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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 00:00

Driving in Turkey

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Believe it or not there are actually a myriad of traffic laws in Turkey,

frequently ignored, rarely enforced (except the ones that generate a lot of revenue in fines quickly!) and seemingly arbitrary, here is a non-exhaustive list of just some of the laws and regulations that drivers SHOULD do, following that is a list of what drivers DO DO, so you can be prepared....


  • Have a valid driving licence

  • Paid your Car tax

  • If your car is older than 3 years old then you must have a current TUV test certificate/sticker

  • Have a minimum of traffic insurance (3rd Party) and optionally, Kasko (Fully comprehensive)

  • Must stick to the posted speed limits (if you can find any!), generally 120kmph on intercity "motorways", 90kmph on most out of town roads, 50-70kmph on urban roads and 20-30kmph in school areas. - The Polis do use radar speed traps with alarming frequency, are very strict with limits and fines can be hundreds of lira.

  • Stop at a red light (no its NOT obvious to most Turkish drivers, so when you do brake for a red light, watch out behind you, the guy behind may just be thinking you're both gonna run it if its just changed!)

  • When turning left, indicate left but pull over to right, the thinking behind this seems to be that other cars can go past you and when you can see its clear in our wing mirror you turn!

  • If you accident DO NOT MOVE THE CARS, call the police and wait in a safe place.

  • Keep your car documents in the car at all times.

  • You must have a first aid kit, emergency triangle warning sign and fire extinguisher in the car at all times.

  • It is illegal to drive while on the phone, yeah I know its hilarious and I cant get anyone to believe me, I thought it was compulsory to be on the phone while driving! They are clamping down now though as its another good source of easy revenue (unlike chasing red light runners).

  • There are traffic cameras but most seem to be there just to record accidents to put on Youtube later, they arent used in law enforcement, yet.

  • Although the ruling paty (AKP) are pushing for a zero limit for drink driving currently the legal limit for blood alcohol while driving is 0.05mg per 100ml of blood.


  • As mentioned above, red lights don't mean much in Turkey, keep an eye on your rear view mirror when stopping, some Turkish drivers can get quite irate if you stop at a red light in front of them!

  • Beep their horn with ESP like skill milliseconds before a light turns green then take 5 seconds to engage the clutch and pull away themselves.

  • There is no concept of road courtesy, dont wait for anyone to let you in, they wont! Assertive and definite driving is the order of the day.

  • Indicators are just another distraction so most dont use them.

  • Hazard lights on the other hand are used for everything, perhaps theyre prettier, who knows.

  • If you beep at anyone, even for a warning, YOU are the one in the wrong, always! The car in front could have mowed down a group of schoolkids or caused a 3 km long tailback but if you dare to beep or berate them in any way YOU will get the wrath of the driver, its THEIR road and they can do no wrong, period.

  • Dont be provoked into any road rage incidents, many many drivers in Turkey carry weapons in their car, from bats to knives to guns and are prepared to use them at a moments notice.

  • Dont assume anything! Dont assume a driver has seen you, dont assume a car will stop at a red light, dont assume they wont pull right in front of you even though they know youre there and they will be putting you in a dangerous situation by doing so, thats your problem, not theirs! Make sure you are completely aware of everything around you at all times.


Read 4307 times Last modified on Sunday, 21 June 2015 19:49