Taxi in Turkey

Taxi in Turkey

Wherever we go in the world, travellers are warned not to trust taxi drivers. They'll take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the currency, take you a very long route, take you places to earn commission, set the meter permanently at peak rate. They may even physically assault you and rob you.

Our taxi in Turkey obviously didn't go to the same training school or someone forgot to tell them to be dishonest.  All taxis are fitted with meters but you can negotiate a price before you set off. All the permanent residents and regular visitors here have their favourite driver. Ten years ago, before we had a car we would use Osman at least three times every week, now less than once a month but he still charges us the same flat rate wherever we go within the city limits, day or night. We thought it was cheap ten years ago and he has never increased it for us.

Our taxi drivers go out of their way to be helpful. A friend who lives in a remote village was taken ill while her neighbours were away and, as she is rather frail at the best of times, she was housebound. Her taxi driver drove to pharmacy for antibiotics and did her shopping-for no charge. Another friend broke her leg. When she called her taxi driver to take her out, he would ask if she needed him to take her anything and on the way home he would help her with shopping.

A couple of weeks ago a friend received a telephone call from a total stranger. A taxi driver had found his wallet in the street and wanted to arrange to return it. Our friend had not even realised that his wallet, which contained no identification or telephone number but more than €3,000, was missing. The taxi driver had seen it fall from his pocket while our friend was riding his scooter and, though he did not know his name, he did knew roughly where he lived and was able to track him down.

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