Istanbul - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

We opted to keep our international calling with team mobile and got a local phone when we got there. Both worked equally well. - Aug 2021

Cell service is inexpensive here, running about $10-15/month for enough data, text and calling for daily use. Phones themselves are more expensive here, so bringing an unlocked one is recommended. They must be registered with the Turkish government, but the store or consulate can assist with that. - Sep 2017

Get one. But do realize that in order to use your current cell phone with a new Turkish SIM card, you must, upon arrival into Turkey, declare it. If you attempt to put a Turkish SIM card into your existing cell phone it will overtake your phone and lock it, preventing you even from using your original SIM card. Check further into this policy before you go to post. - Oct 2010

I use Turkcell and buy my credits as needed on-line - also available as scratch-off cards in every market - Jan 2010

Available everywhere - Jan 2010

You can pick up a pay-as-you-go phone quite easily. Getting a contract is more difficult, but I didn't try. - Dec 2009

The consulate will not provide you one. Getting a local postpaid plan is impossible for a foreigner. Local laws prevent it. Phones purchased outside of Turkey will only work for 2 weeks and then they will be deactivated. The only way around it is if you get your ID card before your first 30 days in country. With your ID card and passport they can reactivate your phone. However sometimes your ID card will take more than 30 days to receive. If this happens you are out of luck. There is no way around this. You must buy a phone locally and then your only option is a prepaid SIM card. The phones are expensive and it's about $0.20 a minute with the prepaid SIM card. - Dec 2009

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