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CHILDREN

Practicalities

 

Çocuklar (children)May not be well catered for in Turkey,  but they are the bloat centerpieces of family life and your children will be welcomed  wherever they go.Your baby or young child’s journey through the streets will be peppered with Maşallah (Glory be to God.)  And your child clutched  into the adoring arms of strangers, sometimes even against his/her will. You might want to learn your child's age and sex in Turkish -ay (month), yıl (year), erkek (boy) and kız (girl). You might also want to make polite inquiries about the other person's children present or absent; kaç tane çocuğunuz var? ( how many children do you have?)

 Pasteurized UHT Milk is sold in cartons everywhere,  but fresh milk is harder to find. also hard to find is  baby food, and what you do find your baby will understandably find inedible or it will be mashed banana, which you could easily prepare yourself. Consider bringing supply with you. Migros supermarkets have the best range of the baby food in the country. Alternatively you could rely on hotel and restaurant staff to prepare special dishes for your children. Most Turkish women breastfeed their babies (discreetly) in public and no-one is likely to mind you doing the same. You can buy formula and vitamin- fortified rice cereal in all supermarkets. High chairs in restaurants are the exception, not the rule.

Disposable bebek bezi (nappies or diapers) are readily available. The best brands are Prima or Haggies, sold in pharmacies and supermarkets -don't bother with the cheaper local brands. oh and all shopping malls and some restaurants have a public baby changing facilities.

Most hotels will provide cots if these are requested in advance. These can vary quite widely in standard, however, so it is a good idea to check in advance what type of cot is being provided and whether or not it is suitable for your child some have lower sides than those common in Europe, for example, so are fine for a baby but not suitable for a more mobile toddler.

Most hotels can arrange some sort of babysitting service if you ask, but kids clubs are few and far between and agencies are non-existent. Many of the seaside towns have children's play equipment, but elsewhere, including Istanbul, the situation is grim. Check the equipment for safety before letting your child use it.

it is important to remember that bus journeys can be very long and that buses do not have toilets on board; trains, planes or automobiles might be the best option. Most car rental companies provide child-safety seats for a small extra charge. In Turkey, traffic and treacherous road surfaces make the traveling by stroller an extreme sport.

Sights & Activities

Beaches aside, in terms of things to see and do Turkey doesn't have a lot of attraction that have been designed with children in mind.With the exception of the Rahmi  M Koç Museum in Istanbul coma most Turkish museums would leave them bored to tears, and there are no zoos or activity centers easily accessible worthy of mention.  For other ideas on how to keep your kids entertained in Istanbul 

Activity options are a better bet, with boating,  ballooning and depending on their age, horse- riding snorkeling and white water rafting all great options.

Apart from the coasts, the area of the country most likely to appeal to older children is Cappadocia,  with its underground cities, cave dwellings and kooky landscapes.

Safety Precautions

Parents need to remember that in Turkey ideas of safety consciousness rarely meet the norms of countries such as the UK or the USA. The traffic must be at the forefront of parents ‘minds constantly, and we have already mentioned the broken down and poorly designed play  equipment. Watch out for open power points in hotels, crudely covered electric mains and open drainage and carelessly secured building sites are also a fact of life in Turkey