THE ROAD LAYOUT
Driving in Turkey is hardly a pleasure. It's a shame because there are some beautiful views on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, which can be totally missed if you're concentrating on driving( which you should be of course) and that's an important part of any Turkey holidays.The most obvious fact is that they drive on the right hand side of the road. Once you've adapted-if in deed you need to- to having the steering wheel and pedals on the left side of your vehicle, you are then faced with a road layout which may be slightly different to what you're used to.
The first thing you'll possibly notice is the narrow "lane " on the curb-side. This is very important. It is not an inside lane, nor is it a hard shoulder. I would best describe it as a UTILITY lane. It's basically there for improvised driving in Turkey. The inner lane is somewhat wider than a cycling lane, though it can vary considerably depending on the available space. It is just wide enough to be totally abused.
It's main use is for filtering in to busy roads from junctions or slipways. A lot like joining a motorway but on minor and "A" roads as well as major highways. You should pull out to the main lane when the opportunity arises. Be wary; drivers will pull out onto this slipway with little regard for approaching traffic, causing you to slow down or pull out wider.
The more important use from my point of view, is when leaving the carriageway to turn left. In many countries you would stop in the middle of the carriageway and wait for a break in the on-coming traffic to make your left turn. When driving in Turkey this is not always the safe thing to do. Other drivers will harass you and overtake you on the inside and even the outside, but oncoming traffic may also be overtaking on YOUR side of the road!! It can be a little frightening.
When driving in Turkey the safest option when turning left is to pull in to the inner curb-side lane, and wait for a break in the traffic before indicating your left turn and moving out to complete the manoeuvre as quickly and effectively as possible.
Speed limits are constantly ignored by many Turkish drivers,& others, so don't hesitate to pull in to this lane to give them a little more room, but check no-one is taking you on your inside.
The vehicle above has eased into the inner lane to allow overtaking,but get back into the main lane when possible or you can get blocked in.
When driving in Turkey you have some specific legal requirements.
In general, when driving in Turkey you are subject to similar laws as in much of Europe and the UK.
120kmph on intercity major motorways
90 kmph on most out of town major roads
50 to 70kmph on most urban roads
20/30kmph around school areas
Obviously it's not worth risking an offense, but don't assume that because you are in a predominantly Muslim country other drivers will not be under the influence of alcohol. Always drive defensively.
is where driving in Turkey gets
difficult. Rules of etiquette, common sense, safety first, and the law,
just go out of the window. Long lists have been compiled of all the things that
happen, or don't happen, or should happen when driving. The list is endless but include:
Most road signs follow the international standard.Unfortunately,many Turkish drivers prefer to ignore signs.
Whatever you can possibly imagine happens on Turkey's roads. The guiding principle when driving in Turkey is
Drive defensively and expect the unexpected.
Fortunately, the Turkish Mediterranean region is not as challenging as Istanbul or Ankara, but you still need your wits about you at all times.
A less familiar sign to most,although it's meaning is clear.Yavas means "slow down" in Turkish.You might wish to remember this when you are in a taxi or transfer bus!!!!
The other main sign you need to recognise is DUR, which means STOP. Again, many drivers will ignore this and you should not assume your right of way will be respected."Expect the unexpected".
Not really turtles.The woodland area around the beaches & golf courses in Belek & Kadriye are a conservation area for TORTOISES.Unfortunately they do get through the fences & onto the busy main road,with obvious consequences.
Drive defensively but be positive when you need to. And do not assume anything. There is so much to be aware of , but if I could give only one bit of advice it would be
Do not assume a green light means it is safe to proceed. Be particularly careful when crossing intersections as many drivers try to run red lights and your view is often blocked by landscaping, as in this picture.
More signs than you can shake a stick at.But these carriageway crossing points are extremely dangerous.Don't assume your right of way.Edge out slowly until you can see the road you are entering.
Driving in Turkey can be stressful,but with great care you can get around to many of the great sites you might want to see on your Turkey holidays.
However,you can get to most places around the Turkish Mediterranean by coach, dolmus(mini-bus) or by taxi.Certainly places like Antalya & Alanya are more enjoyable if you don't have the hassle of driving & all that it entails; parking,navigating etc.Getting around on your Turkey holidays is easy.
To book your Fairways Villa16 holiday,contact Jeff at :
Fridays from 7pm,Asian and Oriental buffet. 50tl per person. Includes: onion bahjies, samosas, Chinese spring rolls,Vegetable Roti, Chicken satay. Types of " hoppers". Main courses include Birianies,Chicken and lamb curries,Butter chicken,Vegetable noodles,sweet and sour chicken, and chicken devil. Booking required, see Kadriye Restaurants for details.