CONTRIBUTED BY JAMEY HOOPER
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We finally received our car from the states! Yay! So now we are ready to hop in the car to head out and explore more of Turkey. The roads here are so much better than I anticipated, so getting out and seeing things is actually really easy. Turkey has its own version of an Autobahn, it’s labeled E90 on signs. There is a toll to use the Autobahn when you travel outside of the Adana area. To pay the toll you need an HGS sticker with Turkish Lira loaded on it. You affix the sticker to your car, and then you are able to easily travel outside of the Adana area on the Autobahn.
You can get places without taking the Autobahn, but it does take longer and there are traffic lights and a lot of traffic to contend with. My family really likes to use the Autobahn even though there is a toll because we can get places much faster with less frustration. We find it to be very much like interstates in the US.
We thought getting the HGS sticker was one of the easier “settling in processes” that we had to go through after moving to Turkey. So here’s how we got our HGS sticker….
Go to the Community Center on base and ask them to help you to fill out the form for the HGS sticker. You will need your vehicle registration (black book) and your passport. The person in your family whose name is on the registration needs to do this step.
You then take this form with your 35 Turkish Lira to the Post, Telephone, and Telegraph facility (Ptt). (Directions below)
Once you arrive at the Ptt facility all you have to do is walk in with your money and the form, and they will know why you are there. They will process the form and give you your sticker. It was not crowded the day we went and it only took us about 5 minutes. The people inside the Ptt were very helpful.
Lastly, take your sticker and affix it to your windshield inside the car directly under your rearview mirror, and you’re ready to go!
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When you approach a toll plaza you drive the speed limit posted, find the lane labeled “HGS.” There is a scanner to the left of a booth, and you will see a light turn green as you get up to it. If it turns yellow or red there could be a problem, so keep on going but check your balance later to be sure you have enough Turkish Lira on the sticker.
To reload funds onto your Ptt card you can again visit the PTT facility; in the photo of the facility above you can see people standing in line at a kiosk. This is an ATM like machine that you use to add money. I have not personally used the machine, but I am told it is all in Turkish, though not overly difficult to add money. This is the link to the HGS website and it is all in Turkish as well.
I also encourage you to read this article: http://www.incirlik.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123341248 It gives a lot more information on the process, and it is still accurate.
Also, if you are not feeling adventurous the Community Center offers a trip the Ptt facility a couple of times a week. Someone who speaks Turkish goes with you to walk you through the whole process. Just give the Community Center a call to set that up.
Address: Dede Korkut Mh., Girne Bulvarı, 01000 Adana
GPS Coordinates: N 36°59’13.7” E 035°21’16.9”
Directions to the Ptt facility:
Exit the front gate and turn right.
Take a right at the stop light onto the D400.
The Ptt facility will be on the right hand side directly across from the mosque that is at the big cemetery. There is a bright yellow sign for Ptt.