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Hi all, Going to Turkey for the first time in a few weeks and staying at a friends place in Fethiye. I'd like to do some off road driving around the area. I've looked about on the internet and can only see safari type deals were you get driven around, not what I'm looking for. We have hired a Jeep which maybe suitable for basic off-roading but would think about organised off-roading in better/more capable vehicle if that was an option. I've owned a Land Rover in the UK and have done plenty of off-roading in that so know what I'm doing. Anyone have any thoughts? Thank you, Chris.
This is from the book "Scotch and Holy Water," written by John D. Tumpane. John was an American contractor sent to work in various parts of Turkey during the 1950s and 1960s. The US government gave him a pamphlet called "The Traffic Rules of Turkey." But after John had been in country for a few years, he decided he was amply qualified to publish his own traffic rules. Here they are: General Rules 1. The first shall be first, and the last shall be guilty. If you are entering a main artery from a side street, simply step on the gas and get there first. After the accident, the police will survey your car. If the damage is anywhere behind the headlights, you are innocent. 2. Always use your horn, not the brakes. Horns rarely wear out. Blow your horn with or without provocation—it wards off evil spirits. 3. Always aim right at a pedestrian crossing the street. If you slow down or swerve right or left, you will ruin his timing. 4. If the street is blocked, use the sidewalks—pedestrians never do. 5. Ignore stop signs. If you stop, you will be rammed from the rear. 6. When you go through an intersection, don't look to the right or left—otherwise you may be expected to give testimony later. 7. U-turns are permitted on any street—they save time and gas. 8. A one-way street simply means a narrow street. Use it in either direction. If you encounter a car coming at you, hold your ground or you will lose face. Turning off the ignition and reading a newspaper is very effective. 9. Always drive down the middle of the street so that you can attempt to avoid hitting anything. Dogs and cats are dispensable, but the Turks get a little sticky about chickens and children. 10. If you approach a traffic light which is red, stop only if there is a policeman hanging around. If you are the second car to approach, pull in front of the first. If you are the third car, pull in front of both. If you are the fourth car, pass on the right and pull in front of all of them. If you are driving a horse cart, pass the whole damn bunch and go right through the light. The policeman will only box your ears. Country Driving 11. If you see a tractor approaching the highway, even a mile away, jam on your brakes and stop. He won't. 12. When approaching a down-grade, push in the clutch and turn off the ignition to save gas. This is particularly effective if you have others in the car, like visitors newly-arrived in Turkey. 13. If you sense something is going wrong with your engine, keep going until smoke starts pouring out of the hood and the car breaks down right in the middle of the road. It is not necessary to pull off the highway since there are no shoulders. Get out, open the hood, pull some wires, and then abandon it. Be sure to put a circle of rocks around your car to protect it. 14. If you are driving a truck and have a flat tire, come to a stop on the highway and unload the cargo in either lane. Jack up the truck, remove the wheel, and hitch a ride on a bus, since you won't have a spare tire. Night Driving 15. When approaching an on-coming car at night, dim your lights at the last endurable moment. This is a form of "chicken." Then, seconds before you pass, flip on your high-beems so that you can see the road ahead. Spotlights may also be used in conjunction with this maneuver. 16. If you see an eerie green light, like a laser beam stretching across the highway, about three feet off the ground, jam on your breaks! Stop dead! It's a flock of sheep coming towards you. The green light is a reflection of the eyes of the sheep. 17. If you have to abandon your car or truck at night (breakdown or out of gas), don't leave your parking lights on as this will only run down the battery. Don't forget, however, to put the circle of rocks around the vehicle. 18. Finally, if you have an accident in Turkey, Allah forbid, you have just changed your career in life. Welcome to Turkey. Happy Motoring!
Well guys we did it!! It was an experience, not too bad really, but we won't be doing it again! We bombed over to Kapikule in 2 .5 days and wobbled back in 3.5 days. If you have 3 or 4 drivers, it would be a lot more comfortable and quicker. Managed to not get stopped by police or get a speeding ticket, so good one! If you are going to Edirne, Istanbul, or northern Turkey, it is better, because once you're in Turkey, the last part down to the south is a bit of a killer, by then you are very tired! I actually kept a notebook so I could write a very detailed report for you, but erm, have mislaid it at the moment!!! Our route out was Night ferry to Calais which is good because you have a full day of daylight driving. Belgium-Holland-Germany: Some crazy driving on the autobahn in the dark and rain, there was a massive pile up of apparently 250 cars, which we were lucky enough to miss as it happened behind us, but not nice for all involved I'm sure. Austrian border: Stayed the night. Hungary-Serbia-Bulgaria-Kapikule-Summary: Take a car kettle, coffee prices are high, and you WILL drink lots of it!! Serbian roads can be quite good with a toll and a low speed limit, then absolutely rubbish with a high speed limit! Tempted to speed on the good bit? DON'T! Lots of money spent on toll roads, vignettes, and there some gypsies in Hungary wearing Hi-Vis jackets flagging you down with a torch to sell you an overpriced vignette! Night driving can be a bit hairy... cat's eyes in UK are truly a fantastic invention!! Get in a convoy, but watch your speed. Lots of places to stop on the side of the road with lots of Turks making the trip too. All toilets 50C Euros. Bulgarian roads bad and lots of police on the lookout for speeding. Getting to Kapikule was such a relief! But then some of the roads from there were really bad! Some were absolutely fantastic and very cheap tolls. As I said if you could reach your destination then it would be great, but the drive south seems so long and it gets hotter and hotter. So - R&R, pool, sleep, home cooking - lovely! Then we visited family in Eskişehir, family in Istanbul for a few days which was lovely, and had developed a bit since we were previously there. The Metro Bus through the city is fantastic. Then family in Şarkoy and then to the Greek border. Our route back was Ipsala: Had to wait about 4 hours to cross, as every Turk was returning!! Greece: Fantastic lightning storm, but a 10 car pile up which we 'just' missed Macedonia-Serbia: Again with the bad roads and tolls! Croatia: Fantastic roads and infrastructure and not even done with EU money! Hats off to them! Slovenia-Austria: Fantastic daytime drive thru the Alps and lots of tunnels. Germany-Holland-Belgium-France. Ferry from Calais. Summary Much more popular route absolutely packed everywhere with returning Turks. If you've got 5/6/7 people then it must definitely be cheaper than flying, I think they do it every year. Again, you'll need the coffee and the 50C for the toilets. You need the Green Card for the car in Turkey and Serbia. Sorry I can't give you more details on the finances, but when I find my notebook, I'll add on! If you have the time and money then getting the ferry from Italy to south Turkey would save a lot of that drive! Sat Nav worked fine but I also took a large map of Europe which we did use occasionally, and of course when we got lost it was my fault!! But I say those are the bits you never forget and make the best Traveler's Tales! I'll try and answer any questions. if you've got an urge to do it then go for it, but with 3 drivers! Sue