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Health Issues Health Issues



To stay healthy while you travel in Turkey, don't overdo it.

Eat and drink in moderation and get plenty of rest. If you're not feeling well, rest in your hotel room rather than pushing onward. (If you push onward and get sicker you'll have to rest even longer and you'll lose even more travel time.)


In the warm months, use sunblock lotion regularly andwear a hat to avoid sunburn. Drink liquids regularly(at least every hour) in hot, dry weather—even if you don't feel thirsty—to avoid dehydration. Surprisingly, mild dehydration can bring on stomach upsets, dizziness and diarrhea which are often mistaken for food ailments. The cure is simple: remember to drink a glass of water or a soft drink every hour!


Consult your doctor concerning Travelers Diarrhea. Changes in food can disturb digestion, so go easy on the spicy food. (Most Turkish food is not spicy.) Be careful not to overeat. In fact, you should "undereat," especially early in your trip. Once your digestive system becomes familiar with new intestinal flora, you can try new foods.


Drink bottled spring water, available everywhere. Go easy on tea and coffee, which can contribute todehydration and sleeplessness, and can aggravatedigestive problems. If you use alcoholic beverages, do so sparingly, if at all. Alcohol increases the risk of dehydration and stomach upset.


Every Turkish city and town haspharmacies/chemists (eczane,EDJ-zah-NEH) where you can buy medicines, medical aids and equipment, including such items as soaps, bandages, toothpaste and condoms (prezervatif).

Although a doctor's prescriptionis obviously best, it is often not required. In fact, pharmacists/chemists (usually bothmale and female in attendance) will often recommend specific medicines for simple maladies if you tell them your symptoms.

Prices for medicines are government controlled, and therefore usually low to moderate.

On Sundays and holidays, one or more eczane in a city will open as nöbetçi eczanesi (nur-BET-chee edj-zah-neh-see, duty pharmacy/chemist) because illness knows no holiday. Signs in the windows of closed pharmacies/chemists' give the addresses of the nöbetçi ezcanesi's, but the open shops may be quite a distance from where you are, so you may need help finding one.


All Turkish cities, especially provincial capitals, havehospitals (hastane), and towns have clinics (klinik, saglik ocagi), often with staff who speak at least some English. Besides government hospitals (devlet hastanesi), there are now many private and specialty hospitals that are often of top quality and thoroughly up-to-date.

Some specialize in "medical tourism," that is, travel to obtain elective medical procedures that may be less expensive or available more readily in Turkey than in your home country.

Your country's consulate may be able to help with references and recommendations.

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