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Read About Transportation and Infrastructure in Turkey

Transportation and Infrastructure in Turkey Information for Foreigners

Turkey, a bridge between Europe and Asia, boasts a rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes. Its transportation infrastructure reflects its status as a crucial geographical nexus, offering a range of options for both domestic and international travel. For foreigners, understanding the various transportation modes and infrastructure can greatly enhance their experience in Turkey. Here is a comprehensive guide to help navigate Turkey’s transportation and infrastructure landscape.

Air Travel

Air Travel in turkey
Air Travel in turkey


Turkey is well-connected by air, with several international and domestic airports. The most prominent ones include:

  • Istanbul Airport (IST): One of the largest and busiest airports globally, serving as a major hub for international and domestic flights.
  • Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW): Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, catering to low-cost carriers and regional flights.
  • Ankara Esenboğa Airport (ESB): Serving the capital city, Ankara, with numerous domestic and international flights.
  • Antalya Airport (AYT): A key gateway for tourists visiting the Mediterranean coast.


Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, offers extensive routes worldwide and within Turkey. Pegasus Airlines and SunExpress are popular low-cost carriers providing budget-friendly options for domestic and regional flights.

Rail Travel

Rail Travel
Rail Travel

High-Speed Trains

Turkey has been rapidly expanding its high-speed train network. Key routes include:

  • Ankara-Istanbul: A popular route connecting the capital with the largest city in approximately 4 hours.
  • Ankara-Konya: This route connects the capital to the historic city of Konya in around 1.5 hours.
  • Istanbul-Konya: A direct route taking approximately 4.5 hours.

Regional Trains

The State Railways of the Republic of Turkey (TCDD) operates regional and intercity trains, offering a slower but scenic travel option across the country.

Road Travel

road travel turkey
road travel turkey

Highways and Roads

Turkey has an extensive network of well-maintained highways and roads. Key highways include:

  • O-1 and O-2 (Istanbul): Major ring roads around Istanbul, facilitating easy access to different parts of the city.
  • D100 and D200: Main east-west highways connecting major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.


Intercity bus travel is a popular and affordable way to explore Turkey. Companies like Metro Turizm, Kamil Koç, and Pamukkale offer extensive networks and comfortable services, including luxury options with Wi-Fi and refreshments.

Car Rentals

Car rentals are widely available, with major international and local companies operating in Turkey. Driving is on the right side of the road, and an international driving permit is recommended.

Public Transportation in Cities


Istanbul’s public transportation system is comprehensive, including:

  • Metro: An extensive network with lines covering key areas of the city.
  • Tram: Modern tram lines, such as the T1, connect historic and tourist areas.
  • Buses: Operated by IETT, offering widespread coverage.
  • Ferries: Crucial for commuting between the European and Asian sides of the city.


The capital city’s public transport includes:

  • Metro: A growing network with multiple lines.
  • Buses: Managed by EGO, covering extensive routes across the city.


Izmir offers a well-developed public transportation system, including:

  • Izban: A commuter rail system connecting suburbs with the city center.
  • Tram: New tram lines along the coastline.
  • Ferries: Connecting different parts of the city across the bay.

Practical Tips for Foreigners

  • Transportation Cards: Cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir offer transportation cards (Istanbulkart, Ankarakart, and Izmirim Kart) for convenient travel across various modes of public transport.
  • Language: While English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, learning basic Turkish phrases can be helpful, especially when traveling to more remote areas.
  • Navigation Apps: Apps like Google Maps, Moovit, and local apps such as BiTaksi (for taxis) and Scotty (for motorcycle taxis) can assist in navigating the transportation systems.
  • Safety: Turkey’s transportation infrastructure is generally safe. However, always stay aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas and when using public transport. Infrastructure in Turkey
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