Turkey is a fascinating country, much larger than many people realize and spanning a huge range of geographical and social areas. Istanbul is perhaps the most westernized part of Turkey, on the European side of the Bosphorus both literally and figuratively. Teaching in Turkey is not hard to arrange and some schools are happy for you to make your own visa arrangements, but if you choose to do this you must make sure that you leave the country with an unexpired visa. Failure to do this can land you with a heavy fine. Salaries are not huge but the cost of living is fairly low, although teaching abroad in Istanbul it is considerably higher than elsewhere. The main reason for teaching in Turkey is not to make loads of money; it is to drink in all that this amazing country has to offer. As long as you have a good standard of English you will probably be good to go as a teacher in Turkey, although obviously a degree will give you more bargaining power as regards salary and conditions. Istanbul is a magical city which everyone should visit at least once - and once you visit all you will do is wait until you can get back there again. From the Blue Mosque to Topkapi the buildings are almost unbelievably beautiful; like something out of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. In the Topkapi museum there is a collection of the gilded chairs which the sultans of Istanbul once used, sitting cross legged in their gorgeously embroidered Turkish trousers and coats - these form another collection in the museum. The crowds can get big but while you wait you can admire the beautifully healthy cats and dogs which wander the streets, fed by strangers and locals alike. There are unexcavated parts of the Topkapi palace still waiting the attention of the archaeologists and you can wander round these on your own. Out in the city the day is ruled, as in all Moslem countries, by the cries of the muezzin. One of the mosques is the official 'starter' and all the others take their cue from the call from that tower. As you walk in the market or browse in the gold quarter, you can hear the calls spread out over the city, creating their own echoes as they go. Unlike many other Moslem cities, you won't find that everything stops dead. For example, in Cairo even their mad traffic stops for the muezzin. In Istanbul, the devout stop to pray but everything else goes on pretty much as normal. As you would expect, women are expected to dress in a modest fashion but tourists are numerous here and the city has become quite free in its views. The markets are fabulous and an Istanbul merchant could sell snow to Eskimos. Only take what money you can afford to spend when you go into the market, or you will come out with more Turkish delight than you can eat in a year. Istanbul is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, but when push comes to shove, the merchant is king. Finding teaching jobs in Turkey could be the most exciting thing you ever do; you will definitely experience some great culture in Turkey.