Tag Archives: Driving Licence

2012 – A Review Part 3 – July to September


Come July the weather was getting really hot.  July and August are not months Boats-at-Ahmetbeylifor strenuous activity.  When we had nothing else to do we took to heading to the beach at around 4pm and cooling down in the sea for a couple of hours.  We continued to do this through August, making use of beaches at Pamucak, Ahmetbeyli, and Claros.

We were aware that the islands were likely to be cooler, and Hilary had never been to Santorini, so a trip to Greece happened.  We got the bus to Marmaris and hopped on a ferry to Rhodes.  A week later we came back on the ferry from Kos to Bodrum.  The trip was a lot of fun, an overnight stay in Rhodes, then on to Crete.  After a couple of days in Chania, from whence we walked SamaGorge-1ria Gorge which was amazing, we moved on to Heraklion visited the museum which is being redeveloped, and then on to Santorini.  We went to Akrotiri, the museum with the murals, hired a quad ATV, stuffed ourselves on Santorini Fava, and generally did the tourist thing.  We even managed to find a reasonably priced restaurant with ‘the’ view.

Ramazan started in July and went on into August.  We were not fasting, but many people around us were. It must have been pretty tough for those fasting, the days were hot and very long.  The beach at Ahmetbeyli was a lot quieter, it is pretty hard to swim and avoid getting seawater in your mouth.  We generally avoided eating on the roof terrace until after sunset, not really a problem, if was a lot cooler and more pleasant for eating after sunset.


By early August we decided that we wanted a portable air conditioning unit for the back house.  It was day after day of temperatures around 37C, and remaining really hot at night.  It took us a little while to get the unit we wanted, there were delivery problems, but eventually it arrived.  We mostly used it at night, to help us sleep.

For us the beach remained the place to be in the late afternoon, a chance to get a break from the heat.

We took another trip south to the Mediterranean coast.  To Uçağız which is spectacular.  We walked to Kaleköy, not far, but in the blistering heat i180812Bt was tough enough.  We chartered a boat to take us to Kekova and to various other places (mostly swimming places).  We shared the boat with two really pleasant French tourists who like us wanted no music.  We swam, snorkelled in some amazingly clear water, walked to Aperlae – it was a fantastic day out.

Later in August on of Ashley’s crowns fell out.  We went back to the local dentist who had fixed it the last time.  The problem was that the tooth beneath it had broken so the solution was not going to be so simple.  We were given various options and various costs for the options.  In the end we opted for having a whole load of work done, very much the same as what was planned on the NHS before we left the UK, crowns and bridges. This work went on for a few weeks, it was traumatic, but worth it.


Remaining on health issues, in September we became eligible to buy into the state health insurance scheme.  For us this represented very good value, because the one policy covers both of us.  It did mean that once again we had to go through the bureaucracy of state, was a couple of days of running back and forth to Tire and offices in Selçuk.

We got a phone call from the police inviting us to attend the police station in relation to Ashley’s application for a Turkish driving licence which he made last June.  We went, filled out some more forms, Ashley had a blood test for grouping, paid some charges at the tax office, and the back to the police station for fingerprints.  A day later we were called again and told the licence was ready for collection. Ashley now has 2 driving licences, his UK one and his new Turkish one.  Unlike the UK one it is for life.

Frank, a friend of ours had by chance booked a last minute week in Gumbet.  He abandoned Gumbet for a few days and came to stay with us.  We showed him around Ephesus and did a few other tourist bits.

We contracted a local builder to convert our basement into a garage.   The work was done over a weekend because during the week he was busy doing restoration work on the castle.  The window was moved, a new door fitted, and a ramp made for the bike.  It is a much more sensible use of this space and made us clear a load of stuff we had stored (dumped) in there.

Our last road trip of the year took place over late September and into October.  To Eğirdir.  We used Eğirdir as a base to visit Sagalassos, and had plansagalassos6ned at least one other trip out.  Sagalassos was amazing.  The other planned day trip ended up with us sat in the local sanayı having the rear wheel respoked.  Not what we had planned.  We will be going back to Eğirdir next year, there is more we want to see in the area and it is so beautifully located, the sunset over the lake was particularly good.

And Finally – Getting a Turkish Driving Licence – Episode 4

It has taken a long time but yesterday we got a call from the police to say my driving licence was ready to collect.

We are not 100% sure what the rules are about being required to have a Turkish driving licence, like many things here the rules seem to change and there are many views as to whether it is necessary or not.  We know people who are still driving on a foreign licence after living in Turkey for many years and we know others who have obtained a Turkish licence.  The last time we were stopped by the police it was asked for and they accepted our explanation that we had applied and it was with the police, the previous time we were stopped it was not asked for.  The reality is that having one means if we are stopped and someone decides my UK licence is not sufficient we will not go through vast amounts of hassle and potentially being stranded with a vehicle and unable to legally drive.

There are additional benefits.  Unlike the UK licence it is for life, not until some age specific point where it would need to be reapplied for.  I also get to keep the UK licence which could potentially be useful.

So today we took ourselves off to the police station, and now, almost exactly three months from when I started the process, I have the licence.  Episodes 1, 2 and 3 give further details of the process.

For the record a breakdown of the cost, this is for a motorcycle licence, one for a car would be more expensive.  25 lira – dossier with all the forms
50 lira – Translation of UK driving licence
65 lira – Noter, for notarised copy of translated licence
6 lira – photos
5 lira – Belediye ID check
15 lira – blood group test
20 lira – eye test
96.35 lira – processing fee
79.75 lira – for the licence
A total of 337.10 lira

Driving Licence – Episode 3

Yesterday, whilst sitting on a dolmuş in Izmir, waiting to be transported home with the latestIkea haul, we got a phone call from the Trafik Polis, asking us to come to the office in the morning to take the process of getting Ashley’s driving licence forward.  This morning we walked down there.  They had a letter confirming Ashley as the holder of a UK licence.  It was all in Turkish and we weren’t actually shown it but Hilary did make out the letters ‘DVLA’, Ashley’s name, the date his licence was first issued and the categories of vehicle he is entitled to drive.  Much paperwork was done.  The computer was consulted and…

We were sent away to get confirmation of Ashley’s blood group, the blood test was necessary, if we’d had any proof of Ashley’s blood group they would have accepted that instead, and to pay a fee (97.75 lira) at the tax office.   As Hilary suspected, a licence covering motorcycle only is cheaper than the one you need for a car.  Tax office was easy.  We went straight to the vezne (cash desk) and, as ever, everyone was really helpful and nice.  Paid.  Got receipt.  Off to the ABC private clinic.  Ashley had blood taken, tested and a card written out and stamped.  Time taken – less than 10 minutes.  Cost – 15 lira.  This was a bit of running round town.  But it’s all really straightforward.  None of the people we dealt with other than in the polyclinic had spoken English to any significant degree, but all were incredibly polite and helpful.  We think that speaking and understanding Turkish, even minimally, is extremely helpful when undertaking any sort of bureaucracy here.  Yes, we think that is pretty obvious.

Back to the Emniyet…  Papers taken.  Computer consulted.  Paperwork filled in.  We were asked for a photocopy of Ashley’s fingerprints.  Well, we didn’t have one.  So his fingerprints were taken on an electronic machine (no inky fingers!).  This was signed and stamped and is now in our files…  They kept a copy and gave us a copy.  He has signed his licence and paid a further fee (79.75 lira ish) for the licence itself.  We will be phoned when it is ready for collection.

So, the step of sending off for confirmation of Ashley’s driving licence took a long time – two and a half months.  The process appears to involve requesting information about Ashley and his licence from the British Consul, the Consul then requesting this from DVLA, and then it being passed back to the police, and at some stage being translated into Turkish.  During the wait we dropped in a couple of times to ask how things were going and got sent away being told we would be phoned when they were ready.  Clearly we were being impatient, the police indicating that more than two months was not unusual.

Hopefully the final steps will be a lot faster.

Driving in the slow lane – Driving Licence – Episode 2

The ongoing saga of getting a Turkish driving licence started with a trip to the Noter office in Selçuk  where we picked up the translation of the licence and paid 65 lira.  From thence we headed to the photographer.  They were unable to find the old photos of Ashley on file so they took new ones (then they found the old ones).  6 identical photos, 6 lira.  Over to the ABC clinic where Ashley’s eyes were examined and a paper signed.  No blood tests, this was a surprise, we had expected one, purely for blood group.  No other tests or health questions.  Cost 20 lira.

By this time the next office we needed to visit was shut for lunch so we headed off for a çay with a friend who has a shop in town, watching the very cute kittens in a nearby carpet shop where they do keep pedigree cats…

Off to the Belediye Justice department for the ID check – that cost 5 lira, then to the Polis (Security Chief – Emniyet Müdürlüğü).  There the papers were examined and photocopied,  but they have to send something to Izmir, or have a conversation with Izmir.  On the positive side they accepted all the papers we provided so it would appear we got all the papers they need.  We were led to believe they would want to keep Ashley’s licence but it was not asked for.

We were told they would phone us when whatever they need from Izmir is completed.  So we went home…  Hilary thinks a motorcycle licence might be cheaper than a car licence.  But time will tell.  Total cost to date: 161 lira.

Shortly after getting home the postman arrived with Ashley’s Harley Owners Group membership package.  This included the membership number needed to create the online profile and to log in to various sites, and the membership card which will get discounts at Izmir HD, so stuff that is generally more useful than the enclosed badges and advertising.  This kept Ashley busy for a while.

This was all done on Monday, it is Thursday now, we have not heard back yet.  There really is no hurry.  It’s hot today so we went to the beach instead of worrying about it.  It will all happen slowly….., or as they say here,  Yavaş yavaş.

Learning to fly – Driving Licence – Episode 1

I went with a friend to start the process of getting a Turkish driving licence.   I borrowed a scooter which was a fun way to get around the town centre, quicker than walking and a small amount of cooling effect.  We went to the local office of the şoförler ve otomobilciler federasyonu to collect the sürücü belgesi dosya, a file of forms which cost 25 lira.  Some of these I need to fill out and some I don’t since I am not applying for a new licence but to convert my UK one to a Turkish one.  Then took my UK licence to be photocopied and left the copies for a translator – I should get the translated copy in a day or so, it then needs to be notarised.

Meanwhile as we were heading through town we saw a baby stork exercising its wings suddenly lose contact with its nest.  The attempt at controlled flight was fairly inept, as was the less controlled crash into a tree across the road.  It did not fall out of the tree so I can only assume it found a perch.  Parents will find it, feed it, and it will get better at flying.  Flight test – fail.

We then went to the local polyclinic to enquire about the health test I need.  I think this is pretty basic, blood test, eye test and maybe one or two other things.  I need to go back with two photographs, residence permit and kimlik number and they will do the test and provide the completed health test paperwork.

Later the translator called to clarify a few issues and wanted to see the original licence, and said the translated and notarised copy would be ready to be collected from the noter at 10.00 on Monday.  I should be able to get the health test done at the same time since the polyclinic is around the corner from the noter.  This is progress, there will still be lots of forms, offices and bureaucracy to navigate, which sometimes feels like learning to fly.