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Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

IPOH
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Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

I heard that since 1st August, the government had increased the entrance fees to attractions in Istanbul. Can someone who recently being in Istanbul or is now in Istanbul update me about the latest entrance fees to major attractions there ? Thanks.

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1. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

We were there last week and the only entrance fees I can remember paying were:

Topkapi Palace: 20YTL

Basilica Cistern: 10 YTL

The Blue Mosque is free and we were too 'Mosqued-out' to visit Haghia Sophia.

There must be other paying attractions but we didn't visit them.

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IPOH
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2. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

Thanks Mel,

I need to ask, 20YTL for Topkapi is for entrance and harem, or entrance only ? Thanks.

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Hotel Topkapi
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3. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

Yes - there was an additional fee for the Harem but we had had enough sightseeing by this point and I did not notice what the cost was.

As there were lengthy queues for the Treasury, we also missed this section.

Brighton and Hove...
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4. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

Shame Mel that you were too "mosqued out" (!) for Haghia Sophia - that was the absolute highlight of all the places we visited in our trip to Istanbul.

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5. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

Yes- shame on me Attagul - something to look forward to next time though.. But the weather was so lovely, I needed to spend at much time in the sun as possible (you know all about the English Summer).

A point on the Blue Mosque, it appears that the 'no shorts' rule is not too strictly observed. Although we asked if we needed to cover up, we were informed that there was no problem with our casual attire.

The ladies do need to cover their shoulders though and shawls are provided.

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florida
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6. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

Jumping in here to add that what I've been reading on another site (cruise critic website for med ports) often conflicts with info I read here. (And of course there's often disagreement within each site.) A number of posters have mentioned that they've actually been discouraged from covering their head (women) when entering a mosque if they're a tourist rather than a practicing Muslim. One person wrote that her Turkish guide urged the women not to cover their head; she said the guide was insistent that Turkey is a secular country (I'm aware of all the conflicts/debates on that question), and that, indeed, it was if not downright inappropriate for a non-Muslim to cover head, it was surely not called for. I've been in synagogues, e.g., where non-Jewish men are not expected to cover head; I guess it's sort of the same thing.

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7. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

Nancy, I do not know if it is really the same thing. The head scarf represents a much larger symbol to many Turkish people, and secular guides probably are pleased when they can bring as many women as possible into a mosque without their heads covered.

Certainly the expectations in the Blue Mosque are much more liberal than they would be in other mosques, and certainly other cities in Turkey. Even in this mosque, however, women are still expected to cover their shoulders.

You seem to have strong feelings about this issue, and you do not need to worry about it. As I have said before, no one is going to deny entrance to you if you do not have a head scarf. You will either be permitted to enter without one, or someone will give you something to wear.

I can assure you that wearing one is absolutely not "downright inappropriate for a non-Moslem woman". If you buy into that argument, you become nothing more than political ammunition for secular Turks. While I have great affinity for their position I am not willing to allow myself to become a political tool in their hands by engaging in a disrespectful act in a place of worship.

Recently the Queen of England visited Turkey, and she elected to wear a scarf while visiting the mosque. Even when told it was not necessary she responded that it was custom, and she wished to honor that custom. I am sure that there are many people around the Queen who know the formal rules of etiquette regarding wearing the scarf, and if it was "downright inappropriate for a non-Moslem woman" to wear that scarf she would not have done something that anyone viewed to be inappropriate.

So....if what I define as good manners is good enough for the Queen of England, I think it is good enough for me. You can see her photo in the following web site. weaselzippers.net/blog/…queen-of-englan.html

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8. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

Okay BR, but you should remember that Queen Elizabeth II is not only a Head of State, but also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and therefore has a titular role, at least, in religious affairs.

You shouldn't mix diplomacy up with tourism, and anyway the Queen often wears a scarf, as can be seen in the following image:

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/GPv0id0xOAx/Royal+Windsor+Horse+Show+2008+Day+2/1yrkXyGw5RJ/Queen+Elizabeth+II

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9. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

The current debate and feeling regarding the wearing of 'scarves' by women inside or out of mosques is very complex here in Turkey at the moment, more so than at any other time I've know.

I suggest that woman do what makes them feel comfortable and people who don't really understand the current political climate refrain from commenting on the subject.

Sue

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10. Re: Latest Istanbul Entrance Fees

How odd. I always mix diplomacy with tourism. I always see myself as a diplomat of my country, state, city and neighborhood. I try to exhibit behaviors that reflect positively on my own culture as well as my own values.

I well remember the exceptional contempt that Americans earned for themselves in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s by arriving in mass, wearing shorts and baseball shirts and flinging around dollars as if they were mere pieces of paper, while flying in the face of local cultural expectations.

I remember the impact the book The Ugly American had on me, and how determined I was not to contribute to that impression of Americans when I traveled outside of my own country.

I only offered the example of the Queen because I do not believe she would do something that was "downright inappropriate for a non-Moslem woman", and I do not believe that there is one set of rules for the head of the Church of England and another for regular non-Moslem women. I know that she often wears a head scarf, as do many other women in her generation, but it is worn to protect her hair from the weather. I have never seen her wear a scarf inside a building on a formal visit.

I am aware that this is a painful issue, and I have the greatest sympathy for those who have symbolic objections to the head scarf. I fully understand how quickly the right to wear a scarf can turn into an obligation to wear a scarf.

I do not however, wish my behavior to become part of the debate regarding the separation of church and state. I believe that regardless of how objectionable you may find the pressures of a conservative government, you still have an obligation to respect the religion. I would never wear a head scarf in any other context than the mosque itself, and were I living in Turkey, even if I were Moslem, I doubt I would wear a head scarf anywhere other than a mosque.

In further support of my belief that the concept that is is "downright inappropriate for a non-Moslem woman" to wear a head scarf in a mosque I would also offer the following quote from Turkey Travel Planner, which I believe to be an accurate representation of appropriate behavior for those visiting Turkey. Tom writes: " To visit mosques, clean and modest dress is appreciated and often required. In short, don't show thighs, shoulders or tops of upper arms. Slacks, or knee-length skirt or dress; blouse or top with sleeves to at least the mid-upper-arm. Have a headscarf to cover your hair. In cooler seasons, a light hoodie is a great idea: just raise the hood when entering a mosque, and you needn't bother with a headscarf!"

I am well over feeling embarrassed when my fellow US citizens enter a mosque with a bare head. I do not care what anyone does re: head scarf issue. I am merely explaining why I continue to observe this custom. It is an issue to which I have given much thought because I fully understand what the image of the scarf represents to people in Turkey, and to the degree that I enter that debate as a visitor to the country and a visitor to a mosque, I had to come to terms with my own feelings about women's rights, freedom of religion and the importance of a secular government.

I do want to make it clear that a woman who decides to wear a scarf is in no way violating any values or cultures. It is not inappropriate for any woman to wear a scarf in a mosque. People who make that argument are merely trying to send hordes of tourists into mosques under the mistaken belief that they should not, actually wear a head scarf because it is "downright inappropriate". It is not.

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