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Been to Istanbul many times and bought loads of cigars from the airport, never had a problem with exchange rates. Buying cigars in Istanbul it self is questionable there is only one cigar shop that I could find and it was expensive.
I find that using local currency and a reasonable debit or credit card you usually get a fair exchange on the card. I've bought boxes of cigars at Antalya and Istanbul airport and they've been fine. Off to Istanbul on thursday for a couple of nights and I'll be doing the same on the way back. If I work anything out I'll let you know.
Well I have to say that having travelled to other parts of Turkey I thought I would have a superb time in Istanbul, gosh how wrong can you be!
Travelled there 3 weeks ago. They have expensive counterfeit cigars, and they taste terrible. Helpful Hindsight Hints:
When you land in Istanbul you can actually buy duty free cigars before leaving the airport. Yes just after landing, before leaving the airport, you read that correctly.
I would consider taking my own.
Lastly, when leaving you can enter the duty free section as normal. All of the prices are in Euros. Get ready for the con. When you take the cigars to the counter, you will be told that you can pay in Euros but there is a commission. If you decide to pay in TL (Turkish Lire), you will be told that there is no commission. Here is the real con. I did the math and worked out that where we were getting 3.70 TL to the pound, their exchange rate was 2.80. No commission my eye!
Even though it was obvious that all are being conned, the price is still cheper than the UK.
I for one will not be returning any time soon.
Now where did I put those Partagas Cigars!