Of course, the cheapest way is to go on your own two feet- ayaklar, to walk- yürümek, go for a walk – yürüyuş gitmek, but if you’re not up to it, use the dolmus.

Dolmus means ‘stuffed’, so don’t expect comfort, but they’re cheap and very frequent.

Although there are designated duraklar-stopping places, they’re often not signposted and in practice a dolmus will pick you up almost anywhere. Drivers are always looking for passengers and you can usually hail them as easily as a taxi. Just get on, take your seat, and check your price on the card which hangs behind the driver. Pass your fare to the passenger in front of you, who will pass it on. Try to give the right money, though drivers will, while watching for customers, other traffic, and the road, sort out change and pass it back if necessary. (Large notes however, will bring lots of ‘oof’s, both from the driver and other sympathetic passengers). You can also pay the driver himself if you are getting off at the last stop. When you want to get off, standing up is usually enough, but if the dolmus is crowded say ‘inecek var’- there’s someone who wants to get off. (Remember the ‘c’ sounds as a j, so say ‘eenajek var’).

 The dolmuş will take you anywhere in Kusadasi and the surrounding towns, including Soke, Selcuk and Davutlar. For these buses go to the ‘invisible’ garaj-bus place, 300 yards straight up from the belediye-town hall, on the main road out of town and it’s on the right of the first roundabout.

For journeys further afield, to Izmir or Bodrum for example, take an air-conditioned coach from the otogar-bus station, opposite the big Migros on the Soke road. These are comfortable, and provide free water-su, and regular sprinkles of kolonya-cologne, along the way. You must buy your ticket –bilet from one of the various offices surrounding the coaches before getting on the bus. Return tickets are gidiş dönüş, one way-tek yön.

Sometimes only a big yellow taksi will do. They will stop on the road for you, or you can go to one of the ranks around Kusadasi, for example at Deniz Bank roundabout or 100 yards up from the Belediye near Ak Bank. If the meter is not lit, say ‘taksimetreyi çalıştırın lütfen’ please turn the meter on, if not it will always cost you more, except for long journeys when you should negotiate a price in advance. The meter will show ’gündüz’ the daily rate, or ‘gece’ the night rate which applies between 12 and 6am, and which is much more expensive, so check it. A few very simple directions: sağa dönün, turn right, sola dönün, turn left, and burada durun– stop here, should suffice. If it’s been too good a night and the music is driving you crazy,’muzigi kapatin ‘ turn the music off’ will do it, if it’s hot,’ pencere açın’ will open the window. Follow these with a polite lütfen, please.


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