rainfall has been recorded in July. Annual precipitation is 351.6mm. Snowfall begins in November and ends in April. The highest snow depth has been recorded as 45cm. Summers are hot and dry on the plain, but the area is green and covered in flowers in springtime, when water streams off the mountainside.
Sun hats, sunglasses and light, cotton clothing are advisable in the summer. However, warmer clothes should be taken for cool evenings. Also, comfortable shoes are necessary for visiting archeological and historical places. Warm, even heavy woolen clothes are advisable during winter especially in the month of December and January.
To call Turkey you should dial the international country code +90.
To call abroad from Aksaray, you should dial:
00 + international code + area code + phone number.
The area code of Aksaray is 382.
Therefore, to call Aksaray University from abroad, you should dial:
The int. code Aksaray local area code Phone number
+90 382 288 28 90
The three main GSM operators in Turkey are Turkcell, Turk Telekom and Vodafone and they have roaming agreements with international operators. All mobile operators use GSM standard, with 900-1800 MHz frequency band
In order to be able to call your home country without paying any roaming cost, BlueSim Card is advised. BlueSim is the only roaming free Turkish SIM card designed for the travellers visiting Turkey. Bluesim is a service provided by Vodafone. You can top-up your Bluesim by purchasing a top-up card of Vodafone Turkey from any Vodafone shop, GSM shop, supermarket, convenience store. These cards come as 100, 250 and 500 unit cards and can be found in the above shops anywhere in Turkey.
It is also possible to use Turkcell GSM Network. When you get to Turkey, you can easily switch to Turkcell with your mobile phone. There are steps to make this operation. Here are the instructions you need: menu>settings>network selection>manuel>select Turkcell.
If you intend to stay for a while or expect to be making a significant number of calls whilst in Turkey, you may consider purchasing a local prepaid line to use during your stay. These can be purchased form one of the many mobile phone shops and “topped up” as required by purchasing Turkcell Hazır Kart (Kontor Kart) from newspaper booths and many other outlets.
Internet use is rather inexpensive in Turkey. Most hotels, pensions and hostels have a computer dedicated to the Web. If you travel with your own laptop computer, most hotels offer fast (ADSL) wireless internet access in at least one public space, such as the lobby or lounge. If you subscribe to ADSL, you should apply to TTNET corners or you can buy other internet packet. You pay about 15 Euros (30 TL) per month.
Electricity and Energy
Turkey has abundant reserves of renewable energy, such as solar, wind and geothermal. Turkey has one eighth of the world's geothermal potential and is ranked 7th in the world. Turkey is located on the Mediterranean volcanic belt which is one of the most promising geothermal fields. There is about 128 billion kWh per year in hydropower potential in Turkey. About 35 per cent of hydropower potential is used to generate electricity and hydropower plants with an installed capacity of 11 billion kWh/year are under construction. Conventional thermal sources comprise the largest share of Turkey’s electricity supply, contributing 68 percent in 2004. Turkey has 220 volts a.c. 50HZ power sy
In Turkey, the standard Wall sockets take two round pin plugs, similar to the one used in many European countries. You will need an adapter if you intend to use appliances not fitted with this type of plug; it is a good idea to bring a suitable adaptor with you as this may be difficult to find locally.
Turkish post offices are easily recognizable by the yellow and black 'PTT' signs in front of them. Major post offices are open from 08.30-17.30 Monday to Friday. In addition to selling stamps and telephone tokens and cards, some post offices will also exchange cash as well as international postal orders and travellers' cheques. There is also an express postal service (APS) operating to 90 countries for letters, documents and small packages. A wide variety of special stamps are available in all PTT centers for philatelists.
In Aksaray, there are also parcel services such as Yurtiçi Kargo, MNG, TNT which operate with United parcel Service International (UPS). With these services, your parcel arrives at its destination quickly both around Turkey and worldwide.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 8.00 to 17.30 with a break between 12.30 and 13.30, and closed on Saturdays and Sundays, and public holidays. All of them enable you to exchange money or make cash withdrawals with your credit card.
National banks in Aksaray are Türkiye Ziraat Bankası, Türkiye Halk Bankası, Türkiye İş Bankası.
Cash point machines (ATM) are available in most areas, which accept major European credit and 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. Exchange rates are published daily in Turkish newspapers. If you are planning to exchange currency back from TL before leaving the country, or are making a major purchase, which may need to be declared to customs, you will need to keep your transaction receipts in order to show that the currency has been legally exchanged. Exchange offices offer a faster service and better rates when compared to banks or hotels. Turkey has no black market, foreign currencies are readily accepted in most shops, hotels and restaurants in many tourist areas. The national branches of Finansbank, Fortis Bank, Denizbank, Oyakbank and TC Ziraat banks will do Western Union transfers.
How to open a Turkish Bank account? Contact the Turkish Tax Office in the province in which you plan to open your Turkish bank account. After you've provided the office with proof of identity and the address of your Turkish residence, you will be issued a tax number which you will need to open your new Turkish bank account. Contact a bank in your country that has branches in Turkey. Citibank, Fortis, HSBC, ING are all familiar banks that have branches in Turkey. Contact the main or regional offices of these banks for assistance in opening your new Turkish bank account. Fill out the proper authorization forms. An associate at the bank of your choosing will supply you with all the necessary forms to complete to open a Turkish bank account.
Tap water is drinkable in most of the cities in Turkey. However, in Aksaray, you should drink bottled water