» Nationals of countries including Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland don’t need a visa to visit Turkey for up to 90 days.
» Nationals of countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the USA need a visa, but it is just a sticker bought on arrival at the airport or border post. You will be given a 90-day multiple entry visa.
» Nationals of countries including Slovakia and South Africa are given a one-month multiple-entry visa.
» Check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.mfa.gov.tr) for the latest information.
» The cost of the visa varies. At the time of writing, Australians and Americans paid US$20 (or €15), Canadians US$60 (or €45) and British citizens UK£10 (or €15 or US$20).
» You must pay in hard currency cash. The customs officers expect to be paid in one of the above currencies, and don’t give change.
» No photos are required.
» There are various types of ikamet tezkeresi (residence permit), which you must apply for within 30 days of arrival.
» Plug yabancilar.iem.gov.tr (the foreign department of IÌ‡stanbul’s emniyet müdürlügÌ†ü – security police) into Google Translate for more information.
» If you don’t have a Turkish employer or spouse to support your application, you can get a permit for touristic purposes.
» Touristic permits are theoretically available for anything from one month (TL78) to five years (TL3186), with administrative charges amounting to a few hundred lira. In practice, different lengths are available to residents of different countries.
» You have to show evidence of accommodation, such as a hotel booking or rental contract.
» You also have to show you have US$1000 to support yourself for every month of your intended stay.
» This evidence can be in the form of a currency exchange slip showing you changed the relevant amount into lira, or a statement from a Turkish bank account.
» To open a Turkish bank account, you need a rental contract or similar showing your Turkish address and a Turkish tax number. Go to a big branch; small branches will say you need a residence permit to open an account.
» A Turkish tax number is relatively easy to get; take your passport and some photocopies to the belediye (town hall).
» To apply for a residence permit in IÌ‡stanbul, make an appointment with the emniyet müdürlügÌ†ü in Fatih; visit tinyurl.com/28ck5vo. The process is demoralising and the bureaucrats are unhelpful; those behind the desks in cities such as IÌ‡zmir (www.izmirpolis.gov.tr) are reputedly far more helpful.
» Little English is spoken, so take a Turkish-speaking friend with you if possible.
» If your application is successful, you will be given a ‘blue book’, which is like a mini-passport.
» There are more details in Pat Yale’s A Handbook for Living in Turkey, a comprehensive source of information for people planning to settle in Turkey.
» The websites mentioned under Work are also sources of (anecdotal) information and advice.
» Visit www.e-konsolosluk. net for information on obtaining a çalÄ±sÌ§ma izni (work permit).
» Your Turkish employer should help you get the visa. If it’s an employer such as a school or international company, they should be well versed in the process and can handle the majority of the paperwork.
» The visa can be obtained in Turkey, or from a Turkish embassy or consulate.