Ride a Turkish Dolmus

The Turkish dolmuş (pronounced DOL-moosh) is a minibus that serves the coastal area of Turkey. It doesn't operate like public buses in Western countries, so here's how to ride it.


  1. Find a dolmuş stop. For every twenty minutes of walking, you should come across one dolmuş stop.You can either stand there and hold your hand up to call the dolmuş when you see it or you can just go to main stops with lots of dolmush`s waiting to get passengers.[1]
  2. Expect a dolmuş to come every 10 minutes or so on popular routes. When the dolmuş stops double check with the driver that he's going where you want to be: Bodruma gidiyor musun?(Are you going to Bodrum?).[2]
  3. Take a seat and work out how much you have to pay from the price list, usually stuck above the windscreen.[3]
  4. Hand the money to the person in the seat in front of you. It gets passed hand-to-hand, man to child to women, all the way up to the driver. He will make out the change when he gets a clear stretch of road with, if you're lucky, one hand on the wheel and hand it back as before, person to person.[4]
  5. If there aren't any seats on the bus, it is seen as polite for children to give their seats to an older adult without a seat. If you have children, inform them of this.
  6. Call out to stop. When you want to stop, shout something appropriate and say good evening (Iyi aksamlar!) as you go.[5]


  • At the lowest tier of the Turkish transport system is the humble dolmus. This is a publicly-run network of minibuses covers most of the coastal area of Turkey, and some of the populated inland areas. As the routes often circle peninsulas it can be a cheap way to take in some of the most beautiful scenery Turkey has to offer. The routes in the Turquoise Coast especially are too spectacular to be missed.


  • The dolmus itself can be a daunting experience if you don't know how the system works. Don't be afraid of being confronted in Turkish. You only need to shout stop where you want to stop ("İnecek var" or "Müsait bir yerde", which is more polite)- no other communication is needed. It will be helpful to learn basic Turkish, as the way to pronounce the phrases are not the same as in English; for example the "c" is pronounced with a "j" sound. *Be aware that the dolmuş will probably be very crowded, you may have to squeeze yourself into a giant vehicle full of strange people and make close contact with the others in order to reach the destination you are trying to go.

Things You'll Need

  • Plenty of small change. Always try to give the driver the exact fare, for obvious reasons.

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