Additional Information on Registration in Turkey of Mobile Phones Purchased Abroad

After yesterday’s post, Foreign cell phone registration in Turkey, the following information was shared by one of my reader’s, Jeremy.

I noticed this posted in the local tax office here in Istanbul and so snapped a picture to save it for the future. So hopefully that helps provide at least a partial answer.

Cell Phone Import information, June 18, 2012, Istanbul

My experience so far is:

– 1 foreign phone, per passport, every two years (ie. registered March 2013 then the next one March 2015)

– Must be registered within 30 days of your last entry into the country, according to stamp in your passport

– For it to remain active longer than 6 months the registration must be done with an Ikamet or a TC kimlik (a foreign passport it will be cut off after 6 months)

– First pay the 100TL to the local tax office, then bring the receipt from there to a cell phone store and they can register it for you after that (I had to take mine to the airport branch, but supposedly any is able to do it)

He also supplied these links links to sites that have some information for registering phones.

Jeremy says it best, “But everyone’s experience is different so…good luck!”

10 thoughts on “Additional Information on Registration in Turkey of Mobile Phones Purchased Abroad

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  1. When we moved to Ankara in February, I registered both my and my wife’s phones with just our passports (no Ikamet yet) at a Turkcell place in Kızılay. They are still working nine months later. Paid the 100TL on each of them.

  2. That’s very interesting Justin! I wonder if it will ever be shut off? There may also be a difference when you want a plan vs. kontors. I wanted a plan at Vodafone. It was such a hassle. After 3 weeks of trying (March 2010), and having to get that number, and having to go back to the police station bc they couldn’t clearly read the date in my passport, I finally gave up. My husband registered it for me. That phone died and when I needed another, he registered it without a problem. (August 2012). It felt strange at first, like I was giving up my identity. I rely on him for so much here things that he could do himself back in the States without my help.

  3. Hi there. I just arrived in Ankara today to teach a course on entrepreneurship this summer. I tried to purchase a SIM card for my iPhone at the Turkcell store at the Bilkent mall and they told me they were unable to register my phone there and the phone would only work for 15 days until it got shut down unless I registered it at some other location in downtown Ankara. Also, I am only going to be here for two months so I am wondering if it is worth the hassle and expense of paying the fee to register the phone for only two months. Anyone have success with just buying a local SIM and putting it in a foreign purchased iPhone and having it work without registering it? Also, I have a non-smart phone that I brought as well…do non-smart phones need to be registered? Thanks!

    1. Hi Michael, Thanks for reading the blog. yes, all phones must be registered. Well, there are “offical” reasons why, the main thing seems to be that the government will lose the tax if foreigner phones are brought in. This way, they get a piece of the pie. I have heard stories of phones that were not shut off at the 5 day mark, but you run the risk. Whether or not it is worth it is up to you. You might try using the non-smart phone and see what happens first. But the clock starts running once you put the sim in it.

  4. I registered my phone earlier this year but I’m wondering is it attached to a particular sim card? I want to resell the phone now that I’m leaving, but if someone else can’t register their own sim with the phone then it seems to hold no value for anyone in that case.

    1. Hi Ben, thanks for reading the blog! I don’t know how to tell that it’s locked to a sim other than checking with your provider. I do know that most people are not told about it when they sign up for a plan. Honestly, we went through so much back then that it is hard to remember why they said that. They also change rules all of the time. Good luck!

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