Time difference: GMT + 2
Language: The official language is Turkish, and while English is widely spoken in the capital and coastal resorts, it may be less widely spoken in the country areas.
Dress: By contrast with cosmopolitan Istanbul and the coastal resorts along the Aegean and Mediterranean, dress in eastern Turkey remains modest and conservative. Travellers should respect local sensitivities and avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops. Women should dress appropriately and cover their heads when entering mosques.
Electrical current/ plugs: 220 AC volts. Plugs are rounded two-pronged variety.
Religion: Constitutionally, Turkey is a secular country, but over 98% of the Turkish population is nominally Muslim. Christians (principally Greek Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox) and Sephardic Jews comprise the tiny remaining minority.
Water: It is safe to drink the tap water (and safe to use it for teeth cleaning) but it is recommended to buy bottled water.
Politics: The Republic of Turkey has a secular, parliamentary democracy. Former Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was elected President in August 2014 in Turkey's first direct presidential election.