Highway route has a 92 % part in inland freight business and 94 % part in passenger transportation in Turkey. While the role of railways in passenger transportation is 4.5 % and around 5.5 % in freight business the role of sea transportation in freight business is 3-4 % and it is only 5 per thousand in the country whose three sides are surrounded by seas and whose coast line is 8333 km. And airways have a role of 1 % in passenger transportation and 3 per thousand in freight business. The total length of highway route in Turkey is approximately 65 thousand km. Highway network has been developing in recent years. Total highway network by the end of 2004 has reached 1659. Whereas the state road is at a length of 31 thousand and 446 km, the length of the road of the province is 30 thousand 368 km.
International highway transportation is increasingly providing foreign exchange entry into the Turkish economy in recent years. The amount of foreign exchange which has been contributed to economy by this sector fluctuates between 1.5-2 billion USA dollars annually.
TETEK route which is at a length of 3 thousand 200 km and which is the vertebrate of the main road system of Turkey begins at the borders of Georgia, passes through Istanbul, Ankara and Gerede and while one of its branches ends in Syria border, another branch goes ahead till the borders of Iraq. TETEK is linked to the highway network of European and Central Asia. It is the shortest route stretching to Central Asia, Western Asia and North Africa. It connects E-80 and E-90 highways and European highways to Iran and Iraq via Turkey.
International sign and rules are valid for highways of Turkey as well. Places with historic and natural beauties are shown in yellow signboards.
Traffic rules and their operation are identical to their counterparts in Continental Europe. The speed range is 90 km/hour on intercity roads and 50 km/hour in residential areas. Driving should be carried out with a great care assuming that dense traffic may be experienced on intercity roads, farm machines and animal herds can suddenly emerge on the road. The road between Ankara and Istanbul is the highway with the heaviest traffic. However, because of the existence of auto route, driving on this road is very easy.
Gas stations are available on highway routes at certain points which incessantly serve for 24 hours. There are catering, repairing and maintenance units in most of these stations. It is possible to buy unleaded gas from wherever you want in Turkey.
Auto repair workshops generally serve in outside neighborhoods of big cities and main road routes. The Turkish car repairmen have gained a reputation which they deserved with their abilities and skills. It is possible to get help and information from Turkey Touring and Automobile Institution if necessary. Auto rent service is available from everywhere in Turkey. It is also possible to get information from local tourism information concerning this issue.
Autobus firms run by private sector between all provinces and cities of the country carry out passenger transportation. Autobuses generally depart from bus stations in big cities and around market place in small cities. Autobus transportation is the cheapest and most preferred transportation option in Turkey.
There are taxis in all cities and small towns. They are easily recognized thanks to their yellow colors. There are taximeters in all taxis. How much it should be paid is shown by taxis. Taxis and minibuses which wait until all passenger seats are full and then carry out bulk transportation ply to at some routes. These are called “dolmus”. Their routes and what fee they should take for which routes are determined by municipalities. Besides a dolmus may have routes between certain neighborhoods and districts inside the city, they may also carry out transportation to nearby residential units and suburbs and to airports
Travel agencies organize trips for a day or for half of a day in other touristic areas in addition to Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara and Antalya. The historical and touristic places of this region are introduced to those who take part in these tours within this program.
Karayollari Genel Mudurlugu (KGM)
General Directorate of Highways www.kgm.gov.tr