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Istanbul

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{{printDistricts}}
[[ImageFile:AhmetCamii_Silhouetteİstanbul 4228.JPGjpg|thumb|350pxupright=1.5|Sultan Ahmet Ortaköy Mosque at dusk, along the Bosphorus]]
[http://english.istanbul.com/ '''Istanbul''' ] ([[Turkish phrasebook|Turkish]]: ''İstanbul'') is [[Turkey]]'s most populous city, and its cultural and financial center. Located on both sides of the '''[[Istanbul/Bosphorus|Bosphorus]]''', the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges [[Asia]] and [[Europe]] both physically and culturally. Istanbul's population is estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, making it also one of the largest in Europe and the world.
Istanbul was one of three [http://istanbul2010.org/ '''European Capital'''s '''of Culture''' in 2010 [http://istanbul2010].org<br clear="all" /].>
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== Districts ==
 
{{Regionlist
| regionmap=Istanbul_districts_map.png
| region1color=#8b8448
| region1items=
| region1description=Essentially the Constantinople of the Roman, Byzantine, and much of the Ottoman periodperiods, this is where most of the famous historical sights of Istanbul are located.
| region2name=[[Istanbul/Galata|Galata]]
| region2color=#ee6cda
| region2items=
| region2description=Housing many of the nightlife venues of the city, this district which includes '''Beyoğlu''', '''Istiklal Street''', and '''Taksim Square''' has also its own share of sights and accommodation.
| region3name=[[Istanbul/New_City|New City]]
| region3color=#c189de
| region3items=
| region3description=Main business district of the city, also home to with many modern shopping malls, and districts such as '''Elmadağ''', '''Nişantaşı''', and '''Etiler'''.
| region4name=[[Istanbul/Bosphorus|Bosphorus]]
| region4color=#cf9383
| region4items=
| region4description=European bank of the Bosphorus that is dotted by numerous palaces, parks, water-front mansions, and bohemian neighborhoodsneighbourhoods, such as '''Beşiktaş''' and '''Ortaköy'''.
| region5name=[[Istanbul/Golden_Horn|Golden Horn]]
| region5color=#8588e1
| region5items=
| region5description=Banks of Golden Horn, the estuary that separates the European Side side into distinctive districts. '''Eyüp''' , with an Ottoman ambience , is located here.
| region6name=[[Istanbul/Princes’_Islands|Princes’ Islands]]
| region8items=
| region8description=Western chunk of the European Side.
 
 
}}
==Understand==
 
===History===
[[Image:AhmetCamii_Silhouette.JPG|thumb|upright=1.5|Sultan Ahmet Mosque at dusk]]Expanding the ancient Greek colony of '''Byzantium''' by the order of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, the imperial city of '''Constantinople''' was for nearly a thousand years the last remaining outpost of the Roman (later termed Eastern Roman or Byzantine) Empire. It was finally conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II on 29 May 29th, 1453, an event sometimes used to mark the end of the Middle Ages. It was the nerve center for military campaigns that were to enlarge the Ottoman Empire dramatically. By the mid 1500s, Istanbul, with a population of almost half a million, was a major cultural, political, and commercial centercentre. Ottoman rule continued until it was defeated in WWI and Istanbul was occupied by the allies. When the Republic of Turkey was born in 1923 after the War of Independence, Kemal Atatürk moved its capital to the city of Ankara. However, Istanbul has continued to expand dramatically; today its population is approximately 14 million and increases at an estimated 400,000 immigrants per year. Industry has expanded even as tourism has grown. It continues to be a city that creates its own history at the intersection where both continents meet.
===Orientation===
 
Istanbul is divided in three by the north-south '''Bosphorus Strait''' (Istanbul Bogazi), the dividing line between Europe and Asia, the estuary of the '''Golden Horn''' (''Haliç'') bisecting the western part and the '''Sea of Marmara''' (''Marmara Denizi'') forming a boundary to the south. Most sights are concentrated in the old city on the peninsula of '''Sultanahmet''', to the west of the Bosphorus between the Horn and the Sea. Across the Horn to the north are '''Galata''', '''Beyoğlu''' and '''Taksim''', the heart of modern Istanbul, while '''Kadıköy''' is the major district on the comparatively less-visited Anatolian side of the city. The Black Sea forms the northern boundary of Istanbul.
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[[Image:Bogaz.jpg|thumb|270px|It can be cloudy, rainy, or even snowy in Istanbul]]
Istanbul has a temperate oceanic climate which is influenced by a continental climate, with hot and humid summers and cold, wet and occasionally snowy winters.
====Atatürk Airport====
[[Image:Airport.jpg|thumb|Duty Free area, inside Ataturk Airport]]
 Most planes arrive at '''Istanbul Atatürk Airport''' [http://www.ataturkairport.com/Istanbul Atatürk Airport] ({{IATA|IST}}), 20 km west of the city centre. From the airport, there are various options for getting into Istanbul: you can take a '''taxi''' (about 35-40 TL to [[Istanbul/Galata|Taksim]]. There are is no night fare in Istanbul anymore. The - the price would be the same at midnight or midday. About the same to [[Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City|Sultanahmet]]), the '''express bus service''' run by the local airport service called "Havataş" [http://havatas.com.tr/] which departs half-hourly between 4AM-midnight and costs 10 TL to Taksim and Aksaray and [[Istanbul/Asian Side|Kozyatağı]]), the public bus (line #96T) run by ''İETT'' costing 5 TL(3.5 with İstanbulKart), which has fewer departure times now, due to Havatas, which is also a municipality engaged bus service. You can use the shuttle or transfer service www.istanbulairportpickupservice.com for istanbul airport transfer and pick up service
Then, there is the '''metro''' (6:00 - midnight) (signposted "light rail" in the airport, when you get outside the baggage claim its about a 10 minute walk in the airport to the metro line. Just follow the signs), which will take you directly to the ''Otogar'' (bus station) or to numerous stops within Istanbul (Aksaray in the city centre is the last stop, transfer stations for '''tram''' heading for deeper into [[Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City|old city]] is available at [[Istanbul/Western Suburbs|Zeytinburnu]] and Aksaray). It costs 3 TL, by token (+an extra 3 TL when boarding the tram) and getting to Aksaray takes around 45 minutes. It is possible to be at your bus departing from ''Otogar'' within less than one hour after landing by taking the metro.
When entering the metro station, you need to buy a ''jeton'' (token) for 3 lira. Just hand the cashier 3 lira and he'll give you a token, or use the automatic dispenser (''Jetonmatik''), which accepts banknotes (5 TL, 10 TL) as well as coins. Use 'select' to choose the number of jetons and then push 'ok'. They don't accept credit card or foreign currency here. This will get you on the red metro line (towards Aksaray). From this line, if you are going to [[Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City|Sultanahmet]], you can transfer at [[Istanbul/Western Suburbs|Zeytinburnu]] and buy another ''jeton'' (3 lira)- see the section on "Istanbulkart" if further travel within Istanbul's metro system will be undertaken. Note that the ''jeton'' token here is different than the first one. From Zeytinburnu, take the blue tram line T1, towards [[Istanbul/Galata|Kabataş]] which passes by: Sultanahmet, Eminönu and Tophane. The trip from the airport to Sultanahmet takes about 45 min.
'''Other Notes''':
'''Visa''':
Depending on nationality, foreigners arriving in Istanbul may need to purchase tourist visas (USA and some EU citizens, depending on exact nationality, do). This must be done upon arrival before queuing for passport control. The windows for purchasing the visa are located immediately to the left of the main passport control booths. You must pay in cash US dollars, Euros, or British pounds. '''They will not take Turkish lira'''is NOT taken, but there is an ATM where you can withdraw your own currency should you not have any (this ATM is frequently out of Euro and US $). You can pay by Mastercard/Visa at the visa desk as at May 2012. The fee varies depending on the visitor’s nationality. The fee is $20 (or €15 or 10 GBP) for visitors traveling with U.S. and $60 for Australian passports (May 2012). As of Sep 2008, Canadians pay US$60 (or €45). As of Aug 2009, EU pays €15 (note that GB citizens may pay cash in Pounds(£10), and USD are taken in cash) you can use a debit or the fee is 35 TLcredit card but it will be charged 15 Euro.
Note that '''food and drinks''' at the airport may cost up to five times more than in the city proper, like in other international airports. If you are traveling on budget and plan to spend some time at the airport, it may be wise to bring your own meals from town instead of buying them there. If you come from the Metro, there is a supermarket in the tunnel leading to the elevators / stairs to the airport proper where you can do some last-minute shopping.
====Sabiha Gökçen Airport====
Istanbul also has a second airport, '''Sabiha Gökçen International Airport''' [http://www.sgairport.com/'''Sabiha Gökçen International Airport'''] ({{IATA|SAW}}), located in the [[Istanbul/Asian Side|Anatolian side]] of the city.  The cheapest way to arrive from Sabiha Gökçen in the European side of Istanbul is by bus (E10 line, from Sabiha Gökçen to Kadiköy) + ferry(from Kadiköy to many ferry stations, including some in the Sultanahmet area). It costs no more than 7TL for the bus ride and then you pay only 2TL for the ferry ride (which is linked to the public transport system, meaning you can also use akbil or electronic transport prepaid cards to pay for the ferry). That's less than €4 in total. Every other option priced at €10 and above ( 23 lira and above-by Feb 2013 rates) makes sense ONLY if you can't use this. And BEWARE of the company running the "HOTEL INFORMATION" office in the Sabiha Gökçen airport, see below. A '''''Havatas'' bus''' (Havaş bus before 12 Jan 2012) connects this airport with Taksim in the city center centre for 14 12 TL (Jun 2011April 2013) and takes about an hour (closer to two or more in heavy traffic). There is also a Havaş Havatas service to KozyatağıKadıköy, a transportation hub of Asian Side, which costs 10 8 TL. If you arrive in the middle of the night, you can move to the departure hall after passing customs and rest on very comfortable seats — you will even find coin-operated Japanese massage chairs. Then, at 5AM 05:00 the first Havaş Havatas bus will take you to town. The Havaş Havatas bus schedule is sometimes linked to the arrival/departure times of planes.
A cheaper option is to take '''public bus''' line #E9 to Kaynarca (''get off at Tersane Lojmanlari'') in (30 min, 2 TL); see timetables [http://www.iett.gov.tr/saat/orer.php?hid=Saatler&hatcode=E-9]). From Kaynarca, you can take a suburban train (Banliyö Treni) to Haydarpasa (50 min, 2 TL), from where you can take a ferry to [[Istanbul/Galata|Karaköy]] (2 TL). Total travel time is approx. 1 h 40 min and the cost 6 TL.
Various private operators offer internet bookable shared minibuses to central locations — a good choice when arriving late. A typical price being EUR 90 for 4 people to a hotel in [[Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City|Laleli]]. A taxi to Sabiha Gökçen airport from Taksim, which lies around 50 km from the airport, takes ~35 minutes at 3:30am with no traffic. The meter will show ~65 75 lira, plus there is ~6 lira in tolls. Note the security screening is ''before'' the check-in counters, so add some extra time to make the cutoff times (45 minutes for international, 30 for domestic). Beware of the company running the "Hotel Information" office in the Sabiha Gökçen airport which offers "shuttle-to-hotel" services from €15 (they pretend to make a discount based on your group size, you can get it as low as €12.5 for 4 people) because their drivers are totally uninformed about any hotel address and they may get lost/the trip may take 2-3 times more than normal because of their lack of knowledge with hotel addresses.
When arriving at Sabiha Gökçen airport, there are people offering shuttle services to the European side of the city, most costing €10, which is much cheaper than booking a taxi with your hotel/hostel (about €50-60). It is the best option after the Havas Havatas airport buses. For the return journey, officers are quite zealous with luggage checks and they systematically remove the cap from bottled water once at the gate. It is recommended not to buy water before the flight although you can take the open bottle on board. Another surprising feature of Sabiha Gökçen airport is the luggage check at the main entrance, but fortunately you are allowed to take drinks in the airport at this point. You can use airport shuttle service, istanbul airport transfer and pick up service [www.istanbulairportcar.com]
===By train===
[[Image:Istanbul akbil.JPG|thumb|100px|An ''Akbil'' device.]]
Buying an Istanbulkart is a good idea if you are in Istanbul for more than a day or two, and intend to use public transport. This is a plastic card that looks like a credit card. it It can be used as a ticket on buses, trams, suburban trains, metro, local and even the cross-Bosphorus ferries, etc. You touch the Istanbulkart to a reader when you get on the bus or enter the tram/metro platform. The great part for groups of travellers is that you can buy only one and touch it as many times as there are passengers (unlike London's ''Oyster'' card, there is no need to ''touch out''). You can buy or refill them at designated booths located at any major bus, tram, to metro station, as well as some other places such as newspaper stands close to bus stops. An Istanbulkart provides slightly discounted rates (about 0.10TL cheaper) compared to regular single tickets, as well as discounts in transfers (when used multiple times within a limited period, roughly an hour and a half since the last time you used it). A deposit for the device itself is payable when you buy it (10 TL), which is not refundable, and neither is any credit left on the Istanbulkart. Once you have bought and loaded the card, your first journey costs 1.95TL, then any change within approximately 2 hours costs progressively cheaper; second journey is 1.25TL, third is 1.00TL and so on. Note that changing metro line or travel type, i.e. ferry to bus, or metro to tram, requires you to go out of the turnstiles then to check back in to the new line or travel type. Therefore this is extremely more economic than buying individual ''jetons'' at 3TL per journey.
The Istanbulkard is relatively new, and is replacing the older ''Akbil'' metal touch-token which is being phased out (but is still in wide use). It is now just about impossible to buy an Akbil. However, there are still some places that do not yet accept the Istanbulkart, so if you have an Akbil token left over from previous trips to Istanbul, keep hold of it: they still work. Some Kiosks still have ''Akbil'' signs rather than ''Istanbulkart'' signs - but you can usually buy or top up your Istanbulkart at any kiosk where the ''Akbil'' sign is displayed.
You will have missed the covered bazaar in all this. That is because you will get there anyhow. If you go to Beyazit and the book market you are almost at two of its many entrances. Try and find the Nuruosmaniye Mosque and its complex at the other side, it’s worth it. And after having explored the covered part, take a relaxing walk downhill, into the general direction of Eminönü, where it is "uncovered bazaar" all the way. Cross the Galata bridge to see some things on the Northern side (for instance take the "tünel" teleferik ride up much of the hill (entrance close to the opposite side of Galata bridge, ask around)), then continue to Taksim. Shops are of the international variety.
For further information regarding the sights of Istanbul, you can visit:   * [http://www.istanbul-daily-tours.com Further information regarding the tours of Istanbul] 
====Theodosian Walls Walk====
[[Image:Constantinoplewall.jpg|thumb|250px|A restored section of city walls at ''Belgradkapı'' Gate, close to Marmara coast]]
Here are some of what are popular to buy while in the city:
* '''Turkish Delight''', or Lokum (as the locals call it). A good buy since you're in Turkey. It is advisable to buy it fresh rather than in pre-packed boxes and to get a variety of flavours rather than the stereotypical rose-water or lemon flavors available abroad. Pistachio in particular is very good. The best place to buy lokum in Istanbul is from a store. Istiklal Caddesi in particular features a number of stores that sell Turkish sweets by the kilogram including lokum and helvah. There are quite a few shops selling Turkish Delight in the Grand Bazaar, although unless you are very good at haggling better prices can be found elsewhere. Highly recommended for Lokum is the Malatya Pazari stall in the Spice Market. The Turkish delight there was fresh, had great flavours including some offbeat ones and the prices were fair.
* '''Turkish Tea''' (çay, CHAI). The national drink of Turkey, brewed from leaves grown on the steep, verdant mountain slopes of Turkey's eastern Black Sea coast. Traditionally, Turkish tea is brewed samovar-style, with a small pot of very strong tea sitting on a larger vessel of boiling water. Pour a small amount of strong tea into a little tulip-shaped glass and cut it to the desired strength with hot water. Turks usually add cube sugar (never milk, although you can often get milk if you ask.) Having fresh, hot tea always available everywhere is one of life's splendid little luxuries in Turkey. Elma Çay: apple tea, like hot apple juice (EHL-mah chah-yee) is the flavour of preference, although it's more for tourists; Turks prefer Siyah Çay (black tea).
==Stay safe==
As with most European cities, but especially in crowded areas of Istanbul, watch your pockets and travel documents as pickpockets have devised all sorts of strategies to obtain them from you. Do not rely too much on the 'safe' feeling you get from the omnipresence of policemen. Taksim Square, Sultanahmet Square, Istiklal Avenue, Kadikoy Square etc.. are observed by security cameras monitored by police 24/7 non-stop. Also be wary of men in Taksim who splash water on the backs of your neck. When you turn around, they will try to start a fight with you as another man comes in and robs you. These men tend to carry knives and can be very dangerous.
Istanbul is home to three of the biggest clubs in Turkey and arguably European football: Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, and Galatasaray. It is advisable not to wear colours associating yourself with any of the clubs--black and white, blue and yellow, and red and yellow, respectively--particularly on the days of matches between the sides due to the fearsome rivalry they share.
When walking through the gates of the Blue Mosque, beware of smiling, friendly chaps who offer immediately to be your de-facto guide through the mosque and its surroundings; while they are informative on just about anything relating to the mosque--etiquette, history, Islamic practices--they eventually demand a price for their "services", a quotation that can be as high as 50TL (about EUR 25 or GBP 20). One would be better off booking a private tour online; or not at all, since the mosque is essentially free to all anyway.
====Taksim barBar/club scams====Tourists must be Be aware of high-drink prices price [[scams]] encountered in so-called "night-clubs " (located mostly located in Aksaray, Beyazit and Taksim areas). These clubs usually can charge overpriced bills, (hundreds or thousands of lira) based on a replica of the original menu, or even simply on the a menu that had been standing lying upside down on the table. Also be aware of friendly behaving groups of young men or male-female couples striking up a conversation in the street and inviting you to a "good nightclub they know". This has frequently been reported as a prelude to such a scam. The person(s) in on the scam may offer to take you to dinner first, in order to lower your suspicions. Another way they will try to lure you in is by talking to you in Turkish, and when you mumble back in your language they will be surprised you're not Turkish and immediately will feel the urge to repay you for their accident with a beer.  In either of these scams, if you refuse to pay the high prices or try to call the police (dial #155) to file a complaint, the club managers may use physical intimidation to bring the impasse to a close. A list of related negative accounts follows. A recently encountered variant of this involved an invitation in Taksim to two male tourists (separately, within an hour of one another) to buy them beer (as they were "guests"). At the club, two attractive ladies, also with beers, joined them. When the time came for the bill, the person inviting the tourist denied having said he would pay for the drinks, and a bill was presented for 1500 Lira; when the tourists in question expressed an inability to pay such a high amount, burly "security" personnel emerged, who the manager explained would accompany the tourist to an ATM machine (presumably to clean out their bank account). In one of the above examples, the tourist escaped by shouting for the police once on the street; in the other, a much lower amount was accepted from the tourist.
Another recent incident occurred at a barBe '''especially''' aware of "friendly" young men/club named SIA, located near the intersection groups of Acara and Istiklal Streets. 3 tourists were approached by 2 young men, asking them /male-female couples inviting you to go for a "drinks togethergood nightclub they know"---this is frequently a prelude to a scam. The tourists were led by the men into the club named SIA (these three letters appear in silver beside the club's entrance)Scammers often work to earn your trust, striking up a conversation or even taking you to a legitimate restaurant and ordered drinkscovering the bill. Later, some ladies working for the club joined the group and ordered drinksIn another variation, which the club put on the tabs of the 3 tourists. Overall, they were cheated of over 600 Lira. The original bill was much higherscammer will talk to you in Turkish, and the tourists suffered verbal and physical intimidation when you reply in your own language, they did will be "surprised" you're not have enough money Turkish and offer to pay uprepay you for their accident with a beer. Finally the people at the club gave up and let them go. Travelers should avoid the above-mentioned clubNote that some scammers are very, very patient, working for their own safetyhours to gain your trust before finally taking you to a bar.
Another recent scam involved a bar named "Köşk"In any of these scams, which is located close to Taksim Square on Istikal Street. Two tourists were asked for a lighter, and began chatting with a "friendly" Iraqi-Kurdish "gentleman". After walking around and talking for half an hour, the tourists asked if he wanted you refuse to grab a beer before they left pay the city. On the way high prices or try to a bar, call the man suggested another barpolice (dial #155), and they were brought to the back. Three women sat down and the tourists were asked club managers may resort to buy drinks for themphysical intimidation. They declinedIn general, and realizing the scam would not get much furtheruse caution: scams in Taksim are becoming more serious, the man asked for the check, which charged 27 Turkish Lira for each beer. The tourists got away only paying 20 Lira each for their beers, but felt very strangely after consuming just one beer and noticed that their host had not drank any of his. This led them to suspect that a minor sedative organized crime may have been added to the drink to increase drunkenness. Travelers should be very wary of this bar and always ask prices before orderinginvolved.
All these point to these The following tips will not guarantee protection from bar/club scams in Taksim becoming more serious, and but may help you avoid the possible involvement most common traps:* '''Beware of organized crimeunsolicited advice or conversation from "locals. Be careful"''' The best option is to ignore such conversation and move to a more populated/well-lit area, ''no matter how "friendly" the "local" seems''. If * '''Beware of bars and clubs where you find yourself in seem to be the only tourist'''. In addition, any bar that looks like it could be a strip club is likely a situation scam joint.* '''Always ask for the exact price of drinks before ordering'''. Of course, scammers will not be honest, but any reasonhesitation, evasiveness, do whatever they want you or ambiguity is a good sign of foul play.* '''Remember the location of nearby public areas with lots of people (preferably police)'''. The best place to do, pay get away from scammers is in a crowd monitored by law enforcement.* '''Carry only minimal cash'''. If the billscammer takes your money, buy the things they are forcing you can cut your losses. Some scammers will even escort you to an ATM to buyobtain more cash; if the ATM is in a public area, etc. Try it will be easier to get out the attention of situation as soon as possible, go law enforcement.* '''Never indicate where you are staying'''. The last thing you need is for the scammers to follow you to a safe place and call the police (dial #155)your own bed.
That saidIf you are caught by scammers and faced with an impossible bill, sometimes there keep the following in mind:* The safest option is to comply with the scammers while finding a chance way to runget out of the situation.* When possible, such as head to a case safe (i.e., public) place and call the police (dial #155).* There are many police in Augustthe Taksim and other public areas, 2009including undercover operatives. Do not be shy about yelling "Polis! Polis!" (Police! Police!). The police will be very willing to assist, when and younger police are generally university graduates capable of some English or German.* Suggest that you need to visit an ATM; this will give you a man was able chance to leave the club, head to escapea more public area, and attract the attention of police. His sudden leave may * In a few situations, tourists have caught run away when faced with an exorbitant bill. This is risky, due to the waiters off guard; in all hastiness they forget to put someone at physical fitness required as well as possible physical retaliation should the doorattempt fail. However, thus leaving those who succeed follow the basic strategy listed above: comply with the scammers until you find an openingopportunity to get away, and head towards a public area with police.
In August 2010, after reading this and being aware one man still ventured out alone. He was greeted very nicely at the =====Accounts of bar, and received a beer. After sitting with a beer, the door man brought a woman to him, and asked to buy her a drink. He refused several times, and asked for his bill. /club scams=====The price was 30 TL for one beer, while the average price following is 8 TL. Be very aware of this scam in the city. The man brought the manager outside and explained how he knew, and said if he bought a drink for a woman it would not meant to be 150 TL per drink. The name of the bar was "Rolans Restaurant - cafe & bar." Please avoid comprehensive; it at all costs the sign is very small and the people are very noticeable. Any bar that looks like it could be a strip club is more than likely meant to increase overall awareness by giving you a scam joint. Also be wary sense of men in Taksim who splash water on the backs diversity of your neckscams that people have encountered. When you turn aroundOnce again: caution, common sense, they will try to start a fight with you as another man comes in and robs you. These men tend to carry knives and can be very dangeroussituational awareness are your best friends.
In September of 2011, a man was approached by two very friendly Turks who, after chatting with him for '''When a whilespecific establishment is listed here, invited him it is advisable to have a drink at a nearby cafe. They paid and everything seemed just fine. They reassured him that they were friends and totally honest. They went to a second bar where they Turks ordered drinks for the group, including some female friends at the bar. Suddenly, after one bottle of wine and some snacks, the Turks told the tourist that they had paid $6000 US for the bottle while he was in the bathroom, and the tourist needed to pay $3000 for "his half". The situation suddenly became very dangerous and menacing. They took all the touristgo elsewhere'''s money (about $400), then took him back --not only to the hotel. The tourist went in, promising to bring out the $3000avoid scams, but then hid in his room. The two men burst into the hotel screaming threats. The hotel staff, frightened to death, called the tourist and asked him for also helpend them. The tourist came out and gave Be sure to know the men a couple name of hundred more and insisted that was all he had. It was terrifying. Please take these warnings extremely seriously, and do not go with anyone for a drink in Turkey, no matter how friendly they seemany establishment you're entering; scam clubs sometimes deploy hard-to-see signage.
In December 2012* "'''Rolans Restaurant - Cafe & Bar'''" (August 2010): A male tourist was greeted warmly and received a beer. Eventually, three tourists were eventually convinced the doorman brought a woman to the tourist and asked him to enter buy her a club named drink. He refused several times and asked for his bill, where he was charged 30 lira for his beer (average price is 8 lira). Furthermore, he would have been charged an additional 150 lira for any drink he bought for the woman.* "'''Box' ''" (December 2012), on Bolo Balo Sokak in Taksim. : The cover charge was waived and the for three tourısts tourists, who then ordered drinks which . These drinks arrived along with a massively inflated bill (30 lira per drink as mentioned in other cases). After conceding to pay the bill, the tourists ımmediately tried to leave and collect their coats, which had been stored in a "cloakroom of sorts " at the bouncer's insistence, with . Despite no mention or signage relating to of a cloakroom charge. They , they were charged for this too (15 another 10 lira, argued down to 10). All staff members involved naturally denied having anything to do all involvement with the rip-offsscam. Unfortunately, another group of three tourists were witnessed seen getting ripped-off scammed by the club just as the original three victims were leaving. It is advısed * "'''Köşk'''", located near Taksim Square on Istikal Street: Two tourists were asked for a lighter by a "friendly" Iraqi-Kurdish "gentleman". After walking and talking for half an hour, the tourists asked if they wanted to grab a beer before they left the city. On the way to a bar, the man suggested Köşk, where they were brought to the back and asked to buy drinks for three women who joined them. The tourists declined, so the "gentleman" asked for the bill, which charged 27 lira for each beer. While the tourists got away with paying only 20 lira each, they felt very strangely after just one beer and noticed that their host had not drank any of his; this led them to suspect that a sedative had been added to the drink to increase drunkenness.* "'''SIA'''," located near the intersection of Acara and Istikal Streets: Three tourists were approached by two men who asked them to go somewhere else - as in all for "drinks together." Later, some ladies working for the club joined the group and ordered drinks, which the other rip-off cases described - in order to help club put a stop on the tabs of the tourists. The resulting bill was exorbitant, and the tourists suffered verbal and physical intimidation when they did not have enough money to this scam pay. Finally, the people at the club gave up and others like itlet them go for 600 lira--still much too high for what was ordered.
Istanbul is however one of the safest big cities * In another incident, a local invited a male tourist to a club in Europe Taksim and offered to buy him a beer. At the Taksim area has plenty of police club, two attractive ladies, also with beers, joined them. A bill was eventually presented for TRY 1500 (Many are undercoverEUR 630 or 515 GBP) so you will very rarely be , and the person who had invited the tourist denied having said he would pay for the drinks. When the tourist expressed an inability to pay such a high amount, the manager summoned burly "security" personnel to accompany the tourist to an ATM; the tourist was eventually able to convince the bar to accept a much lower amount. Within the hour, another male tourist fell victim to the same scam; he escaped by yelling for police in any real physical dangera public area. So if faced * In September 2011, a man was approached by two friendly Turks who, after chatting with such him for a while, invited him to have a drink at a nearby cafe. Everyone paid as expected and everything seemed fine; the Turks reassured him that they were friends and totally honest. They went to a second bar where the Turks ordered drinks for the group, including some female friends. After a bottle of wine and some snacks, the Turks told the tourist that they had paid USD 6000 for the bottle while he was in the bathroom, and the tourist needed to pay USD 3000 for "his half". The situation make took a big fuss dangerous and start shouting Polis! Polis! menacing turn; the Turks took all the tourist's money (Police PoliceUSD 400)and took him back to his hotel. If not suggest that you need The tourist promised to visit an ATM bring more money, but then hid in his room. The two men burst into the hotel screaming threats, and on your way attract the attention of terrified hotel staff called the policetourist and asked for help. The police in Istanbul tourist came out and gave the men a few hundred more USD and insisted that was all he had. (This story demonstrates the lengths that scammers will be very willing go to obtain your trust, as well as the danger of carrying more cash than necessary and leading scammers back to assist (Younger Turkish police are generally university graduates so should speak some English or Germanyour hotel.)
====Lira/Euro Scams====
*If you intend to '''head east or south by hitchhiking''', however, it may be best to get to the neighbouring city of [[Izmit]] first. The cheapest train ticket costs 3.75 TL (3.00 TL if you have a valid student ID, this is the rate for ''Doğu Express'', which departs 08:35 every morning) from Istanbul’s Haydarpasa station to Izmit currently. Near the train station in Izmit is a major highway junction, take east for [[Adapazari]]/[[Ankara]]/[[Central Anatolia]]/[[Black Sea Turkey]], south for [[Yalova]]/[[Bursa]]. If you are eager for more southern locations such as [[Antalya]], take eastward road to Adapazari first, then hit the southward road there (which eventually reaches Antalya after hundreds of kilometers). Another option to leave the city is to take the not-so-cheap fast ferries to Yalova, if you don’t object to pay much for public transport.
*There are also public buses from Kadiköy, Istanbul’s main centre on Asia, to Tuzla (#130 and #130A; fare: TL 1.50/person, 7days/24 hours service ), which is the '''east'''ernmost district of the city. If you take one of these buses, get off as soon as the bus leaves the highway (colloquially known as E-5, pronounced “ay “eh besh” in Turkish, 4-lane one-way, you can easily recognize what is this highway and what is not). Where you will get off is as far as you can get on that highway with a public bus, though most of the cars passing there will be too fast to be able to stop right beside you.
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<!listing name="Argentina" alt="" address="Tepecik Yolu 58, Etiler" directions="" phone="+90 212 257-70-50" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">[[ro:Istanbul]]--</listing>

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