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How To Register Your Mobile Phone in Turkey

By Edited Jul 11, 2015 2 3

If you're planning to visit Turkey for a long-term holiday vacation or plans to extend your stay for more than a month, then you will need to "register" your phone with the Turkish government's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) or Bilgi Teknolojileri ve Ä°letiÅŸim Kurumu (BTK) in Turkish.

The reason why mobile phone registration became a requirement in the country is that a few years ago, the Turkish government passed a law requiring all mobile/cellular phones (used or to be used) in Turkey to be registered with the ICTA or BTK. This law was enacted in order to help prevent and/or discourage some acts of terrorism (such as detonating bombs, etc.) through the use of mobile phones. In a way, this is also the government's solution to help discourage, if not totally eliminate the incidence of mobile phone theft that is affecting not just Turkey but several other countries. After this law

requirements for registration
(regarding mobile phone registration) was enacted, all "foreign and unregistered" mobile phones brought into Turkey may only work in two ways:

1) by International Roaming, and/or

2) with a Turkish GSM network through the use of a Turkish SIM card

However, both ways are limited to operate only for a duration of one month – a kind of privilege given to foreigners, tourists, and visitors who want to use their GSM phones in Turkey during the duration of their stay/vacation for not more than one month.

If you want to continue using your mobile phone in Turkey after the given one-month period and yet you failed (or forgot) to register with the ICTA or BTK before the one-month duration ends, then your mobile phone will automatically be excluded from any Turkish mobile phone network's service unabling it to make or receive calls. And also, be aware that once a phone is excluded from a Turkish network's service, it is very difficult (if not nearly impossible) to have it reactivated.

So if you're planning to spend a long-term holiday vacation in Turkey, then you better register your mobile phone for your convenient and uninterrupted use. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to register your mobile phone in Turkey.

Things You Will Need

Passport

Turkish ID

(Prepaid) Turkish SIM Card

(Unlocked) Mobile Phone

Step 1

Go to the Customs Desk area at the airport and have your mobile phone registered. You will only have to present your passport to do this, nothing more. For Turkish visitors, you may also present your Turkish ID.

(Note: Each person is only allowed to bring one mobile phone when entering Turkey.)

Step 2

In case you forgot to register your mobile phone at the airport immediately after your arrival, you can still register your phone later by going to one of the Turkish GSM network operator's shops of your choice. There are on only three major GSM network operators in Turkey - Turkcell, Vodafone (formerly Telsim), and Avea. Their shops can easily be found in major shopping malls, along the main streets, and almost everywhere in the towns and cities in Turkey.

Step 3

If you opt for buying a Turkish SIM card, it should correlate with the IMEI number of your mobile phone in order to use it. This will be done during registration. Also, make sure your foreign GSM phone is unlocked. Again, you will only be required to present your passport or Turkish ID in order the buy a Turkish SIM card. Individuals below 18 years of age are not allowed to buy a Turkish SIM card and/or register a mobile phone.

Step 4

Tell the network service provider of your choice that you are planning to stay for more than a month or two or extend your vacation in Turkey. They will most probably give you some options whether to buy a local prepaid SIM card and register your foreign phone or to purchase a new mobile phone in Turkey (if you wish to have a new one), and a local prepaid Turkish SIM card.

Step 5

Present your Turkish ID (if you are Turkish or a Turkish visitor), and/or your passport (for foreigners). They will need to check your passport's information page for some details regarding your identity, some info. etc.)

Step 6

Present a copy of your entry to and exit from Turkey which are stamped in your passport.

Take note that each person is only allowed to register one mobile phone for each calendar year. Once your mobile phone is registered, you will need to remember or keep a copy of your phone's IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. The IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify your phone. It can also be used to block a stolen phone from accessing any network or service provider even with the use of a new Turkish SIM card.

Tips & Warnings

Take note that each person is only allowed to register one mobile phone for each calendar year. Once your mobile phone is registered, you will need to remember or keep a copy of your phone's IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. The IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify your phone. It can also be used to block a stolen phone from accessing any network or service provider even with the use of a new Turkish SIM card.

Related Articles:

http://www.infobarrel.com/How_To_Protect_Yourself_Against_Mobile_Phone_Theft_in_Turkey

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Comments

Apr 13, 2010 10:40am
Infowriter
What a helpful article on how to Register Your Mobile Phone in Turkey, thanks for sharing. It truly deserves a 5* rating and recommendation!
May 20, 2010 9:28am
Deborah-Diane
Knowing how to register your mobile phone in Turkey is such helpful information for travelers. I'm sure other countries will also set up similar requirements, if they have haven't already, so it is good for travelers to be prepared! Thanks for the great article! 5*
Jun 22, 2012 4:37pm
martinhenits
How about using a Turkish sim card outside of Turkey.
Do I still need to register my mobile phone if I want to use a Turkish sim card outside of Turkey?
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