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Confused.com’s guide to driving in Turkey

Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, TurkeyRich with culture, history and fascinating geography, Turkey is a country worth exploring by road.

Getting started

Turkey is famous for its beautiful coastline and beaches, but there’s more to this country than sun, sea and sand. As a centre of trade and civilisation for thousands of years, Turkey is rich with historical sights and diverse geography just waiting to be discovered.

Hit the road

Getting to Turkey by car from the UK requires a trans-European trek, which will tax your car and your wallet. Most visitors hire a car on arrival, which is easy to do in major towns, cities and resorts.

The roads interlinking cities and populated areas are generally of good quality, but they can deteriorate rapidly as you venture off the beaten track.

The standard of driving, and of vehicles on Turkey’s roads, varies wildly too. Frenetic city traffic and poorly surfaced rural roads require care and concentration at the wheel.

Star drive

Sampling some of Turkey’s vast coastline is a must on any visit to this country. The Aegean Coast, lined with stunning beaches and historic sites, is one of the most beautiful on offer. A long section of this twisty coast road can be found by heading west off the E87 past Selçuk, easily accessible from the large port town of Izmir.

Whilst in the area, be sure to take in historic Ephesus, home to the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Best of the rest

Driving in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul is an experience to be savoured. An expansive road network that comprises everything from multi-lane highways to narrow, cobbled streets service this rich, colourful and diverse city.

The ancient and vast city walls - some of the most complicated fortification systems ever built - still remain partially intact. In the central Fatih district, the vast Hagia Sofia is hard to miss, even when concentrating on the kamikaze traffic.

Laws of the land

  • The minimum age for visiting drivers is 18
  • Dipped headlights are required in poor visibility and after sunset
  • The alcohol limit is 0.05 per cent or 0 per cent if towing

Local knowledge

Drivers must carry a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and two warning triangles, and all accidents must be reported to the police. It’s also worth considering the country’s variable weather – snow is common in many parts during the winter.

Turkish speed limits

Road type

Speed limit

Residential areas

50 kmh

Built-up areas

50 kmh

Outside built-up areas

90 kmh

Motorways

120 kmh

Limits are reduced by 10 kmh if towing

 

Did you know?

Istanbul is the only city in the world to span two continents. Two road bridges connect Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus.

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