Here's how to avoid unpleasantness when using taxis in Istanbul, and how
to file a complaint against a taxi
driver if you have a bad experience:
1. Have your hotel call a
taxi from a local taxi stand
so that you have someone to complain
to if service is not acceptable.
Ask at the hotel what the fare should
2. Write down the taxi's license number before you get in: there are license
plates at the front and rear, and the
number is also painted on both side
doors and on the roof.
3. Check the meter during your ride,
especially when you are arriving at
your destination. Double check the
money you hand to the driver in payment,
look into his eyes and speak the amount:
"Twenty liras!" Watch what
he does with the money.
4. At the airport (or other transport
termini), do not let anyone take your
luggage from you until you are sure
of what they will do (read
of Istanbul's two airports (Atatürk/IST,
Gökçen/SAW), use Efendi
Travel's excellent private
transfer service in
a comfortable Mercedes-Benz minivan that
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5. Walk or take the tram away
from Sultanahmet to
another district (Sirkeci, Eminönü)
and take a taxi from there. (Drivers
cheat less often in other districts
6. Use public transport! (Tram, Metro, Bus, Tünel, Füniküler, Sea
Bus, ferryboat, suburban
train.) In fact, Istanbul traffic
is now so heavy that travel by public
transport is often faster by tram
and Metro than by taxi.
Public transport is frequent, reasonably comfortable,
and a one-hour, 15-km trip all the
way across the city need cost no
more than the first 90 seconds in
The license plate number of each taxi
is painted prominently on both sides
and the roof of each taxi. Note the
number, date and time, and location(s)
of the incident and send a description
to the Istanbul Public Transport Services
the license numbers painted
on the top and sides of each taxi.
Every Istanbul taxi license starts
"34" (the province code
for Istanbul). The rest of the
license consists of three letters
and two digits: TDY 01, for example.
That's all you need to trace a
taxi, along with the time,
location of the incident.