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Emergency Phone Numbers

Ambulance: 112 (all over Turkey)
Police: 155 (all over Turkey)
Tourism Police: (0212) 5274503 (Istanbul only)
Gendarme: 156 (all over Turkey)
Coast Guard: 158 (all over Turkey)
Fire: 110 (all over Turkey)
Forest Fire: 177 (all over Turkey)
Yellow Pages: 118 (all over Turkey)
Tourism Info: 170 (all over Turkey )

Turkey is a secular country with a population that is more than 95% Moslem. Within the context of Turkey, by “secularism” one should understand the separation of religion from politics, not from the government. There is a Ministry of Religion in Turkey.

At first, it might seem to be a paradox, yet in daily practice Turkey handles this situation quite well. The weekends are Saturdays and Sundays, while Fridays are working days, even though in the Moslem belief Friday is the holy day. On Fridays those who wish to attend the noon prayer in mosques may leave their work temporarily and do so. Those who don’t, don’t.

Official working hours in Turkey are from 09:00 to 17:00, however, this has started to change some since the first years of the 90s, due to the change of job profiles. The Holidays in Turkey are as follows:

 

Official Holidays

Jan 1: New Year’s Day

 

National Holidays

Apr 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (anniversary of the establishment of Turkish Grand National Assembly)

May 19 Atatürk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day (the arrival of Atatürk in Samsun, and the beginning of the War of Independence)

Aug 30 Victory Day (victory over invading forces in 1922)

Oct 29 Republic Day (anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic)

Religious Holidays

Seker Bayrami/Sugar Feast: Three-day festival when sweets are eaten to celebrate the end of the fast of Ramazan. (A Moslem moveable feast) (The dates of these religious festivals change according to the Muslim lunar calendar and thus occur 12 days earlier each year)

Kurban Bayrami/Slaughter Feast: (A Moslem moveable feast) Four-day festival when sacrificial sheep are slaughtered and their meat distributed amongst the poor, neighbors and within the family.

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Historic Turkish Baths in Istanbul

The Cemberlitas Hammam is located next to the Cemberlitas Column, near the Grand Bazaar. It was built by architect Sinan with the wish of Nurbanu Sultan, mother of Sultan Murat III and wife of Selim II, in 1584 to provide a source of revenue for the Valide-i Atik Mosque in Uskudar.

The Hammam was originally built as a double bath for both men and women in separate sections, but the the women’s section was destroyed in the 19th century under the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz in order to widen the road. Lately, the women’s section is re-built but nowadays they use the same entrance with the men before going to their own section. The dressing room areas are roofed with large domes and are called as cold section (sogukluk). The baths have 38 washing basins (kurna) in the hot areas (sicaklik). In the middle of this hot area, a large and heated marble platform (gobektasi) is located and private bathing cubicles (halvet) are around the room.

It’s open everyday between 06.00-24.00. – Tel: (212) 522 79 74 and 520 18 50

Cagaloglu Bath
It’s located in Cagaloglu neighborhood near the Underground Cistern. The hammam was built by an unknown architect in 1741 by the order of Sultan Mahmut I to provide revenue for the library of Sultan Mahmut and the Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) Mosque at that time.

The hammam has separate sections for both men and women. It combines different Ottoman architectural styles and was the last of the great hammams to be built in the city before their construction was forbidden by Sultan Mustafa III in 1768, because of the increasing needs for water and wood in Istanbul.

The door of the women’s section is on a side street called Hamam street, while the men’s entrance is from the main road of Yerebatan street. After entering, in the middle is a pool with a waterjet and dressing rooms around. The domes are supported by arches and columns. After the cold area (sogukluk), you enter in the hot area (sicaklik). There is a marble platform (gobektasi) in the center, surrounded by bathing cubicles (halvets) in all four corners.

It’s open everyday between 08:00-22:00 for the men and between 08:00-20:00 for the women.-Tel: (212) 522 24 24

Galatasaray Bath
It’s located in Galatasaray neighborhood of Beyoglu district, in one of the side streets. The hammam was built in 1715 as a public bath in a classical Turkish Bath architectural design. It was renovated in 1965 loosing some of its historical elements. A small women’s section was added during this extensive renovation. Being close to the historic Pera neighborhood and Taksim Square, the Hammam attracts many people, both local and tourists.-Tel: (212) 252 42 42

Cardakli Bath
The hammam is located at Kadirga neighborhood, near Kucuk Aya Sofya Mosque (S. Sergius and Bacchus Church of Byzantine period). It was built in 1503 by Huseyin Aga. A Byzantine inscription found at the entrance and its irregular design sounds that it was converted into a Turkish Bath probably from an old Byzantine building.

Suleymaniye Bath
It was built in 1557 by great architect Sinan as a part of Suleymaniye Mosque Complex. It’s located at Suleymaniye district and used for tourism purposes mostly. The bath has a cold section (sogukluk) which is also used for dressing, lukewarm section to adapt your body temperature before passing to the hot area, and the hot section (sicaklik).

Open everyday for men between 06:00-24:00, or for mixed tourist groups.-Tel: (212) 520 34 10

Sofular Bath
It’s located in Fatih district. The hammam was built in the beginning of 16th century. Dressing rooms are lined on two floors and there is a small decorative water jet pool in the middle.

Open everyday between 06:00-23:00 for the men, and between 08:30-20:00 for the women.-Tel: (212) 521 37 59

Buyuk (Grand) Bath
The hammam was built in 1533 by architect Sinan next to a mosque at Kasimpasa district. It has separate sections for both men and women.Tel: (212) 253 42 29

Aga Bath
The hammam was built in 1610 by Ismail Aga who was the head (Aga) of food storage keeper of sultan Ahmet I. It has separate sections for both men and women. The hammam is in the Uskudar district, on the Asian side of Istanbul.-Tel: (216) 333 38 27

Eski (Old) Bath
The hammam is located in Uskudar district. Its architect and building year are unknown but historic and architectural evidences show that it should date back to 15th century. It’s also known as Sifa (cure) Baths. The hammam has separate sections for men and women which are still in use today.

It’s open everyday between 06:00-21:00 for the men, and between 09:00-17:00 for the women.-Tel: (216) 333 27 87

Bakirkoy
Bakirkoy is a large, densely populated middle class residential suburb of Istanbul, Turkey on its European side, between the E5 main road and on the coast of the Sea of Marmara. ..

Bebek
Bebek is one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of Istanbul. It is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus and is surrounded by other wealthy districts such as Arnavutköy, Etiler an..

Besiktas
Besiktas is a metropolitan district of Istanbul, Turkey located on the European side of the city, by the coast of the Bosphorus. Besiktas district council administers a number of key locations..

Beykoz
Beykoz is a district in the suburbs of Istanbul, Turkey at the upper end of the Bosphorus on the Anatolian side. Beykoz includes everything from the streams of Küçüksu and Gok..

Beyoglu
Beyoglu is a district located on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as Pera (the other side in ..

Bostanci
Bostanci is a neighborhood located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, Turkey and which fronts the Sea of Marmara and is not far from the Princes Islands. From the Bostanci shore, five islands; ..

Camlica
Camlica is a large hill on the Asian side of the city. When you are crossing the Bosphorus Bridge, going from the European side to the Asian side, you will see a hill on the left side of the highway, with a lot ..

Cengelkoy
Cengelkoy is a neighbourhood of Uskudar district on the Asian shore of Istanbul, Turkey found between Beylerbeyi and Vanikoy. It is a mainly residential district. There were many mansions built there in the Ottoman period..

Eminonu
Eminonu was a district of Istanbul in Turkey. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminonu covers the point on which the Byzantine capit..

Etiler
Etiler is a district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey, and officially a quarter within the borough of Besiktas, located close to the business districts of Levent and Masl..

Eyup
Eyup is a district of the city of Istanbul, Turkey, located at the confluence of the Kagithane and Alibey streams at the head of the Golden Horn. Eyup is a historically important..

Halic
It forms a deep natural harbor for the pensinsula it encloses together with the Sea of Marmara. The Byzantine Empire had its naval headqu..

Kadikoy
Kadikoy (known as Chalcedon in antiquity, in Greek) is a large and populous cosmopolitan district on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, Turkey, on the shore of the Sea of Marmara, f..

Nisantasi
Nisantasi is a quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, comprising neighbourhoods like Tesvikiye, Osmanbey, Macka and Pangalty. It includes the stores of world famous brands and has many popular caf&eacut..

Ortakoy
Ortakoy has had an important place in the daily life of the city during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Turks, Jews, Greeks and Armenians still live there peacefully, side by side. In the 16t..

Sariyer
Sariyer is the northernmost district of Istanbul on the European side of the city. With a long shore along the water, the district boasts both a beautiful coastline and a lush forest. The Sariyer dis..

Sisli
Sisli is a crowded central district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a business, shopping and residential area north of Taksim, the entertainment heart of the city.Un..

Sultanahmet
Many places of tourist interest are concentrated in Sultanahmet, heart of the Imperial Centre of the Ottoman Empire. The most important places in this area, all of which are described in detail in th..

Taksim
Taksim Square (Turkish: Taksim Meydany) situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed f..

Tarabya
Tarabya is located europen side and one of the most beautiful districts of Istanbul. Many of singers, actors, models or rich people prefe..

Uskudar
Uskudar is a large and densely populated district of Istanbul, on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus right opposite the heart of the great city, next to Kadikoy. It is home to ..

Apart from the well-known Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Market which are an unforgettable shopping experience, in Istanbul there are other commercial areas where lots of fashionable shops and boutiques can easily be found. Numerous nice shops that sell local and foreign high-class products and trade marks are located (for the European part of the City) in Nisantasi, in and around Rumeli avenue (Rumeli caddesi), and in Beyoglu, along Istiklal avenue (Istiklal caddesi). In the residential Etiler area, the prized Akmerkez commercial center should not be missed. Other interesting commercial centers are Profilo in Mecidiyeköy, Galleria in Ataköy, Carousel in Bakirkoy, Capitol in Altunizade, Metro City in Levent, Olivium in Zeytinburnu and Atrium in Ataköy Numerous beautiful shops are located all along the Bagdad Caddesi on the Asian side of Istanbul.

212 Shopping Center Güneşli / Istanbul

Airport Shopping Center Yenibosna / Istanbul

Akmerkez Shopping Center
Akmerkez Shopping Center Nispetiye Cad. Ulus – Etiler – ISTANBUL

Atrium Shopping Center
Atrium Shopping Center Ataköy 9. Kisim No: 31 Ataköy / Istanbul

Capitol Shopping Center
Mahir Iz Caddesi Altunizade 81190 ÜSKÜDAR / ISTANBUL

Carousel Shopping Center
Halit Ziya Usakligil Cad. No:1 34710 Bakirköy / Istanbul

Cevahir Shopping Center Şişli / Istanbul

Forum Istanbul Shopping Center
Kartaltepe-Kocatepe / Bayrampasa / Istanbul

Forum Marmara Shopping Center Osmaniye – Bakırkoy / Istanbul

Galeria Shopping Center
Ataköy Sahil Yolu Bakirköy / Ataköy / Istanbul

Historia Shopping Center Adnan Menderes Bulvar No:2 Fatih / Istanbul

Mayadrom Shopping Center
Yildirim Göker Caddesi Akatlar / Istanbul

Metro City Shopping Center
Büyükdere Cad. Levent / Istanbul

Olivium Outlet Center
Prof. Muammer Aksoy Cad. No: 1/1 Zeytinburnu / ISTANBUL

Profilo Shopping Center
Cemal Sahir Caddesi 80470 Mecidiyeköy / Istanbul

Bakirkoy State Hospital Bakirkoy 0212 543 6565
Istanbul SSK Hospital Samatya- 0212 632 0060
Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Hospital Cerrahpasa Caddesi
Cerrahpasa
0212 414 3000
Etfal State Hospital Etfal Sokak No:10
Sisli-
0212 231 2209
Siyami Ersek Cardiology Hospital Asian side of the city – Haydarpasa 0216 418 9610
Marmara University Hospital Tophanelioglu Caddesi 13/15
Goztepe-
0216 327 1010
Taksim Emergency Hospital Siraselviler Caddesi No:112
Taksim-
0212 252 4300
Istinye State Hospital Emirgan Cad. No:98
Istinye-
0212 277 4912
Kartal State Hospital Kartal 0216 306 6850
American Hospital Guzelbahce 0212 311 2000
Florence Nightingale Hospital Abide Hurriyet Caddesi No:290
Caglayan-Sisli
0212 224 4950
Metropolitan Florence Nightingale Hospital Cemil Aslan Guder Sokak No:8
Gayrettepe-
0212 288 3400
Kadikoy Florence Nightingale Hospital Bagdat Caddesi No:63
Kiziltoprak-Kadikoy-
0216 450 0303
German Hospital Siraselviler Caddesi 119
Taksim-
0212 293 2150
Italian Hospital Defterdar Yokusu No.37
Tophane-
0212 292 9000
French La Paix Hospital Buyukdere Cad. No:22/24
Sisli-
0212 246 1020-24
Austrian St. George-Hospital Bereketzade Medrese Sok. No.5/7
Karakoy-
0212 292 6220
International Hospital Istanbul Cad. No:82
Yesilyurt-
0212 468 4444
Acibadem Hospital Tekin Sokak No.18
Acibadem-Kadikoy-
0216 544 4444
Acibadem Maslak Hospital Buyukdere Cad. No:40
Maslak-
0212 304 4444
Dogan Hospital Ziya Gokalp Cad. No.2
Kucukcekmece-
0212 624 3434
Academic Hospital Nuh Kuyusu Caddesi No.88 – Uskudar 0216 651 0000-14
Johns Hopkins Anadolu Saglik Merkezi Hospital Anadolu Cad. No.1, Bayramoglu Cikisi
Cayirova Mevkii-Gebze-
0262 678 5000
Cevre Hospital 2.Tasocagi Cad. No:31
Mecidiyekoy-
0212 274 6925-26
Dunya Eye Hospital Zeytinlik Mah. Sahilyolu Cad. No:18
Atakoy-
0212 444 4469
Dunya Etiler Eye Hospital Nispetiye Cad. Yanarsu Sok. No:1
Etiler-
0212 362 3232
Hizmet Hospital E-5 highway
Bahcelievler-
0212 444 8111
Cerrahi Hospital Ferah Sokak No.18
Tesvikiye-
0212 296 9450
Medipol Hospital E-5 Ankara Asfalti, Kosuyolu Duragi
Kadikoy-
0216 545 4545
Memorial Hospital Piyale Pasa Bulvari
Okmeydani-
0212 444 7888
Medical Park Hospital Fevzipasa Cad. Sarachane parki yani
Fatih-
0212 531 1313
JF Kennedy Hospital Talatpasa Bulv. Begonya Sok. No.7-9
Bahcelievler-
0212 441 2121
Levent Hospital Eski Buyukdere Cad. No.31
4.Levent-
0212 270 0022
Sifa Hospital Sakiz Sokak No.7
Caferaga-Kadikoy-
0216 449 2222
Surp Agop Hospital Yedikuyular Cad. No.6/1
Elmadag-
0212 230 1718
Or-Ahayim Jewish Hospital Demirhisar Cad. No:46-48
Ayvansaray/Balat-
0212 491 0000
Hayrunnisa Hospital Fatih Caddesi
Yenibosna-
0212 452 3535
Turk Diabetes Hospital Dr. Celal Oker Sok. No.10
Harbiye-
0212 230 4900
Incirli Hospital Incirli Cad. Pelinli Sok. No.14
Incirli-
0212 543 6890
TEM Hospital Akarsu 1 Sok. No:11-12
Ikitelli-
0212 471 3150
Dentistanbul Tooth Hospital Yildiz Caddesi No:55
Besiktas-
0212 327 4020

Istanbul is fast becoming one of the hottest cities for nightlife in Europe; it is one of the best places to experience local culture and international fun. Whether your idea of a perfect evening is sipping cappuccino on a secluded terrace, smoking a hookah and drinking tea with the locals or headbanging the night away, Instanbul is the best place to wind down or to party.

The most traditional form of nightlife is the birahanes, which are inhabited mainly by locals who sit, drink, and converse. The birahanes are usually male preserves, but a foreign female may be casually welcomed, particularly if she travels in a group. A traveler may feel more comfortable in one of the many meyhanes which are like birahanes but with a better selection of food and a more diverse mix of tourists, locals, men and women. Sip a glass of Turkish raki and enjoy a snack of kebabs and fresh fruit as locals sing traditional songs or engage in heated political discussions. The best mayhanes are located in Cicek Pasaj next to the fruit and fish stands in the marketplace.

For something different yet classically Turkish, go to one of the pavyans and see what are often called “Oriental Shows” featuring belly dancers, flashy cabaret singers or dancers from Russia. Avoid the more seedy ones which will serve you watered-down, overpriced drinks and more than you might have bargained for in the way of companionship. However, these are easy to spot and avoid with their provocative signs and scantily clad clientele.

Downtown Istanbul abounds with new, trendy bars that stay open until 2 or 4 am (or sometimes until dawn). You can find an elegant place for a quiet conversation over a martini, a pub-like atmosphere with cheap and good quality beer, or a heavy metal extravaganza with deafening tunes and ubiquitous body piercing. Bars such as Kemanci and Hayal Kahesi feature bands almost nightly, many play cover versions of Led Zepplin or Pink Floyd classics. The atmosphere of the Mojo blues bar is exactly as it sounds””an oasis of blues in the heart of Istanbul.

The best area for nightlife in Instanbul is in the Taksim, which means “sharing” in Turkish. This was the place where the water was brought in from the Belgrad forest and “shared” by different sections of the city. You’ll see (or, rather, hear) the Ex-Bronx and the Roxy Nights nightclubs with loud, pulsating tunes and cheap beer. The Cinaralti is a modern disco with a big screen TV and a salon for dancing under the sky, or rather, under the cinar tree, from which the disco derives its name. Taps, in the Pera District, is the only genuine brewery in Istanbul and in the entire Balkan region. You can get a pint of great quality beer for around $3 and enjoy the art gallery or relax and talk with locals or friends. For a bit of touris- kitsch fun, visit the Galata Tower for a belly dancing show. The wine is especially recommended and, when the waiter asks where you are from, he will mark your table with the flag of your country.

The Cicek Pasaji, or covered gallery, is a great place to have a meal , a drink, or simply to people watch. At Tophane, you can sit and play tavla (backgammon) smoke an apple flavored hooka, drink tea and enjoy a kebab. You can venture to the Babylon, a multi-purpose performance center, theatre and cinema hall. After the show, dance the night away at the Cubuklu with special “after” parties from 6 am to 4 pm. For something different yet traditional, go the the Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi, a 110 year old Turkish bar and eatery. On the third floor, you will hear live, classical Turkish music and in the comfortable dining area, you can enjoy a dazzling array of fresh seafood and refreshing beverages.

AFM Fitaş
Just below Taksim Square, this US-style multiplex has 11 screens, showing a mix of Hollywood hits, indie and Turkish film. The IF Festival takes place here…

Atlas
This once imposing cinema has been carved into three smaller screens. The largest still boasts the city’s most steeply raked auditorium.

Emek
During the golden age of Turkish cinema, Yeşilçam Sokak was Turkey’s answer to Hollywood. No more. But the Emek still stands as a relic of former glories,…
IF AFM Independent Film Festival
Launched in 2002, this slick, hugely popular event is run by the cinema chain AFM. The programming is distinctly right-on, with strands dedicated to…

Istanbul Modern
A state-of-the-art theatre within the new Istanbul Modern museum, which runs a monthly programme dedicated to home-grown and international art-house movies,…

Kanyon Mars
The ultimate cinema experience. Step into the cutting-edge complex and you’re in a world of plush design and smooth service, from the ticket booths to the…

Levent Kültür Merkezi Sinema
Run by TÜRSAK (the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture), this art-house venue shows almost exclusively indie fare, as well as hosting…

Şafak Movieplex
Sultanahmet’s only cinema couldn’t be better positioned, right by a tram stop. All screens have Dolby Digital sound and offer a range of current US,…

Sinepop
Attractions, Cinemas It’s hard to imagine that this modern theatre was used as a club by the Germans during World War I. Two screens show varied local and international fare.

Taksim-Beyoglu
The Beyoĸlu has an authentic art-house feel with a programme to match. From July to September, there’s a daily programme of critics’ picks from the past…

Yeşilcam
At this small, basement art-house cinema, the programming leans towards local and European independent film. The charming foyer is full of old projection…