Turkish Traffic Roundabouts

Last Updated on May 2, 2019

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 not.

Unlike in Europe and North America, traffic in the roundaboutdoes not have right of way!

Traffic 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 continue.

Thus, 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 up in 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 car.

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

Highway Signs

Turkish Driving Habits

Defensive Driving

Police Checkpoints

Driving During Ramazan

US Consulate Driver Safety

Safe Driving in Turkey

Car Hire/Rental

How to Find Good Maps

Documents & Equipment

Car Travel

Transport in Turkey

Turkish Language Guide

Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

Visit our Facebook group:

Best Travel Agencies

You’re forwarded to tekce.com


You will be redirected
in 3 seconds...

Please wait to continue or Cancel

Skip to toolbar