Istanbul is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. A mix of cultures and backgrounds fused together in one city, it is a city where one can truly experience Middle Eastern and Western cultures all at once. From fashionable boutiques of Nisantasi to the merchants of the Covered Bazaar, this busy city is home to many people from very diverse backgrounds with the commonality of its rich history.
Turkey's geography makes it a wonderful blend of peoples and places. Magnificent scenery along the Bosphorus has drawn people from the ancient world to the contemporary. Istanbul, comprising both the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus is a stunning amalgam of sights and sounds. Thousands of years of history are combined with a vibrant, modern and exciting city unlike any other in the world.
Istanbul Congress Center
Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) is located in an area called ‘Congress Valley’ in Harbiye, Taskisla Street. All commercial and cultural centers are very close to Istanbul Congress Center. Local transport to ICC is easy with mass transportation such as metro, tram, bus and metrobus.
Photography and video/audio recording of any kind are strictly prohibited in the oral and poster sessions, luncheons and throughout the exhibition area.
Smoking is prohibited inside the convention center.
Online Conference Itinerary Planner
The online Itinerary Planner allows attendees to view abstracts, sessions and other events. The items of interest may then be selected to create a personalized itinerary for the conference. The itinerary planner will display the users’ selected itineraries.
It is suggested to pre-book your airport transportation. Please note this transfer service is offered to only those attendees who have registered their flight details and purchased their transfer tickets through the conference registration site prior to 5 August.
Private Transfer: US $125 per car (maximum two people)
Shared Transfer: US $ 45 per person
- Shared transfers will be available for the main arrival days (13–14 September) and the main departure days (17–18 September)
- There will be assistance at the Ataturk Airport to welcome and lead attendees to the preferred vehicles
- For shared transfers attendees agree to wait for other guest arrivals. This duration can be approximately 25 minutes after they are met by the MEPTUR staff
- Rates are valid for the transfers between Ataturk Airport, which is located on the European side, and the conference hotels (Intercontinental, Divan, Grand Hyatt and Hilton Istanbul)
- Means of transportation are sedan cars, minivans, small coaches (25 seats) and deluxe coaches (40 seats)
- Flight details must be registered with MEPTUR (once your transfer is booked with AAPG during the registration process, you will be provided a direct email contact for MEPTUR)
- No refunds after 5 August
Primeclass Service provides personal assistance to passengers pre-and post-flight. Services are carried out by professional personnel who strive to reduce passenger time and provide a comfortable and stress free experience.
Guests are greeted by Primeclass assistants when they arrive at the airport or disembark the aircraft. Passengers are assisted throughout the entire flight control transaction. You can sit back and enjoy the private lounges after going through the express lanes.
Arrival: US $162 per person
Departure: US $175 per person
Once your service is booked with AAPG during the registration process, you will be provided a direct email contact for MEPTUR. Flight details must be provided to MEPTUR by 5 August. No cancellation refunds after 5 August.
Taxis in Istanbul are yellow and are very easy to get either by stopping them on the street, requesting one through your hotel or through the Congress Center concierges. It is recommended you request a taxi through the concierge services. Every yellow cab has a meter and charges are in Turkish Lira. Credit cards are not valid in all taxis and prices are very economical when compared to other European cities.
Public Transportation is efficient and convenient, but most transportation signs are in Turkish.
Istanbul has a very convenient metro line that operates both on the European and Asian sides. The Congress Center is located on the European side, so this line will be used by most attendees. The metro line is shown on the map of tranportation in Istanbul.
The tram line operates between the city center (starts from Kabatas and travels through the old city) and reaches to the airport with a change in vehicle in Aksaray. The detailed route is shown on the map of transportation of Istanbul on page 52.
The Congress Center is located near Taksim Square in the Harbiye area. Bus services run from locations such as Taksim, Eminonu and Mecidiyekoy to Harbiye. Harbiye bus station is approximately a five minute walk from the Congress Center.
The easiest way of using public transportation is to obtain an Istanbul Card. The Istanbul Card may be used in many ways of public transportation such as ferries, metro, tram and buses. These cards can be purchased at major transit stops, such as the airport or Taksim, and can be reloaded at your convenience.
Professionals and students may dress business casual. Men should wear nice jeans, khakis or dress pants. Suits are not necessary. Wear a polo shirt, collared short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirt and either loafers or dress shoes. For women; slacks, skirts and dresses are common. If you plan on touring any mosques your arms and legs need to be covered. Women will need to bring a scarf to use as a head covering.
Safety and Security
Istanbul is a rapidly growing metropolis divided by the Bosphorus Strait. Despite its population of more than 13.5 million people, as well as the mass of visitors coming from other countries, the city is listed as one of the safest in the world. Travelers to Istanbul will find most people hospitable, friendly and generous. However, in light of recent events extra precautions should still be taken to enhance personal security.
Istanbul’s overall crime rate remains lower than that of other cities of comparable size. Crime rates in Istanbul have been considerably lower in recent years as a result of more successful policing and operations carried out by law enforcement and by the use of MOBESE — Integrated Mobile Electron System (CCTV). MOBESE is a “City Information and Security System” enacted under the Istanbul Security Department with the support of Istanbul’s governorship that includes 600 modern cameras installed throughout the city. The continued improvement of public services and administrative functions also contributes to decreasing crime rates.
You are highly encouraged to be aware of safety, security and emergency information at all times. Although AAPG takes many steps to provide a sound environment, safety and security are ultimately an individual responsibility. Current information on safety and security can be obtained by visiting the Bureau of Consular Affairs website (http://travel.state.gov), which contains the current travel warning and travel alerts as well as the worldwide caution.
Important Information for Travelers
Temporary Health Insurance
AAPG’s Committee on Group Insurance has arranged for insurance plans designed to cover the special situations international travelers might encounter that may not be covered by their domestic insurance.
HealthCareAbroad — for residents of the United States under age 85 traveling outside the United States — provides medical, accidental death and dismemberment and worldwide assistance coverage. HealthCare Global — for citizens and residents of the United States under age of 71 and for foreign nationals traveling to destinations outside of the United States — provides accident and sickness coverage plus worldwide assistance coverage.
Complete details, including the information on cost and the applications for coverage, may be found at www.wallach.com. You may reach Wallach and Co. by phone at +1 800 237 6615 or +1 540 687 3166 or by e-mail at email@example.com. The AAPG Insurance Program's brokers may be reached at +1 800 254 4788 or +1 703 367 8970.
Turkey requires citizens of many foreign countries to obtain visas to enter Turkey. If you are not a Turkish citizen and are intending to attend AAPG 2014 ICE, please ensure that you obtain the correct visa to enter the country. To learn more about the visa application process and current requirements, go to the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa.
Visas for touristic or business purposes can only be obtained via the new Electronic Visa Application System
Obtaining a Visa
It is your responsibility to apply for a passport, visa or any other required documents and to demonstrate to consular officials that you are properly classifiable as a visitor under Turkey’s laws. AAPG cannot assist you with the interview process, nor can anyone representing the sponsoring organizations call an embassy or consulate on your behalf to provide support for granting a visa. Should your application be denied AAPG can neither intervene in the process nor change the decision of the governmental agency. All expenses connected with obtaining proper documentation are your responsibility.
You may request a visa letter from AAPG online or by selecting the box on the printed registration form. Letters will be sent to those that are registered and fully paid. AAPG supplies this letter for visa purposes only. All expenses involved with attending the convention are the responsibility of the attending party. If your visa application is denied and AAPG received a copy of the denial by email or fax (+1 918 560 2684) before 12 September 2014 your registration fee only will be refunded, less a $50 processing fee.
Registering with Your Embassy
Travel advice to tourists suggests that you register with your country’s consulate or embassy when traveling abroad.
Travel to Turkey Information
Visit the office tourism portal of Turkey.