The most common point of entry (and exit) for a tourist is one of the many Airports in Turkey.
Formalities are not too unusual for a seasoned traveler, but depending on the time of your arrival (and through which Port of Entry) delays and queues can be experienced.
One thing you should check before you arrive is the Turkish Visa Requirements relating to your Nationality. In most cases you are able to purchase a Tourist Visa in country - this is not 100% rule though so check before arrival.
At the Time of writing the Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs posts Entry Visa information on their website here
A few things are noteworthy here:
If you intend to purchase your visa at the Turkish boarder, first look for the Visa issuing desk before you get into the queue for passport control. It can be quite frustrating having waited in line for some time only to be redirected back to the Visa Desk to buy your Visa.
Next check out the Visa prices and currencies, for Example a UK National is able to purchase a Tourist Visa at the boarder in Sterling, Euros or US Dollars, so if you are traveling as a family or in a large group, you may be able to save a little on currency cross exchange rates.
Finally make sure that you have reasonably new currency notes, in good condition, to the value of the Visa you intend to purchase. Coins are not normally accepted, old issue or torn tattered bank notes may be refused and the Visa Agent may not be able to give you change large value Bank notes.
Attention to these small details can speed up your entry quite significantly.
One other thing, which may enhance your visit, is to purchase your Duty Free goodies as you arrive in Turkey rather than in your county of departure. Tobacco and Alcohol goods can be significantly cheaper and it saves a lot of room on the overhead lockers on the plane. Locations of the Duty Free shops vary according to your point of entry; in some cases they are located before the Passport Control desk, in others in the baggage arrival hall, in all cases though the Duty Free Shops are very easy to find and they are always located before Turkish Customs Control.
A useful link here regarding Turkish duty free allowances (and other information)
Having got through passport control, possibly having acquired your Duty Free Goods and gathered up your luggage, your final barrier to entry is Customs Control. In most cases this is not a problem but remember these guys have a very serious job to do. In my experience if you are patient and polite this is always reciprocated by the Customs officials and you will encounter few problems entering the country.
As with entering Turkey, leaving Turkey will present few surprises to a seasoned traveler. However always bear in mind the security issues related to international travel and leave enough time prior to departure to complete these formalities, the official recommendation is currently 2 hours prior to scheduled departure. More will cause you few problems, less can stress you out.
Again the process varies a little depending on the departure port, but you should be prepared for a minimum of 2 security checks, the First on Entering the Airport, checking your entire luggage, the second at the departure gate checking your carry on hand luggage, there can be intermediate checks too.
Hand luggage should not contain any sharp "weapon like" objects or hand tools (Manicure sets, Swiss Army Knives, leather-men and screwdrivers +etc) should you intend to travel with these or similar items it is advisable to pack them in your "Checked in" baggage. In some cases you will be asked to surrender "suspect" items to the Security Police for retrieval at the end of your journey.
You should also be prepared to turn on computers, hand held games, walkmans and any other battery operated equipment, irrespective of it being hand or checked in baggage. The watchword here as always is patience and courtesy, try to remember these guys are not "picking" on you, they are actually trying to "protect" you.
After checking in, getting your boarding pass it's on through Passport control and Customs Export Control. Note this link also has information about what you are allowed or not allowed to take out of the country.
Finally you will find yourself in the departure lounge for some final Duty Free shopping and onto the Departure Gate. A word of caution, the inspection equipment at the departure gate is particularly sensitive, often requiring the removal of belts, shoes; any and all metal objects, to allow you to pass through the check without a "beep" It is advisable to be prepared for this by placing all of your metal objects on the inspection belt, this will greatly speed up the queue through the check and save a lot of frustration for yourself and fellow travelers.
Now onto the final "final"
Be aware that on some flights you will be asked to identify your checked in luggage before you board the flight. From experience this is a random requirement and only worthy of note in that should you fail to identify your baggage the flight will be held up and you will be called off the plane to do so, thereby suffering the contempt of your fellow passengers and a great deal of personal embarrassment.
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