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2nd layover in istanbul

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Madison
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2nd layover in istanbul

Last week I went to Taksim and it was great! There weren't as many people selling mussels as I expected, and when I finally found one it didn't taste that good... but everything else was awesome. I was watching a vice documentary about the Istanbul protests back in early summer, who knew I would see one with my own eyes!

This time, I get there at 5:35 am and leave at 1:40 pm. I have 2 places in mind. One is go to the Sultanahmet area, the other is Bebek. Sultanahmet seems like the most popular suggestion on here, but there's that starbucks in bebek I really want to go to. Would it be realistic to go to Bebek because it's so far away from the airport? Is there anything else to see around there? Also, if I do choose to go to Sultanahmet, are there any liquor stores in the area? I'm looking to buy some to bring back to the states. It being such a religious place maybe there are no liquor stores?

Istanbul
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1. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

yuhui, There are liquor stores at Sultanahmet. They are called Tekel. Some bigger markets also sell liquor. On the other hand you can also buy them from the duty free shops at the airport.

Sultanahmet has the historical attractions, lie Blue Mosque, St.Sophia, etc. So I think it is best to visit this area first and then on your 3rd visit, go and see Bebek, as that will take a lot longer time to get there. You should leave the Sultanahmet area around 11.00 AM by taxi for the airport. Taxi to Ataturk airport costs about 45 TL. You can also have a nice breakfast at Sultanahmet.area.

good luck,

enigma...

Mount Dora, Florida
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2. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

Unless you are purchasing alcohol made in Turkey I would not encourage you to buy it there. As a general rule alcohol is more expensive in Turkey than it is in the US. A duty-free shop could be an alternative. They will wrap it and deliver it to your plane. If, however, you go through Amsterdam you will go through a security check just before you board the plane. It is right at the gate and they will confiscate liquids that exceed allowed amounts or violate packaging rules.

Madison
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3. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

Thanks guys. Is taxi the best way to get to Sultanahmet from the airport?

I was at the duty free store and they didn't have a large selection. Also it is not too easy for me to buy alcohol in the us ;)

Mount Dora, Florida
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4. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

I do not understand difficulties with purchasing alcohol in the US. Unless you are below the age of 21 you should have no problem purchasing alcohol at home. Laws governing the sale of alcohol are determined by each city or county. A few counties are dry meaning that they do not permit the sale of alcohol. These locations are few and far between. Generally a 20 minute drive can put you in a county that does sell it.

In some states it is available only in state owned stores in other places you can buy it in the grocery store. Laws about where and when it can be sold differ, but no one in the US would find importing alcohol from Turkey easier or less expensive than just buying it at home. If you want a large selection I also think you will find that easier in the US than you will in Turkey.

Madison
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5. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

"Unless you are below the age of 21"

yes

Istanbul
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6. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

yuhui, There is no such problem in Turkey. By law you are considered an adult at the age of 18. Therefore you can purchase alcohol in Turkey. I doubt that the market clerk will even want to see your passport.

enigma...

Mount Dora, Florida
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7. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

If you are not 21 or older you can purchase alcohol in Turkey. You may not, however, bring whatever you purchase back into the US with you. US Customs allows people age 21 and over to bring back one bottle of alcohol. People under 21 may not bring any alcohol. You may lie and claim not to have it. If customs officials discover it they will confiscate it and may also fine you. It is not a chance I would encourage you to take.

Istanbul
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8. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

yuhui, So maybe you should just consume whatever you buy in Turkey:-)). As BR says, you may be taking a risk however minor it may be. Here is a detailed discussion on this subject: "flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz/715149-can-18…".

BR, Your post aroused my interest and I checked the laws and regulations of US: "…wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_laws_of_the_Unit…". I am surprised that there are many states where you can not buy beer or wine from a supermarket, and I did not know that. You know, recently Turkey enacted a law banning all retail sales of alcohol between 10.00 PM and 6.00 AM. Although at first I was against that, now I realize that, that may contribute to the reduction in drunken driving accidents.

enigma...

Mount Dora, Florida
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9. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

In the US alcohol consumption is a contributing factor to nearly 40% of all accidents. Communities have enacted hundreds of different types of legislation to control the sale and consumption of alcohol. I actually think that states that permit the sale of hard alcohol in grocery stores are in the minority.

Like Turkey many places control the times when alcohol can be purchased. They also control places where it can be purchased as well as the legal age for purchasing alcohol.

I do not know if these laws have a significant impact on accidents caused by alcohol. One recent study concluded that controlling the age of purchase reduced traffic deaths by 15%.

These laws are not without controversy. Many people argue that denying alcohol to people under 21 just makes the "forbidden" more attractive, and they argue that the European model creates adults who drink more responsibly. I really do not know if the US philosophy is successful, but alcohol control has been part of my culture for my entire life.

I probably did not react to Turkey's new alcohol curfew because it was not unique to me. I have always been a little surprised at the liberal nature of Turkish regulations regarding alcohol. This is particularly amazing to me because other counties with a high percentage of Islamic citizens have very strict laws including making alcohol completely illegal. I believe it is evidence of the separation of religion and state that create Turkey's very unique secular government. A secular functioning democracy in a Muslim nation is a factor that makes Turkey very attractive to visitors.

Madison
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10. Re: 2nd layover in istanbul

BR, I heard all I have to do is declare it and chances are they won't even check my age. Worst thing that can happen is they confiscate it. I can always say its a gift for my dad