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Driving in Turkey
Coming from an expat who has lived in Turkey for over 25 years, and for the past 3.5 years in Istanbul, I can only say that the only traffic rules that appl here are the ones you make yourself.
I find driving in Istanbul nothing short of horrific. I certainly get no pleasure driving here. In addition, you have to be extra careful as the only road rules that seem to apply, are the ones you make yourself. It is not only driving on the roads I find a problem, but also in and around Bagdat Street near where we live. Despite residents complaining to the various authorities, it seems no one is prepared to accept responsibility about the many motor cyclists riding through the pedestrians on the pavements. These are mainly ridden by delivery boys, who apart from riding on the pavements see nothing wrong in riding the wrong way down one-way streets.
In addition, despite there being a law re excess motorist noise, it appears nothing is done to enforce it, or about the law stating motor cyclists must wear crash helmets.
Due to having a good road system with numerous motorways leading out of the city, traffic is fast and furious, with drivers making use of all lanes, in an attempt to reach their destinations in the shortest possible time.
Unfortunately, visitors will find car-hire more expensive than in numerous countries, with petrol prices around the highest in the world.
The drink driving law in Turkey is strictly enforced, so if going out for an evening of drinking, use a taxi, or use a non-drinking driver. In Istanbul, numerous drivers seem to think they can park wherever they want, with it nothing unusual for a driver to stop his car alongside a friends car and talk with them. At one time, this happened to a car ahead of one I was in. After blasting his horn for the driver to move without any response, the driver got out and walked up towards the car shouting at the driver. As he did, the driver of the parked car got out holding a large kitchen knife. The driver immediately retreated to his car, where he waited until the man got back in his car and drove off.
On finding a car parked across the pavement infront of me, I spoke to the nearby parking attendant. To my astonishment, he replied that he was afraid to say anything to the driver, as last time he did, the driver pulled out a gun.
In view of this, I therefore, advise on what you might say to irresponsible drivers, as you cannot be sure of their response.
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