MELITOUR
Christian Moslem Encounter
By  St. Hilda's by the Sea, Anglican Church  of Canada
Group Leader  Father Mark
April 12, 2008 Saturday - April 26, 2008 Saturday
         ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CLIMATE

In April, the weather is very unpredictable in Istanbul and in Central Turkey. The Mediterranean and the Aegean region however, have the most pleasant weather in Spring. In general we can say cool evenings and warm and clear days.
During the day layering is recommended. Mid day you might need to go down to only a T shirt.
Expect to see snow in the mountains, possible a day or two of rain in Istanbul, and excellent warm weather ( 22-25 C) in the Mediterranean and the Aegean. The flowers will all be in bloom and there will be new born lambs grazing in the fields
 

WHAT TO WEAR

Donít forget your swimming suits. A scarf for mosque visits will be handy, also since we take our shoes when we enter the mosques and people's homes and easy slip on and off type of a shoe will be more comfortable. The women will need to wear a long skirt or long pants in the mosque .Through out the tour shorts are O.K. Bring a light rain jacket. A heavy sweater might be necessary when going over the mountains. Comfortable walking shoes. Our tours are not tours for dressing up so you do not need fancy dinner outfits.


LAUNDRY

You can have laundry done in all the hotels where we have more than one night stay. We generally arrange for a laundry for the group upon arrival to Cappadocia . Laundry is not included in the price of the tour. Please make sure you find out the price of the laundry service before you commit yourself.

 

MEALS

Turkish food has enough variety to meet every oneís need. Vegetarian menus are available. If special diet food is required we can arrange for that easily. When you book for the tour please advise us your special dietary requirements. We can handle every kind of a dietary requirement as long as we know about it. All the meals except for one lunch is included in the price of the tour.

 

EXTRA EXPENSES

Virtually everything on the tour is included except for your drinks.( Water with meal is included) Your daily average expenditure while on the tour will be about US $20 a day per person (mostly for drinks and souvenirs), though your actual expenditure could be far lower. People on shoe string budgets have spent as a little as $100 during the entire tour, while others have spent thousands of dollars ( usually on carpets.)

 

PERSONAL CHECKS & ATM card ( This is a very important note please read it carefully)

If you want to make a purchase over $100 you can pay with your traveler's checks . But cashing traveler's checks in a bank is expensive and not always easy. Do not rely on traveler's checks for cash.

ATMs are available. US$ currency can be used through out the country. If you need to change US$ to Turkish Lira, .you can do it at the airport very easily. The rates almost all the same. Personal Checks are honored if you should do a big purchase and are treated like cash.
If you are planning to use your ATM card or your credit card. Please make sure advise your bank about your travel plans and let them know that you will be in Turkey. Sometimes even if you inform your bank about your travel plan, they block your card when they see that it is being used in Turkey.
In that case all you need to do is call your bank from Turkey, it only takes few seconds to get your card back to life. HOWEVER, the collect number that you have in the back of your card  does not really work as collect when dialed from abroad. So please make sure  you find out a real collect and direct phone number to use incase you need to get hold of your bank or card issuing company.


CREDIT CARDS

Yes you can use your credit card in many places in Turkey but please remind your bank or credit card organization that you are going to be in Turkey for a while. Because for some reason the banks or credit card companies block the card when they see purchase is made in Turkey

LITERATURE TO READ:

    Armstrong, Karen: "A History of God"  (Ballantine, 1993).
    Armstrong, Karen: "Islam" (Modern Library, 2002).
    Speight, R. Marston: "God is one: The Way of Islam" (don't have pub. data right now)
    Tayob, Abdulkader: "Islam" (Oxford, 2000).
    Mahommed, Avey N: "Muslim-Christian Relations (Orbis, 1999).
    "Artistic Expressions of Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam" (Taft Museum, 1997).
    Mainstone, Rowland J. "Hagia Sophia" (Thames & Hudson, 1998) For the real architecture enthusiast.
    Mathews, Thomas F. "The Art of Byzantium" (Everyman Art Library, 1998).
    Freely, John: "Istanbul" (Penguin Books, 1996) History of Constantinople and Istanbul.
 

SHOPPING INFORMATION

This tour is quite hectic. So you will have very little time for shopping. But amazingly people find enough time to shop .One of my groups had shopped so much in the seconds that we had time for shopping , we had a garage sale at the end of the tour.

If you are interested in buying kilims and or carpets make sure you have your dimentions and colors with you. Very few leave Turkey with out a Kilim or a Carpet on these tours


KILIM, CARPET, TOWELS, FELT   
Turkish Carpets  http://www.melitour.com/Tourhandbookweaving2002naeda/tourhandbookturkishcarpets.htm
However, the Turkish Carpets are so inviting it is very difficult to resist the temptation. If you already have the bug for the Turkish,Kurdish and Central Asian KILIMS you will find your self in heaven. If you have not yet developed a taste ,this might be the place to get aquatinted with that incurable bug.


PESTEMAL
In the Turkish Bath, the pestamal is used like a wrap around the body. We will be able to buy the pestemals off from a loom


WOODWORK IMBEDDED WITH MOTHER OF PEARL
Gaziantep is known for this craft which used to be favorite art/craft of the Ottoman Sultans. Mirrors,jewelery boxes, shelfs,chairs and many more tempting and carriable pieces hand made in Gaziantep are available in the souvenier shops.


BRASS WORKS
Very delicately carved trays, pots and shish kebab scewers and statuetts will be nice Christmas gifts.


MINIATURE PAINTINGS
Replicas of Ottoman paintings are favorite shopping theme for most of Melitour tour members. They are available only out side the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul


SILVER JEWELERY
Authentic or replicas of old jewelery are available at few places along the tour. Especially the jeweler at Ephesus has excellent examples of old jewelry.


TEXTILES
Material with wood block prints, scarves with OYA,  lace, suzanis

 

  

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