Life in turkey

Culture, Art and History

Turkey is a unique country with its natural wonders, history and culture. With plenty of civilizations from the past, the land Turkey sits on can be described as an outdoor museum. Turkey, which has carried the bright structure of every civilization until today, attracts the attention of the world as a unique country in which art and culture are on a constant display.

Almost every city in Turkey has its own value of tourism, which reminds us a paradise with its mountains, rivers, caves, ski resorts and beaches.

In Turkey, there are 9 cultural and natural inheritances as the ‘world heritage’, a status given by UNESCO to internationally unique splendors, monuments and sites because they are worthy of protection and admiration.
Among many, here are some of the historical places you can enjoy visiting: Istanbul, city of Safranbolu (Karabük), Hattuşaş (Boğazköy)- Capital of Hittite (Çorum), Mount Nemrut (Adıyaman-Kahta), Xanthos-Letoon (Antalya-Muğla), Divriği Ulu Camii and Hospital (Sivas), the ancient city of Troy (Çanakkale), Pamukkale-Hierapolis (Denizli), Göreme National Park and Cappadocia (Nevşehir).

Visiting these places while you study will give you the opportunity to comprehend Turkey’s cultural and historical richness. For more information, you can visit the website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Directorate General of Cultural Beings and Museums at

Recently, there is a vividness in arts such as cinema, theatre and music. International and national cinema, music and theatre festivals are organized throughout the year in most of the cities, especially in Ankara and İstanbul. To follow the events, you can visit state theaters and opera and ballet general directorate’s.

If you are interested in history and culture, you can visit museums and the ruins which are over 300 in numbers, and also which are subject to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, for a year without paying anything by getting a ‘museum card’ for a nominal fee and submitting your student id. The details could be found at:


International Adana Golden Ball Film Festival, Ankara International Film Festival, İstanbul International Film Festival, International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Bursa Silk Road Festival, Filmekimi, International Short Film Festival, Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival are of the main ones.


Ankara International Music Festival, Akbank Jazz Festival, Bursa Rock Festival, Rumeli Hisarı Concerts, Rock’n Coke, İzmir European Jazz Festival, İstanbul Jazz Festival, Freshtival, Rock İstanbul are important organizations where local and foreign artists take place in. Also, spring festivals and music festivals are organized by the majority of the universities every year. For the detailed information, you can visit the websites of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts or municipalites.


Almost all campus universities have a variety of accommodation facilities. Apart from university dormitories, state owned dormitories serve for all students. Students should consult their universities for accommodation facilities. Another option, particularly in main cities, is that of rented accommodation, often shared with other students.


In all universities there are many alternatives of good quality food services for students at reasonable prices. Cafes and restaurants around the university are another option for eating out or you may prefer doing your own cooking.
Eating is a significant part of social life in Turkey. In addition to traditional Turkish cuisine, one can find different types of food such as fast-food, vegetarian. Turkish cuisine is worthy of experience with each regional specialties.


Public transportation is very convenient and provided by buses, minibuses (dolmus), and subways (only in major cities). Students have the right to a special discount for transportation both for intra-city and inter-city transportation.
One can use airway or railways to travel within Turkey, for more information refer to the web pages of:
Turkish Airlines:
Turkish Railways:


Universities in Turkey have some sort of medical centers in their campuses. However, international students are strongly advised to come to Turkey with a valid health insurance policy. In case of illness, international students may use health service but are required to pay for the services and are reimbursed by their insurance later. International students are responsible for costs of hospitalisation or for any medical service or treatment not available at university health center.
All hospitals have an emergency room that is open 24 hours a day. Physicians and pharmacies are on call nights and weekends.


All the Turkish Universities have libraries in their campuses. One can easily reach variety of sources like periodicals, electronic journals, audio-visual materials in most of the university libraries. However as the language of instruction is Turkish in many universities; books, library sources, references are in Turkish. There are a few university libraries such as METU (Middle East Technical University), Hacettepe University, Bilkent University in Ankara; and Bosphorus University, ITU (Istanbul Technical University) and Sabanci University in Istanbul whose books and materials are in English.

Computing Facilities

Whichever university you go in Turkey, you will surely find computer labs with internet connection for your service. All the universities give user codes and passwords for their degree students.

Social Life

Studying in Turkey is a great opportunity for a high quality education but there is more than that.

Turkey’s cities have many historical and cultural sites to visit. If you are interested in arts, there are many options such as going to theaters and cinemas, visiting exhibitions and enjoying festivals.

  1. Student Clubs
    You may consider joining a variety of clubs, student associations all of that can enrich your life in Turkey.
  2. Sport Facilities

In Turkey, you can see all the characteristics of four climates, so there are various sports alternatives to take part in from swimming, rafting, boating, to skiing. Also, football, basketball, volleyball and jogging are a part of the vast array of sports and recreational activities you can enjoy.



International students will encounter with rich culture, deep-rooted history and unique nature in addition to a quality education in Turkey. Turkey is one of the best choices for education with its reasonable cost of living and its hospitable people as well as the natural and historical treasure.

Official Name : The Republic Of Turkey

Capital City : Ankara

Largest Cities : İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Antalya, Konya, Bursa, Kayseri, Samsun, Trabzon, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Kocaeli, Diyarbakır, Sakarya, Mersin, Gaziantep.

Area : 814.578 km

Coastal Length : 7.200 km

Coastal Borders : Mediterranean Sea at south; Aegean Sea at west; Black Sea at north

Language : Turkish

Neighboring Countries : Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Iraq, Armenia, Iran, Syria

Currency : 1 € = 2,37 TL (Turkish Lira), 1 $ = 1,78 TL

Population : 74.724.000 (31 December 2011)

The Number of Cities : 81

Population Growth Rate : % 1,2

Life Expectancy : 73,7 (Male: 76,1 – Female: 71,5)

Time Zone : GMT +2; CET +1

Office Hours : In Turkey, working days are from Monday to Friday. Most of the banks, government offices and the majority of private companies are open between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00.

Food-Beverage : Turkish food is known as healthy and delicious. (For more info you can look up Food & Beverages section)

National Holidays : There are two types of holidays in Turkey. The first one is national holidays which are held on the same day every year (Such as 1 January, 23 April, 1 May, 30 August, 19 May, 29 October) and the other one is religious holidays which are held on different days every year accordingly to lunar calendar.

Water : Tap water is perfectly safe to drink.

Electricity : 220V. Standard European type double plug is used.

Health Services : There are international private hospitals and high quality state hospitals in the cities and main touristic towns.

Visa : The foreigners visiting Turkey or travelling as a tourist can obtain a visa at the border gates or from the Turkish embassies in other countries. Some people may be eligible to be exempted from visa depending to the type of the passport they hold. However, if the purpose of the travel is education, research or work, it is an obligation to have an “annotated visa” that should be obtained at the Turkish Embassies or Consulates in the country of origin.

Communication Services: There are 3 GSM operators which have approximately 95% of coverage area and each has 3G services. Internet access is available across the country.

International phone code : +90