|Currency||Turkish Lira (TRY)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2) , DST: EEST (UTC+3)|
| Feb '10. See news item re new laws covering discharges from vessels in Turkish waters.|
Updated 1st April '10
From 1st January '09, a detailed inventory form is required for entry and exit to and from Turkey. The form must detail all main items aboard such as engines, generators, sails, electronics such as SSB, VHF, GPS, and all items such as bicycles, binoculars, stereos, computers, television sets, etc. This form will be attached to the yacht's cruising permit and the items listed on entry must match those on the list on exit from Turkey. Any changes to this inventory list while in Turkey must be covered with purchase invoices for additions to the list or sales receipts identifying the new owner of the goods if removed from the list. This inventory list is stamped and copied by Customs at a cost of 50 Turkish lira.
Turkey is mostly located in Anatolia, the westernmost protrusion of Asia, between Mediterranean and Black seas, while its small westernmost section is in Southeast Europe separated by the Turkish Straits: Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles.
With the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.
The background and history of Turkey is best observed on Wikipedia.
See also Aegean Sea.
Cruising the region
Turkey has many and diverse cruising regions, for details see Popular Stops.
See individual ports
Turkish Navy charts are of high quality and cost a fraction of the cost of British Admiralty Charts. They can be found in some marina and chandlery stores. Price of each set is about USD50.00. There are all three sets for Aegean and two sets for Marmara coasts. Source of the charts is Seyir Hidrografi ve Oşinografi Dairesi Başkanlığı (SHODB).
Aegean Turkey's climate is varied, but it is typically Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters. Prevailing wind is meltemi which blows from North West but tends to be more Westerlies following the coast line. Generally it starts a midday, getting its maximum power late afternoon and dies with the sun set. Meltemi does rarely exceed the 20-25 kts mark but the Southerly and Easterlies which are frequent in winter months can be a problem. One should remember that there are very few shelters to these winds and care should be taken. The winds gets lighter, heat and humidity is up as you go towards South and West.
Turkish State Meteorological Service
- Daily Marine Forecast (Text in Turkish, English and German)
- Extended Marine Weather Forecast (Text, for region names see METU3 chart below)
- 24h METU3 Marine model forecasts (regions overview for Med, Black Sea and Caspian Sea)
- METU3 wave forecast
- METU3 wind forecast
Other Weather Links
- Poseidon System 3 day forecasts for Greek and Turkish seas from the National Center for Marine Research
- Weather on Line Detail 7 day forecast charts for the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Atlantic
- Wind GURU A surfer's site with worldwide wind forecasts
- Passage Weather - Eastern Med
- Passages between Athens Region and Samos - Kusadasi
- Passages between Athens Region and Rhodes - Marmaris
- N - S Passages in East Aegean
See individual regions in Berthing below.
See also the Coast Guide of Turkey.
- Navtex Broadcasting of Turkish Radio by Directorate General of Coastal Safety. Make sure to select English (İNGİLİZCE) at the form's field labelled "Yayin Dili"
- Navigational warnings
- Notices To Mariners
- Navtex broadcasts schedules
Also see Cruiser's Nets
- Cellular Phone(GSM/GPRS), Turkey has very good GSM/GPRS coverage. In ports where there is no coverage or the signal is weak, there is a notation.
- Obtaining a cell phone in Turkey requires registration with a Tax Id which requires residency papers. The easy solution is to purchase a second hand top up phone from a resident. In contrast to the rules for telephone service, there is no registration requirement in obtaining a GSM based wifi hub. Turkcell sell these for about 215TL. 10GB service that can be used over a 3 month period costs 79TL. When it runs out it can be topped up at any Turkcell shop.
Ensure that your first landfall in Turkey is made at an official Port of Entry. An official Transit Log (a strict requirement) is issued at the first port of entry and is valid for 1 year.
All vessels arriving must fly the Q flag and complete the formalities at an official port of entry. Formalities must be completed in the following order: Health, Harbourmaster, Passport Police and Customs. Most marinas will undertake the clearing in formalities on your behalf and obtain the yachts Transit Log on your behalf. It is therefore prudent to make a marina your first port of call.
Details required for the yacht's Transit Log are: Full details of the vessel, skipper, owner (incl. documemtation), detailed crew list, Turkish destinations (and route) and full inventory. Any changes to this information MUST be noted in the Transit Log and authorised by the Harbourmaster of the port in which the change has occured.
Note: The Turkish officials are very strict on illegal chartering - paying crew will be deemed as "charter".
Departure from Turkey MUST be from an official Port of Entry. The Transit Log must be surrendered as well as full clearance procedures with the Harbourmaster, Police and Customs. Each re-entry of the yacht back to Turkey requires a repitition of the clearing in procedures and a new "Transit Log" as the Transit Log, though valid for 1 year, is for a single entry only.
Note: In most Ports of Entry there are agents, usually operating within a marina, who, for an extra fee, will undertake to do all the clearance legwork for either entering or exiting Turkey. Since often the various offices (Health, Harbourmaster, Passport Police and Custom) are scattered around the town, this extra expense is worth the convenience. You just hand your papers and passports to the agent and after a few hours he brings them back dully stamped. In the mean time, you and your crew are free to come and go. --Istioploos 20:32, 21 April 2008 (MDT)
In most ports there is no need to make advance reservations. The exemption to this are some popular marinas, especially during the peak cruising season form June to September. See individual ports for details.
Note: Once clearance into Turkey is obtained, a Transit Log is issued. The authorities request you very rarely to show this Transit Log.
Customs and Immigration
Foreign owners arriving in Turkey on their own yacht can be granted a 2 year visa (5 years, if obtained in advance from the Turkish Diplomatic Mission in your country of domicile).
Some foreigners (see  or ) must obtain an electronic visa before arrival in Turkey. This is quite simple to do on the Turkish website e-Visa Republic of Turkey The cost is US$20. The visa is good for multiple entries and is valid for 90 days. A stay of even one day over the 90 is heavily penalized so it is important to note the expiry date on your visa.
Important: note that from 2011 it will no longer be permitted for yacht crews to leave Turkey (e.g. on a day trip to Greece) on the expiry of their 90 day visa and obtain a further 90 day visa on their return. They will be required to wait at least 90 days before applying for a further visa. This new regulation will pose major problems for many live-aboard crews in Turkey.
For the latest updates, visit the website of the Turkish Consulate in your own country.
If staying longer than 90 days you must apply for a residence permit and must prove adequate financial means. Multiple entry Residence Permits are available for periods starting from 3 months up to 5 years. A foreign yacht owner, his wife, children and registered crew can obtain longer term Residence Permits, on condition that they have a fully paid contract to keep their yacht in a marina for at least the length of time that the Residence Permit is applied for. These applications should be done with the assistance of your marina management.
Firearms and ammunition MUST be declared on arrival. Dive tanks must also be declared on arrival.
PETS: Dogs and cats need a recent health certificate from the country of origin as well as a rabies vaccination certificate that shows that the animal received the vaccination between two weeks and six months before arrival in Turkey.
Note: Only one pet is allowed to be brought into Turkey.
Fees and Charges
Health and Security
Prefer bottled water when not in big cities.
In general, especially in the Aegean regions, Turkey is a very secure country.
The two major cruising regions in Turkey are the Aegean Sea and Western Mediterranean.
Key to symbols: || — Island || — Port of entry || — Harbor || — Marina || — Anchorage || — Needs data ||
|Black Sea (A-N)||Black Sea (O-Z)||Bosphorus||Sea of Marmara (A-K)|
|Sea of Marmara (L-Z)||Dardanelles||Aegean Sea (A-B)||Aegean Sea (C-E)|
|Aegean Sea (G-L)||Aegean Sea (M-Z)||Western Med (A-F)||Western Med (G-I)|
|Western Med (J-O)||Western Med (P-Z)||Eastern Med||Northern Cyprus|
Notes: (1) Rumored Port of entry; (2) as at July 2011 not a Port of Entry contrary to some cruising guides; (3) Use is discouraged.
Submit details/contacts of cruiser's "friends" that can be contacted in advance or on arrival - who can offer information and assistance to our cruising "family".
List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)
- Turkey Cruising Discussions (on CruiserLog) - Latest cruising news.
- Turkey Sailing and Cruising Discussions on Cruisers Forum
- Waste Water Tanks (on CruiserLog) - Discussion on new rules Feb '10.
- Wikipedia - Turkey at the Wikipedia
- Wikipedia - Marinas in Turkey
- FOCUS on TURKEY A very thorough coverage of Turkish history, culture and landscapes. It has an extensive coverage on sailing in Southern Turkey. From the Middle Eastern Technical University.
- Turkish Odyssey An online travel guide to Turkey.
- Mersina Travel Guide Another online travel guide to Turkey. It includes some cultural information. It also covers the Black Sea.
- Turkish Government Nautical Charts
References & Publications
- Rod Heikell, Turkish Waters & Cyprus Pilot, Imray, Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire, ISBN 9781846234132
- Contains information on the Black Sea Coast of Turkey, except it has no diagrams or pictures for the Black Sea Coast of Turkey
- Rick and Sheila Nelson, A Cruising Guide to the Black Sea (Mediterranean pilots & charts), Bluewater Books & Charts, ISBN 9780852881736
- John Freely, The Western Shores of Turkey: Discovering the Aegean and Mediterranean Coasts, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, ISBN 9781850436188
- Mariana Koromila and Thodoris Kontaras, Erythraea enas evloyimenos mikrokosmos stin kardia tis Ionias (in Greek), Politistike Hetaireia "Panorama", ISBN 9789608514287
- Neal Ascherson, [http://www.amazon.com/Black-Sea-Neal-Ascherson/dp/0809030438 Black Sea, Hill and Wang, ISBN 9780809030439
- Mariana Koromila, Pontos - Anatolia, Fotographico odiporiko (in Greek), Lousi Brazioti, ISBN 9789607294005
- Tim Severin, The Jason Voyage,the Quest for the Golden Fleece, Hutchinson, ISBN 9780091618803
We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit. Personal experiences?
- I have been cruising in Turkey for over 25 years. I have always found it a pleasant and welcoming country. --Istioploos
- While still very welcoming, in recent years Turkey has ceased to be a relatively cheap place for cruising yachts, with daily marina charges to visitors now in the French Riviera league (around €70 per night in some marinas for a typical 13 metre yacht) --Atheneoflymington 09:10, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
- The new visa regulations (see above) will deter many yachtsmen from the countries affected (and especially liveaboards) from keeping their boats in Turkey. While individual Turks are just as friendly and hospitable as ever, the authorities seem to be adopting a much harder line with foreign yacht owners and bureaucracy has increased significantly since we first took a marina contract in Turkey --Athene of Lymington 13:48, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
- RE: mobile phone registration. From my experience (as of 2010) you only need to bring your passport along with the phone to the official operator's outlet (Turkcell in my case, they have one at the Ataturk airport). It takes around half an hour to proceed through the paperwork. Then you get your registration and your phone does not get blocked after a week of using your brand new SIM card. NB: apparently resellers do not bother (or do not have rights) to do all the paperwork, hence the issue many visitors have with their phones . --Vadp 11:37, 23 January 2015 (GMT)
- SV Gyatso, Cruise of the Black Sea 2010
- 1999 S/Y Thetis: Istanbul to Samsun
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