Turkey is a treasure trove of traditions, spices, street food delights and destinations for any intrepid tourist. It’s a mix between the familiar and the exotic, ranging from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene and relaxed Roman ruins spread around Turkey’s Western and Southern coast. Turkey is a fairly large country with 75 million inhabitants. The country spreads between Europe and Asia, with 97% of the country on the Asian side – Asian Turkey. Turkey is encircled and enjoys access to three different seas: The Black Sea, The Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the largest city in Europe, regarding population – It has over 14 million people.
Turkey’s medical infrastructure has improved greatly beginning with the early 2000s and now is one of the biggest medical tourism hubs in Europe and Asia. Turkey has the largest number of JCI-accredited hospitals, second only to the USA and hospitals are more often than not part of international healthcare groups, following strict European protocols and regulations. Turkey has 28.000 medical institutions spread across the European and Asian side but some of the biggest private hospitals and medical centres are in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Bodrum – these also happen to be some of the best tourist destinations in Turkey.
Sights to See
Bodrum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, with its sandy beaches and small streets littered with traditional shops and elegant restaurants. The town used to be called Halicarnassus, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the World’s Seven Ancient Wonders. Bodrum also features a castle built by the crusaders in the 15th century.
Istanbul is the home of several architectural treasures, including the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was built on the orders of Sultan Ahmed between 1609 and 1616 and the Sultan’s body still resides within the mosque. The high ceiling is lined with more than 20000 handmade ceramic tiles, hence the name – The Blue Mosque.
Pamukkale, meaning “The Cotton Castle” in Turkish is a surreal destination in the country’s western region of Denizli, world renowned for its white terraces with warm spring water. The ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was built over the springs and Pamukkale was a renowned destination in antiquity as well. Tourists can visit the ancient Roman and Greek ruins of the baths, temples and theatres dating to the second century BC.
Things to Know
● If you don’t feel like waiting in a queue, you can get a VISA for Turkey online. The VISA usually costs around $20 for US travellers.
● Turkey’s population is predominantly Islamic so it’s a good idea to wear a headscarf while visiting mosques. Shorts or any other garments that fit under the knee are not prohibited by law but it’s considered good etiquette not to wear shorts for men or short skirts for women.
● You can change any sort of currency into the Turkish Lira – the Turkish currency just about everywhere. Most supermarkets and shops also accept credit cards.
● Roaming fees in Turkey can be somewhat expensive, so it’s a good idea to simply buy a new Turkish SIM card and use it while staying in Turkey.
● Turkey’s international calling code is +90.
● Electrical installations usually operate on 220 volts, 50 Hz and use European style plugs and European style sockets. Four and Five star hotels usually provide North American - 120 volts, 60 Hz sockets as well.
● Driving in Turkey can be a hassle sometimes, but very pleasurable at other times. Roads are usually in good shape and some roads actually lack traffic, so it can be a relaxing experience. In Turkey, people drive on the right, so that’s a detail you will need to keep in mind. In some areas, villagers made cardboard and marker pen signs in order to help lost tourist on their way.
● Renting a car in Turkey is quite simple and cheap. If you have the budget for a full insurance, you should definitely take it – if anything happens, at least you won’t have to worry about money.
● The Turkish Airlines Company, THY offers destinations to just about anywhere in the world with a total of 261 destinations. The company was founded in 1933 and features 285 passenger and cargo planes.
● Turkey uses the metric system which is easy enough to understand – 1 Km = 1000 meters, 1 Kg = 1000 grams, and so on. One mile equals 1.60 Km.
● Turkish people are warm and very hospitable - It is customary for people to hug and kiss both cheeks regardless of their gender.
● Turkish street food is very diverse, from the simple bagel-type snack Simit to the familiar pizza-type Lahmacun, there are tons of variants to just about anything.
● Turkish coffee is world renowned, but it’s also a bit different than say, its American counterpart - It is usually a strong coffee with a rich aroma, served very hot from a small traditional cup. Be careful not to drink any of the coffee grounds still in the cup.
● Turkish delight, as the name suggests, can be a really sweet delight for tourists. It is made from sugar, starch and just about any fruit or aroma imaginable, including walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, dates, lemon, orange, rosewater and many others. Turkish delight is usually served with coffee and it became popular all around the world, including in the Balkans region and as far as Brazil and North America.
MRI scan stems from magnetic resonance imaging. Patients enter the machine called MRI scanner and there are exposed to powerful magnets and radio waves, which together help to create a body picture detailed enough to find sources of health problems. There are a few types of MRI scan, including MRI scan with contrast and without contrast, as well as so-called open MRI. Unlike CT scan, MRI scan does not involve X-rays.
MRI Scan Candidates
MRI scanner is used to detect various medical conditions, including:
• Various kinds of cancer, including lung cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer and others. Additionally, with MRI scan it is possible to estimate what type the cancer is – is it malignant, did it spread to other organs.
• Bone problems.
• Medical conditions related to soft tissue.
• Prostate diseases.
• Spinal injuries, including cervical spine MRI and lumbar spine MRI.
Am I Suitable for MRI Scan?
Most people can undergo an MRI scan procedure, including pregnant women, and children. However, it is rarely proposed to pregnant women unless it is really necessary. MRI procedure is also unadvised to people with any metal objects and devices in their bodies, including pacemakers and shunt for hydrocephalus. Additionally, people undergoing chemotherapy treatment are discouraged from undergoing MRI procedure.
Preparing for MRI Scan
Usually, there are no preparations for an MRI scan. However, some patients will be advised to fast for some hours before an MRI procedure or to the contrary – to drink a lot of water. The most important part of preparation is to remove all metal objects, including jewelry from your body – after all MRI scanner utilizes powerful magnets.
How is MRI Scan Performed?
Patients lie on a bed which then enters the MRI scan. Depending on which body part undergoes MRI procedure patient’s head (for example in MRI brain scan or neck MRI) or legs (in abdominal MRI and lumbar spine MRI) will enter the MRI scanner first. It is crucial to remain motionless in the course of MRI scan, since movement may blur the picture. In order to provide a particularly clear picture, doctors may propose MRI with contrast. Contrast is a chemical substance which enters patient’s body through injection and then spreads with blood. However, it is possible to perform MRI without contrast as well. Whole MRI scan procedure takes up to 1.5 hours.
MRI Scan Summary
Duration of Operation
20 to 45 minutes depending on the type of study being performed
MRI Scan Recovery
Since MRI scan is a simple medical procedure not involving anesthesia or a surgery, there is no MRI scan recovery period.
MRI Scan Risks and Complications
There are no known MRI scan risks since this procedure does not involve X-rays and other types of potentially dangerous radiation. However, as a precaution, pregnant women, especially in first months of pregnancy, are discouraged from having MRI scan. In the same way, patients with metal objects and devices implanted in their body, such as pacemakers, artificial hearts and so on, aren’t advised to have an MRI scan.
MRI Scan Side Effects
Currently, despite wide research, there are no known MRI scan side effects.