Turkish rules of the road - as seen by an American tourist

1. Make right turns from the left lane and left turns from the right lane. Don't even try to go straight; someone will hit you.

2. The biggest car wins. That means my van beats out most taxis (some of the best worst drivers I've ever seen) and small cars, even BMWs and Mercedes (boy, does that drive them nuts) but loses to buses and trucks.

3. There is only one space for every five cars. All vacuums must be filled. He who hesitates is lost.

4. A light is only red if the car in front stops for it. I remember asking someone if there was "right turn on red" in Turkey, and when he was done laughing, he said, "Sure -- and there's also left turn on red and straight on red."

5. Similarly, a one-way street is one way in name only. If you don't believe me, just drive down it the wrong way. See? It's really a two-way street. If you encounter another car coming the other way, keep going forward until you are facing each other, and see who backs up first.

6 Exceed the speed limit, veer suddenly out of your lane into oncoming traffic, pass people on the left, right, middle, wherever -- but be sure to quake with fear and slow to five miles an hour if you encounter a tiny little speed bump.

7. Turkish highway tips: Wait until you're sure you see oncoming traffic before you pull out to pass. If you are a bus driver, don't waste your valuable free time sleeping. Sleep when you're on the job instead. If you are a truck driver, you've got to pile your load high enough so that no one has to make two trips. (So what if you keep seeing upside-down trucks littering the ditches next to the road? That's them, not you.) Slow going? Just drive on the shoulder -- What's it there for, anyway?

8. Inner-city traffic slogans: Don't think and drive. Turn signals are for weenies. No kid of mine is going to wear some wimpy seatbelt. There is no word for "yield" in the Turkish language. Why should I stay a car length behind you when I could be breathing down your tailpipe? Emissions inspection -- what's that?

9. When you pull up to a red light (assuming you will be stopping this time), pull well into the intersection, so that cars with the green light have to veer around you. Make sure you can no longer see your light, relying instead on the impatient blaring of horns behind you to let you know when it's time to go. (Which is not necessarily when the light has changed.) If you are one of the drivers behind who can see the light, start honking -- not when it's green, not when it's yellow, but when it's still red, your only cue being that the pedestrian sign changes from "walk" to "don't walk."

10. Every once in a while, be nice to someone: Let a car in, wave a pedestrian across your path with a friendly nod, smile at the taxi driver who just edged past you, actually stay in your own lane. This is not a random act of kindness we're talking about. This is about keeping in touch with your American driving skills so you don't get arrested as soon as you get behind the wheel of a car back in the States.


added by webmaster assos  2002