PRACTICAL INFORMATION ON 2006 ASSOCIATION FOR CULTURAL STUDIES CROSSROADS CONFERENCE AT ISTANBUL BILGI UNIVERSITY

1. WEATHER & CLOTHING

Istanbul tends to be hot and humid in July. The temperatures may exceed 30 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit). So light clothing (e.g. shorts and sandals) are useful and welcome. Please check the weather forecast before your arrival.

2. CURRENCY

The Turkish currency is YTL (Yeni Turk Lirasi). You will have no problems finding exchange offices and booths all over the town. It is recommended that you bring Euros, US Dollars, or GBP rather than your local currency. Exchange rates may change daily, so please be sure to check before buying and selling currency.

3. COMMUTE FROM THE ATATURK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO THE CITY CENTER, TAKSIM SQUARE.

All hotels recommended by the conference organization are located in Taksim Square, in a pedestrian area known as 'Talimhane.' To get to Taksim from the airport, the best transportation alternatives are the following:
(a) Taxi. Please note that the ride form the airport to Taksim should cost between 25 YTL and 30 YTL depending on the traffic. The fare is double between midnight and 6:00 hours.
(b) Airport bus shuttle (HAVAS) which leaves from outside the arrival terminal. The bus will directly take you to Taksim, from where you can walk to your hotel in a few minutes.

4. REGISTRATION

Early registration will be held at 15:00-19:00 hours on July 19, 2006 at the 'Rumeli Hall' of the Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre (www.icec.org), where the keynote session and the plenary sessions will also take place in the folowing days. This venue is located 1000 meters away from the hotel area, approximately a 10-to-15-minute walk. Please note that NO transportation will be provided by the conference organization to the registration venue on July 19, 2006.

Registrations will continue in the same venue between 8:00 and 11:00 hours each day during the conference as well as in the Dolapdere Campus of Istanbul Bilgi University during the afternoon sessions.


4. GETTING TO THE CONFERENCE VENUES & BACK TO THE HOTELS

The conference will be held in two distinct venues. Both venues are equipped for the needs of disabled participants:

(a) The keynote session and plenary sessions will take place at the 'Rumeli Hall' of the Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre (www.icec.org) in the mornings of July 20-23, 2006. This venue is located 1000 meters away from the hotel area, approximately 10 to 15 minutes by walk. For address, see below.

(b) The afternoon sessions will be held at the Doladpere Campus of Istanbul Bilgi University (www.bilgi.edu.tr). Transportation from the Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre after the morning sessions to the Dolapdere Campus will be provided by a free shuttle service organized by the university. Please note that Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is doing major construction work near the Dolapdere Campus, and that certain roads are closed. Hence it is highly recommended that you take the conference shuttle service from the Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre after the morning sessions to the Dolapdere Campus rather than using alternative means of transportation.

Return trips to Taksim after the afternoon sessions and social events to be held in the campus in the evenings of July 20 and July 23 will be provided by the same shuttle services. The shuttle schedule will be announced at the conference venue.

Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre
Harbiye Istanbul
Phone: (90-212) 296 30 55

Istanbul Bilgi University
Dolapdere Campus
Kurtulus Deresi Cad. N: 47
34440 Dolapdere Istanbul 34440
Phone: (90- 212) 311 50 00

5. LUNCH AT THE DOLAPDERE CAMPUS

There are two cafeterias at the Dolapdere campus, which serve a rich menu of hot dishes as well as vegetarian food at reasonable prices. You may pay in YTL or Euros and US Dollars.

6. BOAT TRIP

There will be a desk for boat trip information and arrangements at the Dolapdere Campus where you can pay in advance and receive your ticket for the boat trip. Please make sure you make your payment before you leave the campus on July 21, 2006. Payments upon entering the boat will not be accepted.

7. HOTEL INQUIRIES

For all inquiries related to your hotel accommodations, there will be a SETUR desk at both conference venues. In case you need urgent assistance please call Deniz Yazici at (0536) 924 86 86.

8. SIGHTSEEING AND GETTING AROUND THE TOWN

Various sightseeing options are offered by SETUR. Please see the sightseeing page at www.crossroads2006.org. You may also get more information from the SETUR desk at the conference venues.
If you wish to visit the historical site of Sultanahmet where most of the monuments and places of touristic interest are located, the easiest way is to take the recently opened funicular from Taksim to Kabatas, and take the tramway from Kabatas to Sultanahmet. The whole trip shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes. There is also an efficient bus system, which you can use to go anywhere in the town, and a subway system with limited reach.
Please note that you have to use local currency in public transportation. There are also designated points where you can buy AKBIL, the electronic transit pass. AKBIL fares are about 10% lower than token fares. Please ask at your hotel information desk where you can buy AKBIL.