Planes Trains and Automobiles (Getting Around and Getting By in Turkey)

IMG_3171There are lots of ways one could seek to describe a year in a foreign country.

This is a semi-chronological list of cities visited and forms of transportation utilized in those places (cities with multiple visits are listed as one entry for uniformity) … for what it’s worth.

I often tire of people’s shock upon learning that I don’t possess a driver’s license. As this list rather exhaustively suggests, outside of the short periods of time I now spend in Northwest Ohio, I have very little trouble moving from place to place, even across a country as expansive as Turkey.

Some of the items listed below are quite novel, like “gondola” or “hot air balloon.” In general though, I think this list paints an incomplete yet interesting portrait of inter-city and inter-country travel in Turkey, and its accessibility. The large number of airports is worth noting, as are the varieties of public transportation available in every major city I’ve visited…. also worth mentioning/clarifying that I certainly didn’t utilize every form in every city, though I’d say my lists are fairly representative. In some cases, the lack of variety is merely a consequence of my limited time in that locale.

Ankara:

  • airplane
  • Havas airport shuttle (charter bus)
  • taxi
  • underground rail
  • city bus
  • “dolmus” minibus
  • high speed train
  • private car

Kirikkale

  • dolmus
  • taxi
  • personal car
  • charter bus

Istanbul:

  • airplane
  • Havas airport shuttle (charter bus)
  • taxi
  • underground rail
  • city bus
  • “dolmus” minibus
  • funicular rail
  • tram (above-groud light rail)
  • ferry boat
  • personal car

Eskisehir:

  • high speed train
  • taxi
  • tram
  • personal car
  • gondola

Konya: 

  • high speed train
  • dolmus
  • city bus
  • tram

Gaziantep:

  • airplane
  • HAVAS airport shuttle
  • taxi

Antalya: 

  • city bus
  • taxi
  • charter bus
  • dolmus

Malatya and Adiyaman Province: 

  • city bus
  • dolmus
  • airplane
  • taxi

Mugla/Gokova:

  • charter bus
  • dolmus

Hasankeyf:

  • dolmus

Van: 

  • charter bus
  • dolmus
  • taxi
  • airplane

Mardin: 

  • taxi

Batman: 

  • airplane
  • city bus
  • dolmus

Nevesehir/Goreme (Cappadocia):

  • charter bus
  • dolmus
  • taxi
  • ATV
  • bicycle
  • hot air balloon

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Planes Trains and Automobiles (Getting Around and Getting By in Turkey)

  1. You may realise that Turkey’s long haul and local inter-town bus network is slowly reducing in size which, I find, a minor tragedy. This would seem to result from a combination of ridiculously high fuel prices and growth in car ownership. I live outside Fethiye and the number of daily midi coaches (27-seater) doing the Fethiye – Marmaris run has halved in the past five years. Bus ticket prices have also risen. Not only has this affected travel for the back packer fraternity but for lower paid Turks for whom the bus used to be the only way to go. Whilst you and I think nothing of hopping on a domestic flight, which can be very cheap here, for a Turk from a village away from the developed cities/western coastal strip flying is not on their radar. Hitch hiking is becoming more and more common for young Turks and, I fear, many people are ironically stuck in their villages as they would have been in times past. Meanwhile the public transport in cities such as Ankara and Istanbul is superb. And, finally, the Trafik Polis are implementing a vigorous campaign to get old cars off the road by setting up check points where drivers have to produce road worthiness certificates and insurance which are often not in place for the man from a village driving his 30-year-old Renault. I discovered your blog via my Twitter feed a few days ago, keep up the good work.

    • Thanks so much for commenting! I recently finished your book on expat life in Turkey, and found it quite useful and greatly enjoyed it. I’m in Kirikkale, where the dolmuş remains the primary and sole mode of in-city transport (though I admit I haven’t investigated inter-province bus options, to Kesgin, for example). There’s three or four bus companies that run to Ankara on a half hour schedule during extended business hours, and many students rely on them, commuting from Ankara to attend Kirikkale University, where I teach. Cars remain prohibitively expensive for many in Kirikkale. Thanks for adding your insights!

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