General Information

BANKS AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE
In Turkey, the currency is the Turkish Lira (TL). Foreign currency can be exchanged at the airport as well as at private exchange offices which can be found throughout the city and are open from 8:30 to 20:00 hrs. In addition, Traveller's Cheques and Eurocheques can be cashed at the local banks which are open between 8:30 and 17:00 hrs. The major credit cards (such as Visa, MasterCard) are accepted in most Turkish restaurants and shops.


DAILY AND PRE-POST TOURS
There is a lot to be seen in Istanbul and Turkey. A selection of tours will be available throughout the congress including the famous sites at the Historical Peninsula -also known as the Old City- and the Bosphorus cruises. The Aegean, Anatolian and Mediterranean sections of Turkey are also packed with archaeological sites of varying ancient civilizations and can be visited in the offered pre and post congress tours.


DINING OUT
Istanbul is a culinary delight no matter what your budget. From simple workers' eateries and sidewalk cafes to posh culinary palaces with liveried waiters, Turkish cuisine is good and the value-for-money unbeatable. A typical Turkish dish generally consists of lamb, mutton, and veal with a variety of vegetables. Pilaf, all kinds of pastry, bulgur, haricot beans, rich olive oil, and vegetables are also common side dishes. Meatballs, shish kebab, and doner kebab are also classic dishes. Because of its coastal location, fish is also popular although it is usually cooked simply, such as grilled, or fried with olive oil and lemon juice. Istanbul is the commercial and cultural centre of Turkey; and there are restaurants of many nationalities such as Korean, Russian, Italian, and Chinese. American-style fast-food outlets are becoming more popular, but for a quick snack it is more appropriate to fill up at the plethora of tiny takeaways offering kebabs and snacks. It is easy to sample good quality regional cuisine in typical small restaurants, usually at low cost, especially in the commercial and business areas.


EASY ACCESS
- Atatürk International Airport serves domestic and international scheduled and charter flights 24 hours a day. It is located 24 km west of the city centre.
- Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is located on the Anatolian shore of Istanbul at Pendik / Kurtkoy, at a distance of 40 km to Kadikoy, 12 km to Pendik and 50 km to Taksim. It has a really convenient traffic in terms of transportation with its 1.5 km connection to the TEM motorway.


ELECTRICITY
The electric current is 220V AC with a frequency of 50 Hertz. European standard plugs with two round pins are used.


INVITATION LETTER
An official letter of invitation will be sent to you upon request. The invitation letter may be used by visitors to raise travel funds or to obtain a visa, but is not a commitment on the part of the organisers to provide any financial support. Please contact the Congress Secretariat to request a letter of invitation: info@plantnutrition.org


LIABILITY AND INSURANCE
Registration fees do not include the insurance of participants against personal accidents, sickness and cancellations by any party, theft, loss or damage to personal possessions. Participants are advised to take out adequate personal insurance to cover travel, accommodation, cancellation and personal effects.


FOOD & BEVERAGE
Coffee breaks and lunches are included in the registration fees and are part of the scientific programme.


SHOPPING IN ISTANBUL
Famed as the City of a Thousand Colours and Fragrances, Istanbul is a paradise for shoppers. A large variety of traditional carpets, jewels, gold, and leather goods can be purchased on the street in the tourist areas, or one can visit the city's modern shopping malls where Turkish brand goods can be found. The shops are open from 8:00 to 21:00 from Monday to Saturday. The Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar open their gates at 8:00 and close at 19:00. The large shopping malls open from 10:00 to 22:00 seven days a week. Shops do not close for lunch.


SOCIAL PROGRAMS
All registered participants are cordially invited to attend the Colloquium Dinner. Further details on the social program will be listed on the website.


TIME ZONES
Turkey is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).


TIPPING
Service charges are included in the cost of all goods and services. Although it is not mandatory, a small tip is customary for good service. As a guideline, add about 10% to the total bill. When paying by credit card, a cash tip is preferred.


VISA REQUIREMENTS
All participants are required to show a valid passport on entrance to Turkey. Citizens of some countries are required to obtain a visa before arrival and some may obtain it at the airport upon arrival. The most updated visa information can be received from the website of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (www.mfa.gov.tr) For further information please contact the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate to check the visa regulations.