Last update 20 September 2023Diplomatic missions
Level 3: Increased level of risk (recommendation not to travel in certain areas of the country unless necessary)
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Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Diplomatic representations of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of Turkey
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Ankara, the Republic of Turkey
Address: Atatürk Bulvarı No 124, 06680 Kavıklıdere-Çankaya, Ankara, Republic of Turkey (city of Ankara, res. area Kavekladere, Chancaya, 124 Atatürk Blvd.
Telephone: +90 312 467 20 71; +90 312 427 51 42
Fax: +90 312 468 69 56
+ 90 312 467 20 71; + 90 312 427 51 42
Working hours: Mon – Fri, 09:00 – 17:30
E-mail: [email protected]
Opening hours of the Consular Office: Monday – Friday, 08:00 – 12:00
E-mail: [email protected]
Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey
Serves the districts of: Istanbul, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Çanakkale
Address: Ahmet Adnan Saygun Cd. No 34, Ulus- 2.Levent, 34340, Istanbul, Republic of Turkey
Contact telephone numbers, including out of hours: +90 212 281 01 14; +90 281 01 15; +90 281 01 16; +90 533 383 64 14
Visa and consular information line: from 14:00 to 16:00 every working day: +90 212 281 06 01
Emergency out-of-hours hotline: +90 549 792 15 29
Fax: +90 21 2264 10 11
E-mail: [email protected]
Working hours: Monday-Friday from 9:00 to 17:30.
Opening hours with citizens of the Consular Office: Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 13:00
Consular Office in Bursa at the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Istanbul
Serves the districts: Bursa, Balakesir, Bilecik, Mughla, Denizli, Aidan, Manisa, Izmir, Yalova
Address: Adalet Mah., 1 ‘Aydın Sok’, Osmangazi-BURSA, 16180, Turkey
Phone: +90 224 245 55 00; +90 224 245 56 00; +90 224 245 52 52
Fax: +90 224 245 55 09
Hotline — Bursa: +90 533 4931289
Information on visa and consular issues:
Telephone: +90 224 245 55 00 and +90 224 245 56 00 from 15:00 to 16:00
Emergency telephone number for the consular district of Bursa CS during non-business hours:
+ 90 533 493 12 89
E-mail: [email protected]
Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Edirne, Republic of Turkey
Serves the districts of Edirne, Karklareli, Tekirdag
Address: Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Edirne. Sarja Pasha res. area 146 Talyat Pasha Blvd., PC 22030, Edirne, Republic of Turkey
Telephone: +90 2842140617
Fax: +90 2842148482
Е-mail: [email protected]
Working hours: 09:00 – 17:30
Opening hours of Consular Office: 09:00 – 13:00
Out-of-hours hotline: +90 533 7396140
Hotline on weekends and holidays: +90 533 6298164
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Sofia
Address: Sofia, 80 Vasil Levski Blvd.,
Telephone: +359 2 935 55 00
Fax: +359 2 981 93 58
Working hours: 09:00 – 12:30; 14:00 – 18:00
Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Plovdiv
Address: 4000 Plovdiv, 10 Filip Makedonski St.,
Telephone: +359 32 632309; +359 32 624010; +359 32 624020
Street theft is common in the tourist areas of Turkey. In large cities, and especially in Istanbul, it is advisable to avoid visits to extreme risk neighbourhoods.
Duty free imports
- Tobacco products (for passengers over 18 years of age) — 600 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos (not exceeding 3 g each), 50 cigars, 250 g tobacco (with 200 pieces of cigarette paper) or 250 g pipe tobacco;
- Alcoholic beverages (for passengers over 18 years of age) — 1 litre with an alcohol content of over 22% or 2 litres with an alcohol content of up to 22%;
- Cosmetics — five bottles of perfume, cologne, etc. (maximum 120 ml each);
- Gifts worth up to EUR 430 or EUR 150 for persons under 15 years of age;
- 1 kg coffee, 1 kg instant coffee, 500 g tea, 1 kg chocolate, 1 kg confectionery;
- Medicines for personal use.
- Electronic devices for personal use, but not more than 1 of each type
The import of the following items is forbidden: weapons and ammunition, medicines (except for personal use), drugs, meat and dairy products, radioactive substances.
The import of domestic animals is restricted. A health certificate is required for them.
- 2 kg. or 3 boxes of local tobacco products;
- 5 kg of alcoholic beverages and food worth up to 100 Turkish Liras. Each item must not exceed 5 kg.;
- Gifts up to the value of 5,000 Turkish Liras, if the value exceeds this amount, proof is required that currency has been exchanged for the amount exceeding 5,000 Turkish Liras;
The export of the following items is forbidden: antiques, cereals, tea, cocoa, coffee, spices.
The export of souvenirs subject to customs regulations is restricted according to the age and value of the item.
For further and more detailed information, the Turkish customs authorities can be contacted directly or visit the Turkish Customs website.
The country's national road network is in very good condition. Speed limits are strictly enforced: in suburban areas — 90 km/h (80 km/h for buses and vans), on safe motorways — 120 km/h (100 km/h for buses and vans), in populated areas — 50 km/h.
For the movement of vehicles on the motorways, it is necessary to purchase an HGS sticker in advance from a branch of the Turkish Post PTT, available at the checkpoints or in the settlements. Stickers are also sold at motorway counters and SHELL stations, but are not always available. The sticker should be loaded with an amount sufficient to cover the highway tolls. For example, a trip on the motorway from Edirne to Ankara costs about TRY 40. The lack of a sticker leads to serious fines depending on the distance travelled.
Petrol stations in Turkey are regularly located along the main roads and are easily accessible, with many of them open around the clock. The price of fuel often varies, even within a day, averaging around TRY 4.20 for unleaded petrol and TRY 3.55 for diesel.
Major cities in Turkey are characterised by heavy road traffic.
The public transport system is very well developed and besides buses, taxis, shuttle taxis, metro and sea lines are used.
According to information from the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Adrianople, as of 18 December 2018 Turkey introduces changes in the passage of heavy goods vehicles through the Kapakule /Kapitan Andreevo on the Bulgarian side/ and Hamzabeyli /Lesovo on the Bulgarian side/ BCPs. The changes are related to the mandatory redirection of heavy goods vehicles carrying goods for export from/through Turkey with final destination Bulgaria from the Kapakule BCP to the Hamzabeyli BCP. The only exception is for heavy goods vehicles subject to veterinary control, which will continue to pass through the Kapakule BCP. The changes apply to all heavy goods vehicles meeting the above conditions, regardless of their national registration.
The motives for the introduction of these changes are justified by the need to ease traffic and limit the long queues of heavy goods vehicles at the Kapakule BCP.
General information on the basic rules of the road and the penalties and fines for breaking the country's Road Traffic Act
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
It applies to the presence of 0.5 ‰ for drivers of private vehicles and 0.2 ‰ for drivers of commercial, transport, freight and public transport vehicles.
- The driving licence shall be revoked:
— for a first offence within 5 years back from the act — for a period of 6 months;
— for a second offence — revocation for a period of 2 years;
— in case of a subsequent infringement — revocation for a period of 5 years
- Coercive administrative measures: when driving licences are revoked for a period of two years, offending drivers are provided with a behaviour education course by the Ministry of Health and the licence is returned after successful completion of the course. When driving licences are revoked for 5 years, the drivers concerned are subject to a psycho-technical test as well as a psychiatric examination to establish their fitness to drive.
- Monetary fines: all of the following fines can be paid electronically by credit card at the Turkish tax authorities' website address https://intvd.gib.gov.tr/internetvd/template.jsp?page=IVD_MENU_MTV
Payment can also be made at any Turkish post office branch PTT (available at Turkish BCPs) or at the town halls of smaller towns. If the fine is paid within 15 days of the offence, it is reduced by 25%.
In the case of drinking, the monetary fines are as follows:
— for the first offence — TRY 844;
— for the second offence — TRY 1058;
— in case of a subsequent violation — TRY 1698.
Attention! If the driver is found to be driving with alcohol over 1 ‰, a criminal case shall be brought against the driver under Article 179 of the Criminal Code.
- Driving without a licence is a serious offence which can have serious consequences in the event of a road traffic accident. In the general case, the fine is TRY 1,698.
- Speeding 10 to 30% over the speed limit is subject to a fine of TRY 199.
- Speeding more than 30% above the speed limit will result in a fine of TRY 412.
- For unauthorised parking the fine is TRY 92. In the case of forced removal of a vehicle to a penalty parking lot, an additional fee of TRY 70 and TRY 10 shall be paid for each day the vehicle is in the penalty parking lot.
- A fine of TRY 199 shall be imposed for running a red traffic light.
- A fine of TRY 700 is imposed for driving a vehicle without the required category of licence.
VII. A fine of TRY 199 is imposed for improper overtaking.
VIII. A fine of TRY 199 is imposed for entering a prohibited road.
- A fine of TRY 199 is imposed for moving a vehicle after a traffic accident without an order from the competent authorities.
- A fine of TRY 844 shall be imposed for driving an unregistered vehicle.
- For driving a commercial vehicle with a defective or missing tachograph, a fine of TRY 412 is imposed.
XII. A fine of TRY 92 is imposed for the following offences:
- Driving without wearing a seat belt.
- Using high beams and fog headlights for no reason.
- Mobile phone use while driving.
- Failure to keep distance.
- Listening to loud music in the vehicle.
- Defective vehicle lights.
- Lack of fire extinguisher, first aid kit, etc.
- A change in the appearance of the vehicle not reflected in the registration documents.
- Driving at a speed lower than the minimum permissible speed.
- Unauthorised lane changing, making an unauthorised turn, taking the right of way from a pedestrian or vehicle.
- Vehicle waste disposal.
- Driving a motorcycle without a safety helmet.
Attention! For any offence caused by a person who is not the owner of the vehicle, the same fine shall be imposed on the owner.
Between 5 and 20 penalty points are imposed for each offence, depending on the seriousness of the offence. On reaching 100 penalty points, the driving licence is revoked.
Due to legislative changes in Turkey from 2018, when entering this country it is necessary to immediately purchase an HGS or OGS pass to cross toll sections of motorways and bridges. In the case of possession of a pass, it must be loaded with sufficient money to cover the distance travelled.
Passing without a pass or with insufficient funds in the account will result in an automatic fine of 5 times the toll for that section.
For vehicles with foreign registration, the period of 15 days for purchasing and refuelling an HGS/OGS pass does not apply, as it does for vehicles with Turkish registration.
Detailed instructions for loading the passes, working with the relevant Turkish systems as well as checking for accrued fees and fines can be found in the attached document ‘Information on tolls in Turkey’.
In the case of old offences for which fees are due, the vehicle may not leave Turkey until the amounts due have been paid.
Border passing and driving in the Republic of Turkey
In order to avoid inconveniences and prerequisites for administrative problems, we recommend the Bulgarian citizens who are going to travel to the Republic of Turkey for tourism purposes with private vehicles and will have to drive the car they are travelling with on the territory of Turkey by a family member other than the one who will pass with him through the Turkish BCP upon entry into the country, to obtain the necessary documents proving their family relationship through which they fall within the circle of persons who are allowed by law to drive imported vehicles with foreign registration. Such documents are: Marriage certificate or extract from the register of relationships. We recommend that they are translated into Turkish. The circle of relatives who can drive the imported vehicle consists of spouse, parents and children. The driving of a vehicle with a foreign registration on the territory of the host country by a person outside the described family circle, even in the presence of the owner/authorised person who brought the vehicle into the country and was registered by the Turkish customs authorities as the driver, is a prerequisite for the imposition of administrative penalties under the Turkish legislation in force.’
Example: Five people enter Turkey in one car. A family of three — spouses, a child and two additional companions with no family connection. At the border, the Turkish control authorities register who is the driver of the car — its owner or a member of his family who proves his family relationship with documents — marriage certificate, certificate of family ties (The Bulgarian identity documents do not reflect whether you are married to someone or who is your parent. In Turkish identity documents, such as an identity card for example, this is reflected). After crossing the border crossing, they decide to change in the driver's seat.
Who has the right to drive the vehicle: A family member of the driver registered by the Turkish border authorities — spouse, child with a driving licence. In such a case, the family member is entitled to drive it, but if stopped by control authorities in the interior of the country, it is better to provide the document of family ties again to avoid problems. In the absence of such a document, it is very likely that the Turkish control authorities will doubt the relationship and take the penalties provided for in the law. The Turkish authorities have no way to verify whether the Bulgarian family members are really such if they are not provided with a document proving this in a language they understand.
Who is not allowed to drive — the other two companions who are not part of the family. In such a case, if one of the other two companions not related to the driver who entered Turkey with the car drives even in his presence in the car, the act constitutes a violation of the Turkish administrative provisions in force and is a prerequisite for the imposition of administrative punitive measures on the owner and the driver.
Bulgarian owners should never allow their imported private car with Bulgarian registration to be driven by persons with Turkish or dual Bulgarian/Turkish citizenship — friends, companions and greeters. In this case, the Turkish authorities are even more uncompromising due to the large number of foreign cars imported into Turkey by this category of persons. If the Bulgarian family has a member who is also a Turkish citizen who falls within the circle of those allowed to drive the imported car with foreign registration in Turkey, he must prove to the control authorities that he is a family member and that he lives or permanently resides abroad, which further complicates the situation. The driving in Turkey of vehicles with foreign registrations by Turkish nationals who also have another nationality and/or are long-term residents abroad is subject to special regulation under Turkish law.
In the event of theft of personal documents or a vehicle, assistance should be sought from the nearest police station to obtain a record of the event.
It is advisable to respect local customs.
When visiting mosques, shoes are taken off and women cover their heads and exposed parts of the body with a cloth. Men should not wear shorts (in some larger and well-known mosques, covers are provided for those who are not properly dressed).
Insulting words and actions towards the Turkish nation, the national flag and the founder of the republic — Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, are considered serious crimes.
Taking pictures with cameras and camcorders should only be done in tourist areas and in places where it is not explicitly prohibited.
When entering the Republic of Turkey for the purpose of tourism, it is forbidden to take up employment. If such cases are detected, the citizens concerned shall be subject to detention and forced removal from the country.
It is recommended to exchange available currency in small amounts. Currency is usually exchanged without commission at exchange offices, banks or hotels. ATMs that accept major credit and debit bank cards are available almost everywhere in the cities. Exchange rates are published daily in Turkish newspapers. If a large amount of currency is exchanged or a large purchase is made with exchanged currency that will be declared to customs, it is necessary to retain the bordereau from the currency exchange, which serves as proof to the customs authorities of the legal origin of the funds.
In the event of a traffic accident, with or without injury, under no circumstances move the vehicle until the traffic police arrive. In these cases, an alcohol test is taken, a statement is taken and an accident report is drawn up.
A copy of the alcohol test document as well as the preliminary report must be requested in order to use the insurance. This can be done up to three days after the incident at the local police station.
In cases of personal injury or death, the other parties involved in the incident shall be taken to the nearest police station to take statements. In these cases, the nearest diplomatic mission of our country should be requested to be notified.
— Avoid travel to the border areas along Turkey's southern and eastern borders.
— Comply with WHO anti-pandemic measures and local health legislation.
— When travelling in private vehicles in the coastal zone in the west and north-west of the country, avoid picking up random persons, given the presence of migrants from the Middle East concentrated in the area, in order to attempt to cross into the territories of neighbouring countries, mainly by sea.
— The drivers of the Bulgarian transporters should be vigilant when waiting at the checkpoints in the region of Thrace, given the cases of illegal refugees boarding trucks in an attempt to cross the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
— When concluding transactions with precious metals and currency exchange by Bulgarian tourists, this should be done only with licensed traders, taking into account the customs regulations of the host country.
(7.) Local currency:
Turkish lira (TRY)
The current exchange rate of the Turkish lira against the major foreign currencies can be found on the official website of the Central Bank of Turkey: https://www.tcmb.gov.tr/wps/wcm/connect/tr/tcmb+tr/main+page+site+area/bugun.
— Interesting facts
Turkey is located on the border between Europe and Asia. It borders Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the east, Iraq and Syria to the south, Greece to the west and Bulgaria to the north.
The country has access to the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean seas, so its climate is varied — from temperate continental to Mediterranean in the southern regions. Administratively, Turkey is divided into 81 provinces — vilayets. The district governors (vilayets) are employees of the Ministry of Interior of Turkey.
The capital Ankara is located on the Ankara Plateau in north-central Turkey and is the second largest city after Istanbul. Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents and the largest city in Turkey: its population is more than 12 million, but it is estimated that more than 20 million people live in the entire megalopolis.
Travel papers and visas
Starting from 27 July 2022, Bulgarian citizens may enter the Republic of Turkey only with a valid identity card /without the need to present an international passport/ when travelling for transit or tourism purposes with a stay of up to 90 days within 180 days from the date of their first entry through all border crossing points open for international passenger traffic.
Those wishing to stay for a longer period must apply to the local competent authorities for an extension of stay.
A ban on entry into Turkey for a period of one year is imposed on Bulgarian citizens who have stayed in the country for more than three months without obtaining proper permission.
Visits to Turkey by non-accredited Bulgarian journalists, film-makers, archaeologists, scientists wishing to carry out scientific research for the purpose of carrying out professional activities may be carried out after obtaining an entry visa in accordance with the ‘Basic Principles, relating to foreigners wishing to carry out scientific or research activities or to make a film in Turkey, as well as to those who apply on their behalf and members of the press’, adopted by Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Turkey No 88/12839 of 04 April 1988.
Conditions of work and long-term residence
Bulgarian citizens going to Turkey for work or study are not exempt from the visa requirement. They continue to obtain work visas from Turkish representations abroad.
Applications for residence permits should be submitted to the local police station within 30 days of arrival in Turkey. Applicants are required to present a work permit, work or study visa and an application that justifies the reason for the continued stay (work, education, marriage to a Turkish national, etc.).
After obtaining a residence permit, entry into and exit from the Republic of Turkey can be made multiple times within the validity period of the permit. In case an extension or renewal of the residence permit is necessary, this must be done before the expiry of the permit.
Applications for visas (work, education, medical, etc.) by Bulgarian citizens, except for Bulgarian citizens exempted from visas under the ‘Agreement on the amendment of the visa agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Republic of Turkey, concluded on 10 March 1993, must be made at the following web address: http://www.visa.org.tr From 05 January 2016, visa applications will not be accepted without an online application. Given the requirement for Bulgarian citizens — holders of official passports to apply for a visa after saving the application details, regardless of the rendezvous date set by the online system, the practice of sending the passports to the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Sofia will continue. More information can be found HERE.
Information about the consular services provided at the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey
Issuing Bulgarian identity documents and temporary travel documents
Save the date and time for submitting documents for a new Bulgarian identity document — https://consulatebg.eu/book.
You can check the Bulgarian documents received at the Consular Office on the following website, after entering your ID number: https://www.consulatebg.eu/status.
Receiving issued Bulgarian ID documents — every Friday from 8:30 to 12:30.
Issuance of an Emergency Travel Document to Bulgarian citizens residing abroad who do not possess valid travel or identity documents for a period of time consistent with the time required for their return to the Republic of Bulgaria — Monday – Thursday from 08:30 to 12:30, except in humanitarian cases.
Notarial certifications (signature certification, content certification, transcripts of documents, etc.) — Monday – Thursday from 08:30 to 12:30.
Save the date and time for submission of documents for establishing the existence of Bulgarian citizenship, restoration of Bulgarian citizenship, acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship, exemption from Bulgarian citizenship — e-mail: [email protected].
Obtaining of ready-made certificates of Bulgarian citizenship and other documents related to the procedures of Bulgarian citizenship — Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 12:30.
Save the date and time for submitting documents for the D visa — e-mail: [email protected].
Check on the status of an application for a type D visa — from 14:00 to 16:00 every working day by calling +90 212 281 06 01.
Type C visa
Applications for Type C visa are accepted at the office of the external service provider VFS Global at Hacımehmet Mah. Kurtuluş Deresi Cd. No 29 (Elysium Soul), Beyoğlu, İstanbul.’
Certifications and legalizations
In order for a public document issued by a foreign country to be recognized in Bulgaria and, conversely, for a Bulgarian public document to be recognized in another country — the documents must be translated and provided with an Apostille in accordance with the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, concluded in The Hague on 5 October 1961, to which Bulgaria and Turkey are parties.
Issuance of identity documents
Any Bulgarian citizen residing in the country can submit an application to the embassy in Ankara, CG —Istanbul, CG —Edirne and CG —Bursa for the issuance of a passport, identity card and Emergency Travel Document.