Something To Declare: Turkey without frills; coffee intake

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The Independent Travel

Bargain of the week: Turkey without frills

You may not be familiar with the low-cost carrier SunExpress, but - as a joint venture by Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines - it has a strong pedigree. The carrier (0845 600 1521; has just started flying twice weekly from Stansted to Antalya on the south coast of Turkey. Return fares start as low as £86 - though finding these is tricky, because the website is difficult to navigate.

For comparison, fares on easyJet from Luton to Istanbul are currently running at about £100 return for off-peak dates.

Next month, flights on SunExpress begin between Stansted and Izmir, Turkey's third-largest city, which is already served from Gatwick by British Airways.

One reason for the new flights is to cash in on rising property ownership by UK citizens in Turkey; insiders say that another motive is to establish a foothold at Stansted ready for the relaxation of restrictions on flying to the self-styled "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". At present, flights to the occupied north of Cyprus are permitted only from points in Turkey; no other government recognises the regime in the north of the island, which was established after the Turkish invasion in 1974. But pressure from the EU has already led to the opening of crossings over the "Green Line", and direct flights are expected to be permitted to the north soon. Ercan, the main airport, is regarded by no-frills airlines as the last potential goldmine for cheap flights in Europe.

Warning of the week: coffee intake

Be warned that there are strict limits to the amount of the black stuff that you are allowed to import into some EU countries free of duty - at least according to a poster issued by the German customs service.

The poster is on display at airports popular with package holidaymakers.

It warns of restrictions more usually associated with alcohol and tobacco: only travellers aged 15 or over can bring in any coffee at all from outside the EU. And even if you are above the magic age, you are still restricted to 500g of coffee or 200g of extracts, essences, concentrates or preparations of coffee.