Traffic circles/roundabouts are
common in Turkey, and they
do not operate like those in the USA, UK and
some other countries.
You will encounter roundabouts at
many city and highway intersections,
sometimes controlled by traffic
signals (lights), sometimes
Unlike in Europe and North America,
traffic in the roundabout does
not have right of way!
going straight through the roundabout
and continuing in the same direction
or turning right may do so, but traffic
turning left enters the roundabout,
goes 1/4 of the way around, then stops
and waits until the way is clear to
if you intend to turn left, you should
be in the left (or perhaps middle)
lane before you turn.
If you plan to go straight or turn
right, the right lane is best.
In heavy traffic, cars may stack
the roundabout, sometimes blocking
the flow of through traffic.
This system worked alright 40 years
ago when Turkey had few cars but now,
when Turkey produces millions of cars—and
new drivers—each year, it can fail.
The roundabouts clog. Tempers flare.
New, larger highway roundabouts are
being built, some of which are designed
and marked to operate on the traditional
European and North American method
whereby traffic in the roundabout has
priority, and traffic entering the
roundabout must wait until traffic
in the roundabout has cleared.
A driver expecting the traditional
Turkish system does not notice the
signs, expects traffic in the roundabout
to stop, and smashes right into another
Be careful in roundabouts!
Establish eye contact with other drivers if possible, and watch for hand signals.
Remember that two conflicting systems—and
sets of drivers—are at work here, and
patience and forbearance are necessary
to prevent accidents.
—by Tom Brosnahan