Turkey - Tourism, travel, and recreation



In addition to the museums and monuments of Istanbul, places of interest include the Aegean ports of Izmir and Bodrun; the ancient cities of Troy (Ilium), Ephesus, Tarsus, Konya, Samsun, Erzurum, and Trabzon; Mt. Ararat, traditionally considered the landing place of Noah's Ark, the remains of which some expeditions have tried to find; the ski resort of Uludag, 36 km (22 mi) south of Bursa; and the sea resort of Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast. Water sports, mountaineering, and football (soccer) are popular forms of recreation, as are such traditional Turkish sports as grease wrestling (yag˘li güres¸), camel fighting (deve güres¸i), and a horseback javelin competition (cirit oyonu) played mainly in eastern Turkey.

Citizens of the United States, Canada, Japan, and most Western European countries need a valid passport but no visa for stays of up to three months. Foreigners entering without a visa and remaining longer than three months must secure a residence permit from the police. No vaccinations or inoculations are required of visitors arriving directly from Europe or the United States.

In 2000, 9,585,695 tourists arrived in Turkey. Tourism receipts totaled $7.6 billion. There were 155,441 hotel rooms and 322,334 bed-places with a 37% occupancy rate that year.

In 2001, the US State Department estimated the cost of traveling in Istanbul at $218 per day; the estimated daily cost of staying in Ankara was $223.

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