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// Prep Process (EPA-AEP) // About Athens 2006 // AEP-APE Istanbul (09/2005)

Practical Information on the EPA-Istanbul [en]
1 September 2005

Contact Information How to Get Visa Information Hotel Information Practical Information about the City


ESF - III. European Preparatory Assembly 2005 - Istanbul

Social Forum of Turkey will host the next ESF Assembly in Istanbul, on 23 – 25 September 2005. The information in this section covers the location of the meeting place, how to get there, where to stay, and the practical information which you will need during your stay in Istanbul.

We wish you a good Assembly and a pleasant stay in Istanbul.

Social Forum of Turkey Organizing Team


23 – 25 September 2005, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Meeting Place: ITU Maçka Sosyal Tesisleri (Istanbul Technical University – Maçka Social Facility)

Address: Maçka Kampusu, Spor Street, Maçka - Istanbul

Social Forum of Turkey: E-mail: isf@gmx.net Phones: +90-212-243 37 15 (TSF office) and +90-0533-340 46 26 (Maral Jefroudi) and +90-536-259 73 64 (Erkin Erdogan).



Ataturk International Airport The airport is located on the East side of the city. It is about 15 kms from the city center. You should arrange your own transport from the airport to the city. If there is an absolute necessity to be picked up from the airport (e.g. disabled persons, etc), please let us know this well in advance.

How to get to town

Tram There is a tram running from the airport to the city and vice versa, which operates between 06.30 and 00.30 hours. It runs to Aksaray (end station), where you should change. You may take the tram/taxi to Sultanahmet district (close to the Grand Bazaar, the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque) or a bus/taxi to Taksim Square (our recommendation).

If you come directly to the venue from the airport, you should change in Aksaray, and take a public bus (or taxi) to Maçka (ITU Maçka Sosyal Tesisleri).

Tram and public bus cost around 0.70 Euro each. You should buy coins for the tram (there are tokens) and ticket for the public buses in advance (the blue buses -Halk Otobusu - are private and accept cash payment on the bus. They cost the same as public buses).

Private Bus Service There is also a private bus service from the airport to Aksaray district and to Taksim Square, and vice versa, every ½ hour between 06.00 and 01.00 hours. It costs around 4.50 Euro. The buses depart in front of the exit gates of arrival terminal (ask for "Havas Bus Service") at the airport.

Taxis These are yellow. They all have taxi-meters and it is compulsory to use these. The rates per km are fixed and there is a surcharge of 50 % between 00.00 and 06.00 hours. You can distinguish the difference from the lights on the counter: One red light: Day-rate; two red lights: Night-rate.


How to get to the venue

The whole event will take place in the same venue.

Address: ITU Maçka Sosyal Tesisleri (Istanbul Technical University – Maçka Social Facility) Maçka Kampusu, Spor Street, Maçka – Istanbul >> Please see the map(s)

How to get there Taxi costs about 4-4.5 Euro from Taksim Square to the venue. The public buses run from Taksim Square to the university regularly. Take the bus number 30M in Taksim and get off at the Spor Street stop. It takes about 15-20 minutes, however be aware that you may wait a long time to catch a bus. If you stay in Taksim Square, the venue is actually within the walking distance. It may take you about 20-30 minutes to walk and wander around. There is also "dolmush" (shared taxi) to the venue from the Taksim Square. They queue in front of the Ataturk Cultural Centre in Taksim Square.


Visa Information Please check it in advance if you need a visa for Turkey. If you need an official invitation letter or any kind of assistance, please let us know.


Type of Passport : Ordinary Passport Period of Visa Exemption : 3 Months Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece Grenada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (only passports of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), Iceland, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, St. Lucia, St. Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vatican

Type of Passport : Ordinary Passport Period of Visa Exemption : 2 Months Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Indonesia, Macedonia, Romania

Type of Passport : Ordinary Passport Period of Visa Exemption : 1 Month Costa Rica, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, South Africa

Type of Passport : Official Passports Period of Visa Exemption : 3 Months Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Holland, Hong-Kong Special Administrative Region(only passports of Hong-Kong Special Administrative Region), Iceland, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico (only diplomatic passports) Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal (only diplomatic passports), Qatar, Russia (only diplomatic passports), St. Lucia, St. Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vatikan

Type of Passport : Official Passports Period of Visa Exemption : 2 Months Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Indonesia, Macedonia, Romania

Type of Passport : Official Passports Period of Visa Exemption : 1 Month Bulgaria (only diplomatic passports) Costa Rica, Estonia (only diplomatic passports) , Hungary, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia( only diplomatic passports), Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, Vietnam (only diplomatic passports), Yemen ORDINARY PASSPORT HOLDERS OF NATIONALS OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES MAY OBTAIN STICKER TYPE VISAS AT THE TURKISH INTERNATIONAL BORDER GATES TO ENTER INTO TURKEY

Type of Passport : Ordinary Passport Duration of Stay : 3 Months Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, United States of America

Type of Passport : Ordinary Passport Duration of Stay : 1 Month Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia,

Type of Passport : Ordinary Passport Duration of Stay : 15 Days Georgia


Information on hotels and accommodation

Hotels We recommend that you book a hotel around Taksim Square, which is close to the venue. Most of the political organisations are located in Taksim and Beyoglu districts, like the Social Forum of Turkey itself.

There are three locations where you can book your hotel: 1. Aksaray is located in the old city, where most hotels are. It is close to most tourist attractions (such as the Grand Bazaar, etc). It takes around 30-40 minutes from Aksaray to the venue by public transport.

2. Sultanahmet is close to the ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman attractions (such as the Blue Mosque, St Sophia, etc) and low budget hotels are located here. It takes around 35-45 minutes from Sultanahmet to the venue by a public transport.

3. Taksim Square is located close to the venue and is central to most happennings in the city such as politics, entertainment and cultural events. It has also many middle class hotels, which are recently erected and therefore recommendable. We recommend that ESF delegates book hotels around Taksim Square due to its central location. It takes around 15-20 minutes from Taksim to the venue by a public bus.

Please Click for online hotel guide & booking http://www.istanbulhotels.com/ or https://secure.bookinturkey.com/default_en.asp

Free Accommodation We will arrange free accommodation for delegates from Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East, if so required. Please indicate your arrival date and time and if there is any accompanied person. If you need free accommodation, we should know it in advance, so that we can make the necessary arrangements. The conditions in free accommodation will be basic. Pease fill the form and send it to isf@gmx.net


Practical Information

Planning your trip: http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/index.html

Local time: GMT + 2 hours

Electricity: 220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. Plug: European round / 2-prong plug.

Water: Although tap water is safe to drink, it is recommended to drink bottled water.

Newspapers and Magazines: All major European and international newspapers and magazines are available in Istanbul. There is also a local daily newspaper, Turkish Daily News, published in English.

Tipping: At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths, barbers and hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 5%-15% is common. Taxi and "dolmush" (shared taxis) drivers do not expect tips.

Visiting a mosque: Visitors should remove their shoes like all Muslims and show respect and avoid visiting the mosque during prayer times. Women should cover their heads and arms. Women and men are not allowed to enter with miniskirts and shorts. (In certain famous mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.)

Currency: All major credit cards and ATM cards are valid in Istanbul. If you change your cash, it is better to do so in private exchange kiosks, since they offer better exchange rates than banks. Do not change all your currency at the airport, since they offer the worst exchange rates. The exchange kiosks are also open on Saturdays and after bank working hours. Banks are closed on Saturdays.

Working Hours:

Government Offices Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30 and 13:30-17:30) Saturday-Sunday (closed)

Banks Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00 and 13:30-17:00) Saturday-Sunday (closed)

Climate: Autumn (mid-September through October) is second best with mostly mild weather, but the days are shorter. Be aware that the nights are much colder. In September: Average high temperature: 25 C Average low temperature: 15 C Average Precipitation: 58 mm Average Morning Relative Humidity: 81 % Average Afternoon Relative Humidity: 59 % Average sunshine (hrs) 8

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