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Turkey – Driving

Turkey is a vast country with diverse landscapes, from the bustling cities to the rural areas. Driving in Turkey can be challenging, but it’s also a great way to explore the country’s beauty. Before you start your journey, it’s essential to be familiar with the local driving rules and regulations.

Road Safety in Turkey

Road safety is a significant concern in Turkey. The country has a high rate of traffic accidents, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified road accidents as a leading cause of death and injury in the country. The main causes of accidents are speeding, reckless driving, and driver fatigue. It’s important to exercise caution and stay alert while driving in Turkey.

The quality of roads in Turkey varies. Major highways and motorways are well-maintained, but rural roads can be in poor condition. It’s not uncommon to encounter potholes, gravel roads, or unpaved roads in some regions.

Local driving standards can also be different from what you’re used to. Drivers in Turkey can be aggressive and impatient, and traffic can be chaotic, especially in urban areas. Be prepared for sudden lane changes, cutting in, and other unexpected maneuvers.

Equipment requirements

When driving in Turkey, you must have certain equipment in your vehicle at all times. These include:

  • Reflective vest
  • Warning triangle
  • Spare tire and tools
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher

It’s worth noting that failure to carry these items can result in a fine.

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Legal Obligations in the Event of a Road Accident

If you’re involved in a road accident in Turkey, you must:

  • Stop your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Call the police and report the accident. You can dial 155 for emergency services.
  • Exchange information with the other driver(s), including name, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration.
  • Do not move the vehicles until the police arrive unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • If there are any injuries, seek medical attention immediately.

It’s important to note that traffic accidents in Turkey can be complex and time-consuming, especially if there are injuries involved. It’s recommended that you contact your embassy or consulate for assistance.

Driving rules in Turkey

Driving side and speed limits

In Turkey, you must drive on the right-hand side of the road. The speed limits vary depending on the road type:

  • In cities and towns, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h, but it can be as low as 30 km/h in some areas.
  • On major highways and motorways, the speed limit is typically 120 km/h, but it can be higher in some areas.

Right of way

In Turkey, the general rule of right of way is that vehicles approaching from the right have priority. However, at intersections with traffic lights or signs, you must follow the instructions and yield to other vehicles when necessary.

Other important rules

  • It’s compulsory to wear seat belts both in the front and back seats.
  • Using mobile phones while driving is prohibited, and you may be fined if caught.
  • The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, and penalties for driving under the influence can be severe.

Road signs and traffic lights

Like most countries, Turkey has a number of road signs that drivers must pay attention to while driving. The signs are designed to communicate important information to drivers and help them navigate the roads safely.

Some of the most important road signs to be aware of in Turkey include:

  • Stop: This sign features a red octagon with the word “STOP” in white letters. Drivers must come to a complete stop at any intersection with this sign before proceeding.

  • Yield: This sign features a downward-pointing triangle with the word “YIELD” in white letters. Drivers must slow down and yield to oncoming traffic before proceeding.

  • No Parking: This sign features a red circle with a white horizontal line and the words “PARK ETME” (Turkish for “No Parking”) in black letters. Drivers must not park in areas where this sign is posted.

  • Speed Limit: This sign features a number inside a red circle with a white background. The number indicates the maximum speed limit in kilometers per hour (km/h) for that particular road.

  • One Way: This sign features a white arrow on a blue background, indicating that traffic is only allowed to travel in one direction on the road.

  • Roundabout: This sign indicates that there is a roundabout ahead. Drivers must follow the rules of the roundabout, which typically involve giving way to vehicles already on the roundabout.

Traffic lights in Turkey follow the standard green-yellow-red pattern. Green means go, yellow means slow down, and red means stop. However, some intersections in Turkey may also have flashing yellow lights, which indicate that drivers should proceed with caution.

Road Traffic Information and Relevant Websites

Drivers in Turkey can stay up to date on road traffic information by checking local news outlets and the official website of the Turkish General Directorate of Highways (KGM) at www.kgm.gov.tr. The KGM website provides information on road closures, traffic accidents, and other incidents that may affect traffic.

Parking Rules and Permits in Turkey

Parking in Turkey can be difficult, especially in large cities like Istanbul. There are a number of different parking regulations that drivers should be aware of in order to avoid fines or towing.

Some important parking rules to keep in mind in Turkey include:

  • Pay attention to parking signs and markings to avoid parking in areas where parking is not allowed.

  • Always park in the direction of traffic.

  • Do not park on the sidewalk, as this is illegal and can result in a fine.

  • Blue lines on the road indicate paid parking areas. Drivers must purchase a parking ticket from a nearby kiosk and display it on their dashboard.

  • Some areas in Turkey may require a parking permit for residents. If you are living in Turkey and plan to park your car on the street, it is important to check with your local municipality to see if you need a permit.

Disabled parking spaces are available in Turkey, but drivers must display a valid disabled parking permit in order to park in these spaces. The permit should be visible on the dashboard of the car, and drivers should make sure not to block access to other vehicles or pedestrian walkways.


Driving in Turkey can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the rules of the road, paying attention to road signs and traffic lights, and staying up to date on road traffic information, drivers can stay safe and enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer.