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Driving in Turkey
Quoted from The Rough Guide To Turkey, fifth edition, page 39
Typical hazards include the local flair for overtaking right, left, and centre, preferably on a curve, failure to signal turns, and huge trucks (the ubiquitous TIRs) either ambling along at walking pace or whizzing past at kamikaze speeds.  Additionally, small-town driving features all the following:  trotting horsecarts, pedal bicyclists in the fast lane (with no lights), blithely reversing tractors, pedestrians or livestock strolling heedlessly out in front of you, and buses and minibuses halting without warning to take on pedestrians invisible to you.

I would add to that:
  • Turkey's motor vehicle accident rate is among the highest in the world, which makes me wonder what country surpasses them.
  • The traffic light sequence in Turkey is:  "red, yellow, green, yellow, red".  The yellow before the green is for revving up so that as soon as the light turns green you can go your fastest, although, many drivers just proceed on yellow and will honk if you are in front of them and are stopped. 
  • Lanes are suggestions only, however, when you have approached a stoplight, lanes should be totally ignored to make room for an extra lane - if there are normally 2 lanes on the road, at the stoplight there will be 3, sometimes 4.
  • There are places in Istanbul where there is a middle lane in which vehicles proceed in either one direction or the other at different times.  There are no signs nor any other indication what direction is assigned to the middle lane now or when it might switch.  If you are Turkish, you just know.
  • A typical road is full of vehicles (both legged and wheeled) going very slowly, very fast, and medium speed.  There is a large difference between all the speeds and any vehicle might be on any lane of the road.
  • People cross the road around and between vehicles, close enough to touch them, or actually touching them as they cross, at any time when the traffic has slowed for a couple of seconds.
  • There is a lack of guardrails on narrow mountainous roads.
  • There are large holes, ditches, and cliffs without signs or hazard warnings.

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Created:  November 15, 2004
Updated:  November 21, 2004
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