Image by Hitesh Choudhary
  • Turkish drivers tend to ignore marked lanes. They wander across several lanes, usually without using turn signals. Many are situationally aware and will move into a lane to allow you to overtake them, but don’t depend on it. Flash your headlights and/or sound your horn if you think they don’t see you.

  • Sometimes they’re observed, sometimes they’re ignored—and you have ti figure out which. If locals ignore a stop sign and you stop at it, you’re liable to be hit from the rear.

  • You will encounter police traffic stops on every long drive. Teams of traffic police set up highway checkpoints marked by traffic cones, signs, and a blue-and-white police cruiser car. Traffic will be guided by the cones through one lane.

  • Children under the age of 10 have to sit in the back of the car. The blood alcohol level limit for drink driving is 0.05% mg/ml.

  • Use of low lights or luces bajas is mandatory 24 hours per day on highways and main roads.

  • Mobile phones can only be used with a hands free system.

  • Vehicles can only be parked in the direction of traffic flow. It is illegal to park a vehicle facing opposing traffic.

  • In towns, intersections without traffic lights or signs function like four-way stops: a car approaching from your right has right of way.

  • On main roads left hand turns are not allowed unless specifically stated.

  • In the event of an accident, stay by your car until the police come.

Image by Bas van den Eijkhof


The standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers are as follows:

  • 40 kph on side roads.

  • 60 kph in built up areas.

  • 100 -120 kph on highways and roads outside the city.


Bus and large-truck drivers are mostly experienced professionals who will cause you few problems, except that on two-lane roads you may have to overtake them frequently.

Auto drivers vary from courteous, highly-skilled, experienced, aware drivers to those at the far, far end of the scale: reckless, inattentive, unskilled, emotional. Most Turkish drivers, I’m happy to admit, are not bad: some skill, some courtesy, but driving habits are most probably different (perhaps quite different) from those you’re used to at home.

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