Mission Accomplished! How to Register a Foreign Mobile Phone in Turkey

UPDATE:  As of October 2015, a person now has 120 days from the time of entering Turkey to register the phone.

Recently, we have had a TON of questions and comments about registering cell phones in Turkey. I have shared what I know in these recent posts.  It would be wise for you to read them, and especially, the updates and comments.  Many questions have been asked and answered in those comments.  Once you have read them, you will see how much trouble foreigners have had with registration.  You are not the only one!  Most problems have been caused by Turkcell – who is clearly not doing their job! Unfortunately, the BTK is not following up with it.  So we are forced to find an easier solution.  I have finally done that.  We can register ourselves online!

Here are links to the the prior posts:

Below, I will list the necessary steps to the best of my ability.  Unfortunately, my husband did the final steps for me (the online registration) and we did not take screenshots.  I strongly advise you get someone fluent in Turkish to help with that.  Also included on tips for registering minors, what to do if you thought your phone was registered but find out it’s not, how to get a tax refund, rules for registering, and other information.

epic win

The Requirements:

1- WHO HAS TO REGISTER?  Any phone purchased outside of Turkey must be registered.  That means both Turks and foreigners must register foreign phones.  There is a short period if you are only visiting, where you do not have to register the phone.  The timeline is not exactly clear.  But a Turk or a foreigner living in Turkey must register any phone bought from abroad.

2 – WHEN MUST YOU REGISTER? You must register your phone within 120 days (changed from 60 days as of October 2015) of entering Turkey.  Make sure the stamp in your passport is legible!!  If the date can not be clearly read, you will have to go to the main police station to get a printout of your entries.  In Ankara, that is next to the Anka Mall.

3 –  COUNTING CALENDAR YEARS – The law says one phone registered per person per two “calendar years.”  There is no definition of a calendar year so I tested it.  I did not wait two full years to register my phone and it worked.  For example, if the first phone is registered December 31, 2013, one could register another phone on January 1, 2015.  That’s two calendar years, but actually only one year and a couple of days.

STEPS FOR REGISTRATION:

I.  Go to the Bank to pay tax first

  1. You must pay a fee (tax) at a bank branch.  Almost every bank does this.  This link provides the list of banks:  http://www.mcks.gov.tr/tr/KonuDetay.php?BKey=40
  2. At the bank, they will need your passport, your kimlik number, and the IMEI number for your phone. They are not concerned about the date of entry at the bank.  But make sure it is legible and the correct amount of days. You will need that in the next step.  The kimlik number is NOT the number in your residence permit book.  It is a separate number.  If you don’t know your kimlik, you can find it using this website:  https://tckimlik.nvi.gov.tr/YabanciKimlikNo/KisiBilgileriSorguModul.aspx.
  3. Be very careful when filling out the form for you kimlik number (and any other form).  Names must be exactly as registered.  For example, under “Adi” I filled in my first name and both of my middle names.  My parents names are written with their first and middle names.  After running the search, it will show your kimlik number.  Print the form and carry it with you.  It will make your life so much easier – at doctors offices, at banks – almost everywhere you go.
  4. If you don’t know how to find the IMEI number, google it.  It’s very easy.  For most phones you simply dial *#06# and it will appear.
  5. The fee/tax will be paid at the bank.  It is currently 131.50 TL.
  6. Be sure to get a receipt and check the IMEI number, kimlik number, and name are correct before you leave the bank.

II.  Go to the PTT to get a password

  1. Go to any PTT.  Get a number for the counter at the machine.  It will be the first option, the second option if you are handicapped (engelli).
  2. Wait for your number to show up and go to that counter.
  3. At the counter, say, E-Devlet Şifresi almak istiyorum.”  E-Devlet is the keyword for the portal where you can do a number of government processses.  Şifre is password.  Almak istiyorum is I would like to get/purchase.
  4. You will need your kimlik number (see #2 above), your passport, and your residence card/permit.
  5. They must type in everything to their system exactly as it appears on your documents.  They will need your place of birth.  This must be taken from the resident permit and typed in exactly. For example, mine was “A. B. D.”  They had to type it with the periods and spaces for the system to accept it.
  6. The current cost for this is 2TL.
  7. They will return your documents to you and give you something like a letter.  Tear off the edges and the passport is inside.
  8. You do not need to send in any of the documents to the BTK.

III.  Online Registration:

  1. You will need the PTT password, and all of the above listed documents, including the bank receipt.
  2. You will need a Turkish speaker to help you maneuver the website.  Unfortunately, I did not take screen shots when registering.
  3. Go to this website:  https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/btk-imei-kaydet.  Click on “Kimligini Simdi Dogrula” and enter your TC No (kimlik) and the PTT password.  It will take you to a page to register.
  4. First, it will ask you to set up a new password.  Then you will easily register using your passport, kimlik, and paid tax receipt.
  5. This process takes about 15 minutes.

IV.  Check the Registration:

  1. After registering the phone, your phone is actually only “temporarily” registered until the proper authorities (BTK) reviews it.  You can check the status by plugging your IMEI number into this website:  https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/imei-sorgulama.  
  2. If you get the following message, it means that the phone is temporarily registered, and you should check back for the final determination:  IMEI numarası abone kayıt merkezince geçici olarak kayıt altına alınmış olup Kurum tarafından evrakları kontrol aşamasındadır.
  3.  This message means the system is temporarily out of order:
    Sistemde yaşanan bir teknik aksaklık nedeni ile işleminiz tamamlanamadı
  4. This message means it is not registered:
    KAYITDIŞI OLDUGU TESPİT EDİLEN IMEI
  5. If your phone was not registered, the most likely reason is that there was a typo in your name or IMEI number during registration.  My registration was final in less than 30 minutes after registering online!
  6. “IMEI NUMARASI KAYITLI”The cell phone is REGISTERED!

Other Information:

  • If you feel you need to call the BTK, they do have English speakers.  The number in Ankara is 0312.294.9494.
  • If you decide to register at a store, do not let them charge.  I have heard of charges from 20TL to 70TL.  Registration fees should not be charged by a store!
  • Apparently, the website to check the registration may not always be right.  One woman registered four phones at Turkcell- different family members.  She later received messages from Turkcell that they were not registered.  According to the link, they were not registered. She called BTK and two were registered.
  • If you need to register the phone again because you encountered a problem, you must still be within 60 days of entering the country.  Otherwise, you will need to register after you leave and enter the country again.  Once it is registered properly, you will NEVER need to do it again.
  • If you registered through any provider and later learned the registration did not go through, you may be able to get the tax refunded.  According to one reader:  She went to the tax office. They said they will deposit the money in the bank account within 15 days.  Just few tips:
    1. in the receipt from the bank it is written the name of the Vergi Dairesi you have to go to. You absolutely need to go there.
    2. take the papers of the payment (copies are fine too), kimlik, passport and your bank account information.
    3. Once in the “vergi dairesi” you need to fill in a simple form.
  • If the person registering is a minor, under 18 years, the phone must be registered by a parent. See, http://www.mcks.gov.tr/tr/KonuDetay.php?BKey=40.  Accordingly, one reader wrote, “Since my son is a minor, I could make the request on my husband’s name and use his account. Normally you must have a turkish bank account on your name in order to ask the money back.”

Good Luck and Don’t Give Up!!

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194 thoughts on “Mission Accomplished! How to Register a Foreign Mobile Phone in Turkey

  1. Hi, T! Thanks for writing the blog. I will follow your instruction.
    Today I called BTK Ankara and the staff told me they have received my application but Turkcell deleted my information later in the system! I will try your way and also file a complaint to Turkcell Kentpark Branch!!!

  2. That is exactly what they told me. Make sure you are still within 60 days. otherwise, you have to leave the country and come in again. Good luck! The Turkcell branch could care less about our complaints. The BTK should care, but they don’t seem to either. 😦

    • Terry, I just returned from Turkcell Kentpark store and they asked me to ‘check’ tomorrow. They suggested the case could be solved within 72 hours but I pushed them, asking the case must be resolved by 11:00 AM and they agreed. They also promised to return my 20TL if they fail. I am on the brink of anger because the manager (Mr. CAN) told I was their first and only failure !!!!!

  3. At least the 30 days from recently has gone up to 60 days. I decided it was easier to buy a phone here but when I registered it, Turkcell assumed it was a foreign phone, even though I had bought it from Turkcell and had the receipt, and caused loads of problems. Anyone know semaphore?

      • Bravo, T! Thank you for the helpful article. I made it!!! This morning the Turkcell store manager did call my Turkish friend and told her that they just cannot do it without any elaboration. They would ‘willingly’ refund my 20TL and return my document though I went there 3 times in two weeks to sort it out and they told me they would ‘take care of everything’ every time.

  4. Hi T! Awesome post!
    Unfortunately I missed the dates to register and now my phone is blocked =(
    Do you know if the only possible way of doing the process now it is to have a new stamp on my passport? Or maybe I can use someone’s else passport? (someone that will not register his phone).
    Thank you!

    • Hi Arthur and thanks for reading the blog! If you are outside of the 60-day window, you can only register yourself if you leave the country again. You can have someone else register the phone in their name (passport, kimlik, etc.) It doesn’t matter who uses the phone, the rules are only for the actually registration. It would be nice to make sure they know they can’t register another phone for 2 calendar years (so the beginning of 2017.

      • Thank you very much for your quick reply! Actually I will ask my flatmate to register for me. She already told me she won’t register her phone =)
        And as actually my line (Avea) is blocked as well, do you think I will have to purchase a new sim card and lost my previous number?

    • As far as I know, you will not have to purchase a new sim card or new phone number. The blocking is of the phone, not the number. You should test this for us! Put your sim in someone else’s phone and see if it works!

    • So, this is what happened with my phone:
      It got blocked and I used my friends passport to register (pay the tax, go to PTT, etc.) If I check on the website, it is saying that is registered: IMEI NUMARASI KAYITLI.
      I did the registration last Tuesday (1 week ago) and my phone is still not working. It saying “No Service”.
      I thought it was my sim card, but if I put in any other phone it works normally. I went to AVEA and they say the problem is with the phone.
      I went to Apple Store, they did a lot of things on it, even reset the cell phone, still didnt work. They also said the the phone is normal and nothing wrong with it and I should check with government because maybe my IMEI is still blocked.
      And guess what, when I call BTK, they say my phone is registered and there is no problem.
      Did someone had something like this? =(

  5. Hi! I’m an erasmus student in istanbul since late January. I already payed the tax office bill (131.5 TL) but I still have to register it online. I’ve been trying to find out my kimlik number but for some reason the “we have no information” error shows up. Do you know if it is possible to get the password from PTT without this number? Or where can I find this kimlik number otherwise?
    Everyone I know is going to Turkcell and been charged 70 TL for this procedure.
    Thank you!

    • Hello Carolina! I am not sure how a kimlik works with students. I don’t think you can get the password without it. I was told that the new residence cards have the kimlik number in them. Perhaps the system is just not working correctly today? Also, check with another student, they may know. Turkcell is full of shit! They are not supposed to charge for it!

      Also, make sure everything is typed exactly as it appears in your resident card. It is likely you are making an error when typing. Pay close attention to the parents names as well. it is usually just the first or first and middle names they want.

      • In the end I was able to get the password with only my residence permit and my passport. The kimlik number is actually my residence permit number (it starts with 99), so I was able to do the first part of the registration online. The problem now is that later it asks for a 11/123456 residence permit number which I don’t have (because my kimlik number and residence number are the same)

        Eventually I gave up and went to turkcell to have it done. They were not able to register my phone because of the two months thing. I was pretty sure the two months started counting when I got my contract with turkcell and not my entrance to the country and since my phone was not blocked yet I thought I could have worked, but it didn’t.

        They put a stamp on my tax office receipt so I could get my money back but when I went to the tax office they asked for a Turkish bank account, which I don’t have. Also, I’ve been told by a friend that they want an account on my name. So that didn’t work either.

        My plan now is to go out of the country on day trip so I will have a new entrance to the country and register my phone afterwards. Still, I would rather do it online, so if you or anyone else knows about the 11/123456 residence permit number please let me know.

        Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Carolina! What a coincidence. I just came from Erasmus. Hope this information is helpful to you.

      0009151009 is an alias number that foreigners are allowed to use as their kimlik number when registering foreign phones. The information is on this website, in the 2nd paragraph of section 3 (http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/details/Communications/registration.html). Perhaps you can get the tax office to correct the kimlik number and residence permit number and then try again.

  6. Sorry to hear about all of the mess Carolina. The 60 day is definitely from the time of entrance, no exceptions there. Someone else did get a refund. I don’t know how that works. Bank accounts Schmank accounts! Hand us the cash!!!

  7. This webpage has the most detailed instructions on registering a foreign phone in Turkey so I am adding some more information about the process that I recently found out.

    If your entrance stamp is in a foreign passport, the phone may be registered together with your Turkish phone number, meaning that another Turkish SIM card with a different phone number won’t work. They call this “SIMlock”. In this case, your phone’s registration status on the website mentioned above in IV.1. it will read “KAYIT DIŞI OLDUÐU TESPİT EDİLEN IMEI. Geçici süre ile eşleştirme (turist vb.) yapılmıştır.” I’m not sure if registering the phone online with the PTT password can prevent getting SIMlocked.

    If your entrance stamp is in a Turkish passport, the phone is free to be used with any Turkish phone number once it is registered, meaning no SIMlock. The status on the website will read “IMEI NUMARASI KAYITLI”. And I believe Turks can register once every calendar year while foreigners can register only once every two years.

    • Actually, I have registered my phone with other numbers many times. My husband (a Turk) and I take turns, and often register each other phones. The don’t ask for phone numbers, with the exception that Turkcell needs a number because they send a text message during the registration process. For that, I used a friend’s number, since I do not use Turkcell. In the end, Turkcell deleted the registration, after saying it was done. The deletion had nothing to do with the phone number, however.

  8. I have just completed the stages, described above.
    a) Bank was slow but OK. The clerk had never done it before.
    b) Getting the Post Office e-devlet password was more or less instantaneous — I found an empty post office! And still only TL2.
    c) The on-line stuff was also very quick but I have written some additional explanation about what happens, for anyone with limited Turkish who wants to do it themselves.

    Here goes:-

    The sign on process is straight-forward for anyone who speaks good Turkish and is familiar with bureaucratic procedures. However though I guess I score on both those points, I still found it a little bewildering at first, though eventually the whole thing was over very rapidly. AT EVERY POINT I DOUBLE CHECKED NUMBERS AND DETAILS.

    1. STAGE ONE – OPENING YOUR E-DEVLET ACCOUNT You have to use your password from the post office to set up an account with ‘e-devlet’. So as you read above, the first step is to contact the system and then register with it. In the course of this, you give details of your mobile phone number (for a text message back) and your email.

    You create a new password — can be in English or whatever– to replace the temporary one you bought from the Post Office. Don’t forget it as you may need it in the future for other action/

    Fill in both boxes for e-mail address and mobile phone, then click doğrulamak (‘CONFIRM’) for the email address first. An email then arrives instantly in your ‘inbox’ and you get a confirmation number from it which you type into a waiting box on your screen.
    You then get a green message saying your email address is confirmed.
    At the top of the screen your name as registered with the system will appear.

    You then follow the same procedure with your cell phone number. A number comes up in a message on the phone (so you can’t do any of this if you don’t have a cell phone), you feed it into the website and a green acceptance message comes up. You are now ready to go.

    (Check that you are logged in by looking at the top right hand corner of your screen for your name. Bear in mind that if a Turkish friend has logged in for you, their name will be at the top and they should log out and let you register – otherwise the following steps will all go wrong. You must log in as yourself.)

    2. STAGE TWO means you go on to “IMEI numarasını kaydet”. (There are two other options to do with IMEI – check your registration etc, but ‘kaydet’ i.e. register is what you want now.)

    The system then proceeds to ask details of
    a) travel document – if you are yabancı you have to fill in the country of origin box and then give its number.

    b) Then residence permit and kimlik details.

    c) The date in your passport.

    d) The 15 digit IMEI number. There is a range of slots for these, apparently because some phones have more than one IMEI number but if you only

    e) Telephone number – they want ten digits only. Which seems to imply they are accepting only Turkish cell numbers, and beginning with the ‘5’ not ‘0’. This was the only stage where I stumbled for a moment. But since you are planning to use the phone on the Turkish system not your home country cell system, this is not an issue.

    I did not have to give them my bank payment details. To my surprise the system told me it already knew I had paid! That was quick.

    After that it went on immediately to tell me it had registered my application and gave me a reference number, which I noted.

    I can use IMEI sorgalama to check if the registration has gone through or not.

    And that was it. Alarming at the time but very quickly over.

  9. Then went to Vodafone to get a new SIM card for the Iphone. A new card for the same line costs TL 15. But the girls in my local office admitted that they did not have much of an idea what was going on and tried to get me to pay TL40 which would have been for a new line and number. Once we had got that out of the way, my old SIM card was cancelled and they installed a new one in the Iphone. They are quite familiar with handling iPhone 6’s though they had no technical expertise.
    But at first they could not get it to work and for a minute or two it looked as if I would be able to use neither old phone nor new (They were not willing to cancel the sale they had just made and let me use my old phone, though my assumption is that legally they would be obliged to do so. Where is consumer protection?) Anyhow there was a turn for the better after a few minutes when the new SIM card did begin to work in my iPhone and I sent and received test calls.

    All in all I have spent from 10 a.m. this morning to about 16.30 setting all this up for myself and also a phone for an Australian friend. (The procedure is rather more complex for foreigners but if you give a foreigner kimlik number starting with ’99’ the system seems to understand it is dealing with a yabancı. She got told at the end that her passport and IMEI number had already been used, but I think this was due to double clicking. We checked on ‘sorgulama’ and her IMEI shows up with the correct details, including entry into the country on the right date, so we are hoping her phone has been activated too.

  10. hello to all,
    this is to confirm that today I was able to complete the registration in less than 10 mıns and with limited turkish language knowledge. registration confirmation was immediate.

    all I used was my kimlik number, passport number, turkish gsm number and stamp date on the passport.
    of course I got the e-devlet password at the post office.
    the payment details were automatically retrieved fro the system.

    the steps were pretty much as described above. nothing to be worried.

    thanks for creating this blog!
    pietro

  11. Very useful knowledge, thanks.
    I just registered my phone today afternoon, and checked the result, it shows this message “KAYITDIŞI OLDUGU TESPİT EDİLEN IMEI.Geçici süre ile eşleştirme (turist vb.) yapılmıştır.” is that normal?
    I could’t get my e-Devlet Sifresi because I don’t have IKAMET –TC Kimilik (I found my kimilik number but they said its useless), without that I am unable to register online. I registered at a store and they told me that I can only use the single SIM card(the phone number will never be changed) because of the IKAMET issue. if I don’t register now, I will face the 60 days problem, …….ufffff

    • Hello and thanks for reading the blog! The ikamet and kimlik numbers are not the same. The ikamet is in the resident card – although I have not seen the newer cards. If you are a resident, you can get the kimlik number from using the link in the blog. The message definitely says it is not registered. If you registered at Turkcell, it is likely that they did to you what they did to many others – simply canceled it after they told you it was registered. When the store told you that you can only use that sim card, they mean in Turkey. you can use another outside of Turkey. Let me know if this helps.

  12. Hi Terry! This is a great blog and this post is awesome! We are attempting it down in Izmir. So far, I was able to pay at the bank though initially the teller wasn’t sure how to do it. We paid the 131.50TL for each phone and verified all information on the receipts were correct. We then went to the PTT to get a e-Devlet password, but after waiting in line for almost 2 hours, they told us the system was down (TIP: get a number, then ask someone immediately at the PTT if the e-Devlet system is working or not so you don’t waste your time).

    Question: Would it be possible for me to get a PTT password and then register 2 phones for my friend’s two teenage boys or does the mother or father have to get the PTT password themselves to register the phones?

    • Hi Jon and thanks for reading the blog! I am not sure about the answer to your question, but I believe the parent has to do it. I think the PTT registration is specific to each person, i.e., the person registering the phone has to have the password. I believe this bc you have to show ID and a kimlik number. since you can only register one phone, it seems likely that you can’t do more than one with the same password. But hey, why not register yours first, then try it. Let us know how it goes!

  13. So my friend purchased the 2TL password for e-Devlet website and attempted to register his 2 sons’ phones. There were actually 3 spaces to enter in 3 different IMEI numbers, so he naturally entered in one in the first space and the second in the second. After the process was done, he went to check the status and the message received was this: “Kayit Bulunamadi” – meaning “No Records Found”.

    Is that bad? Does he need to just wait and see after a while?

  14. Ok, so after Googling and asking if a device can have more than one IMEI number, apparently a single device can have 2 or more IMEI numbers, so my friend made a mistake. Now he can’t he keeps getting the “Kayit Bulunamadi” message for either number.

    Who should he contact? Is it possible to get this corrected in their system so that he can re-enter the numbers individually?

  15. i wanted to ask can the process be done completely online?? you dont have to go anywhere? and is it necessary to have travelled in the last month? My phone was already registered but it stopped working so i got a new phone and i need to register that. I wanted to do it in my friend’s grandmother’s name (turkish), she hasnt travelled out of turkey and i didnt want to disturb her by taking her anywhere so if its completely online can i use this method? I registered my own phone in feb 2014 so it hasnt been 2 years yet and since im a student i really need my new phone to be registered! This has become a huge problem for me. Your help/suggestions would be really appreciated!
    Thank you

    • Hi Nadia, as far as i know, you can register another phone in January 2016, but not before then. It’s two calendar years, not two full years. So any time in 2014 means any time in 2016. It can not be done completely online, the payment must be done at a bank and the password obtained at the PTT by the same person who is registering the phone. Registering the phone must be done within 60 days of having traveled outside of Turkey. I hope this helps.

  16. Hello Terry,
    I am in a quite complex situation at the moment and I would be glad about your advice 🙂
    Last week I went to the tax office to pay the 131,10 TL and they registered the amount on the following number: 0009151009 (they typed this in the Vergi Dairesi Alindisi in the section “Vergi Kimlik No.”). This is exactly the number that Alparslan Kaan mentioned above and that is also listed on this website: http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/details/Communications/registration.html (I wonder if this information is wrong?). Then I went to AVEA to get a SIM-card and number. After that, they sent me to the PTT to get a e-Devlet sifresi. An employee helped me to enter everything into the gov.tr-Website. However, it said this: “Henüz Gelir İdaresi Başkanlığı’na T.C. Kimlik Numaranız ile iletilmiş bir ödeme bulunmamaktadır. Kısa bir süre içinde kayıt işlemini tekrar deneyiniz.” – so apparently my payment did not enter the system. According to the PTT employee this might be because at the Vergi Dairesi they did not register the amount on my kimlik number (which appears to be the same number as on the Residence Permit; it starts with 99 and I also checked on the website you posted).
    After that, I went to the Vergi Dairesi again (today) to change my payment and register the amount on my kimlik number respectively. There was a huge confusion. They called the BTK and the lady explained to me that I should just go to AVEA and let them register my device. So I went to AVEA and they told me it is not their job to register phones anymore. They told me, the only way to register my device effectively would be to buy an illegal Turkish passport (?????).
    However, my plan now is to go back to the Vergi Dairesi, ask them to pay back the money and register the amount again on my Kimlik number. They already offered me to do the whole process again when I went there today.
    Do you think it will work out like this? I was wondering whether maybe I cannot pay / register the 131,50TL again until 2017 because they already “used” my passport number and entrance date last week, when they registered it on the 0009151009-number. Do you think there could be a problem? I really hope it will work out!
    I would be happy about your evaluation!
    All the best,
    Christina

  17. Hello all,
    I just wanted to tell that I finally made it! 🙂 I was right; the problem was that in the section “Vergi Kimlik No.” on the Vergi Dairesi Alindisi they did not write my Kimlik Number but this one: 0009151009. So as a NOTE FOR EVERYBODY: Make sure that they do write your personal Kimlik number in that section! 🙂
    I have no idea how people without an Ikamet can register their phone, though…

    By the way, with my passport and Ikamet I could open a bank account at Ziraat Bankasi easily and for free. They just wanted to know my phone number as well as my address in Turkey and abroad. I first tried to open an account at Is Bankasi, but they could not do it without an “Address Belgesi” or so. So I would recommend Ziraat Bankasi. Like this, the Vergi Dairesi can now send me back the money that I paid for the attempt that went wrong last week.
    Good luck for all of you!

    • Hello,
      by personal kimlik number, you mean the one that starts with 99 (yabanci kimlik number)? I’m asking because I have a working permit which serves as a resident permit as well (or at least it’s what it says on the card). Even though I told them to put my yabanci kimlik number in there, the insisted that 0009151009 is enough!!! and now I get the same message on the website. will they change it if I go there again?

      • Sorry to say but you will have to follow the same procedure as I did: go there again, try to explain (Best thing: print the message you received from the website and show them) . They will then send back the money on your turkish bank account and you will have to pay the money again using the right number. Good luck!

      • by there I meant vergi dairesi. I went to the vergi dairesi the next day and tried to tell them I do have a kimlik number that starts with 99 and asked them to change what they had already written on my receipt, but the guy insisted that only turkish citizens have a kimlik, it doesn’t matter if you have a resident or working permit. and gave me a form to fill in so I could get my money back in a week or so.

        then I ended up asking an AVEA shop if they can do the registration, where I heard yet another theory. they asked for an Ikametgah number which you can get from the passport department at a police station! has anyone been through this one?

        sorry to ask too many questions, the last one would be, would it work if i do the payment online through the link to Garanti or Iş bank on the website?

        Thank you

  18. Hello! First of all thank you very much for opening this page for sharing the experiences.
    In case of my application, I have residence permit but it is expired and I have applied for extension and am waiting for my residence permit card. Now, can I register my device through an expired residence permit?
    Thank you,

    • Hello Poolad and thank you for reading my blog. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to your question. My guess is that you would not be able to register it with an expired permit. I would wait if you have enough time.

  19. Pingback: Register your phone completely online (even tax for Garanti and IsBank customers) - Turkish Living Forums

  20. Hi Majid, there is not need to go to the tax office (vergi dairesi). If you have a resident card, you have a kimlik number. You can use the link in the blog to find that if you don’t have it. That is the 99-number. To use the website, you must type in all information exactly as it is in your resident card. The ikamet number is the number that is in the resident card. All of the stores will tell you a different story. They don’t know what they are doing for the most part, or they cancel the registration after you leave. You go to the bank to pay the tax (which is usually easier than the tax office.) I am told you can also do that through online banking. Then you register the phone through the website which is also in the blog.

  21. Hello, today I went to pay for the tax at the Vergi Dairesi, went to PTT for the password, managed to change my password on the website, entered information in this order: 1. ‘Application Type’ 2. ‘Cell phone’ 3. IMEI 4. Entry Document Type (I chose foreign passport) 5. ‘Country’ 6. Log Document Done No. (I don’t know what this # is but I tried my passport # first) 7. Date (I entered the stamp date in my passport). But I got an error message. Would someone please, share the specific information required as in this order. I am not very sure on the #6 which is translated as Log Document Done No., the date (#7), even the document type to choose, #4. I have the Vergi Kimlik No. on the top left, there is Alindi No. on the top right, and there is VKN:0009151009 at the bottom right of my receipt from the vergi diresi in addition to my passport No. of course. I am failing to piece it together from the contributions I have read on this forum as I keep getting error messages each time I try something different. I will appreciate your help

  22. Yes, there is Vergi Kimlik Number on the top left of my receipt. It start with 99… The 0009151009 is at the bottom right. Of course I have some Turkish friends but they all seem not to be aware of what is required. Perhaps the process is easy and straight forward for turkish citizenry I guess

  23. Hi all,
    I completed the registration process today fully online. I thought some of you might find this helpful. after asking for a refund at the tax office. I made the payment through the links to Garanti/Iş bank on the website and I highly recommend it. it’s pretty straight forward. I wasn’t sure if it has to be your own account (I don’t have a Garanti or Iş bank account), so I used my friend’s account and it turns out you CAN use someone else’s account. if you put all the information correctly at the end you’ll get a message saying ” kayit isleminiz tamamlanmistir olup, basvuru numarasi : ******* ” also ” cihazinin kayit islemi tamamlanmis olup, cihazinini kullanabilirsiniz, eger cihaziniz daha onceden gorusmeye kapatilmis ise kayit tarihini takip eden 12 saat icinde kullanima acilacaktir ” meaning that “the process is completed, your device will be unblocked with 12 hours of your registration time ”

    I’m still waiting for the 12 hours to pass ( got a few hours left ) to see if it gets unblocked.

    Good luck!

  24. Pingback: Warum wollte Erdoğan mein Telefon nicht? | Christian Achter gefällt das.

  25. Pingback: Warum wollte Erdoğan mein Telefon nicht sperren? | Christian Achter gefällt das.

  26. can any one plz help me out ?
    i came in izmir on 6th oct. i applied for resident permit on 18th of oct with the help of a friend. 2 days back i got my kimlik number but still i didnt get my resident permit .. today i went to ziraat bank and paid the tax, then i went to PTT and got my password. i logged in to register my phone but there was a blank which required this one “ikamet Tezkere Numarası” that is like “11/123456” on the first page of residency book. but i havent got anything yet after applying for resident permit. can i search this number through my kimlik number ? or can i get this number by any other means ?
    please if any one know , do tell me ? i am really worried because i am left with only few days as i came in turkey on 6th of oct..
    i will be really thankful .. 😦

  27. The procedure is perfect. A small amendment is that now the period for registration is extended to “120 DAYS”. No need to register their phones for those foreigners who are staying less than 120 days in Turkey, those staying more than 120 days need to register their device which they have bought from out of Turkey or they can buy new phone in Turkey.

  28. @Indian_Summit and @AdventuresInAnkara, the 120 days change is very exciting news! So my wife and I arrived in Turkey in early September before the change and have not yet registered our foreign phones, would the 120 days change apply to us? We were preparing to leave the country and come back, but if we could register that would save us a lot of time and money! Thanks!

  29. I followed this way for me and my friend and our mobiles were activated in less than 12 hours, and it’s definitely better than going to Turkcell center and paying 40 or 50 TL for them!!
    Thanks a lot

  30. Can you not buy a telephone from abroad and get your friend to bring it into Turkey and then register it on your own passport? do you have to leave the country and come back in?

  31. Hello
    I came to turkey on 22 August and my phone got blocked today can i still unblock it after it has been blocked or i need a new entry stamp

      • My wife and I tried 3 different banks before Ziraat Bankasi accepted the payment. Private banks (like our bank, Finansbank) cannot process the tax payment, only state banks. That said, we tried Halkbank first unsuccessfully before Ziraat accepted it. So try Ziraat first!

  32. Hello

    I usually travel to Turkey quite often and in past years they have blocked my phone. I wonder, is this method only for foreigners residing in Turkey? I can’t find my kimlik number. Probably because I am only a traveler. Is it possible to register the phone anyway? My phone has two SIM cards, so it has two IMEI numbers. I guess only one can be registered.

    Thanks

  33. Did anyone try the re-entry trick, re-entering Turkey to get a new entry date stamp after the time limit for the first entry has been exceeded?

    I wonder if they check the entry date in the passport against the date when the IMEI was first used in Turkey. If the IMEI date is prior to the entry date, will the IMEI registration be refused?

    Also, is it possible to get the IMEI unblocked after 120 days, or will it be permanently blocked?

    • From what I have been told, you can leave and come back in. They should check the new stamp. I am also told that if you leave after 120, and you come back, you can get it unblocked. I have not personally experienced either of these situations.

  34. Hello,

    I just got an AVEA sim and I am leaving in 2 weeks. I have been in Turkey since August but I had not gotten my phone registered or gotten a sim so it did not get blocked. Now I got a sim and I want to register my phone but I haven’t been out of the country. So I’m question is I’m leaving in 2 weeks but I will be back in June to Turkey, can I register my phone then or will it be blocked? Once I leave turkey those days should not count right?

    • Hi Nadia, I am not sure I understand your question. You say you have a sim, and then you didn’t, and now you do. I am also not sure if the 120 days is retroactive. But unless your phone is blocked before you leave, you should be able to register it when you get back to Turkey. But to be safe, you should register it before using it, as soon as you return.

  35. Hello,
    I have a question regarding the registration
    I did the whole process on 16th of Oct 2015 and now i want to change to a new iphone
    I know that only one IMEI connected with my sim card for 2 calendar years
    What will happen if i use the sim card on the new phone? They will block the sim or the IMEI… the phone itself?

  36. Hello,
    May I ask about a detail of the phone registration? I have been in Ankara for 2 years now ( last entry was 2 years ago) but my father visited me last month and brought me a cellphone from another country. Can I register this phone without my father being here?
    What should I do?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hello Mohammad and thanks for reading the blog. Your father does not have to be here. But you need to have been out of the country within the last 120 days in order to register it. If you have been using the phone, you have 120 days to register it from the time you started using it here. So if you are leaving any time soon, you can register it when you get back.

  37. I managed to register my phone in under 2 minutes. Yes, it’s possible. All thanks to this blog.

    I think where most people get lost is when they reach the stage asking for “Ikamet Tezkere Numarası”. I figured how to go about it.

    After keying in your mobile number and email address you can abort the process of keying in your details. You don’t need to complete your profile in order to register your phone.

    After keying in my email address, I searched for “IMEI KAYDET” while still logged on to my profile. The search box is located on the top right hand corner. From there you will click “Devam et”. You key in your IMEI number, passport number and the last time you entered Turkey. Then click “kaydet”. That’s it.

      • Unless one registers their phone under a friend’s name, I highly doubt it would be possible for someone without a resident permit to register a phone. This is because the first step is to key in the Yabancı Kimlik numarası (Foreigners ID Number) and the e-devlet password from PTT. Thereafter you change the password, then key in your phone number and email address. Also at the bank they ask for the İkamet (Residence Permit) because they usually key in the Yabancı Kimlik numarası on the receipt.

  38. It is strange Ginger. A businessperson who comes back and forth can’t register, as far as I know. I know of refugees who have to come back and forth to the Ankara Embassy from Iraqi camps and their phones have been blocked!

  39. I registered a phone two years ago and got a simcard for it at a Turkcell store. The registration process was also completed in that store.
    Now, two years later, I bought a new foreign phone which I want to register. Can I directly use my current simcard (the one I bought two years ago) in this new phone, after following the process as described above, or do I need a new one or should it be coupled (in a Turkcell store) to my new phone/IMEI?

    Thank you in advance!

  40. If this is free to register online then why companies like turkcell, vodafone, avea are taking money from people?
    Yesterday i have resgistered my phone and avea charged 45 TL to me 😦
    And today i saw this thread 😦

  41. Hi all!
    If I am only a visitor in Turkey, I do not need to register my phone.
    I received the SMS today that the IMEi will be blocked in 120 days.
    I will leave the country on 26.03.
    When I come back during this year or later, will I be able to use the same phone with a new turkish card?
    I hope I wrote it clearly.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hello and thanks for reading the blog! After 120 days, you will NOT be able to use the same phone. The different sim card does not matter. I have not yet learned how this handled for repeated visitors to Turkey. Please let us know if you find the answer. Of course, the answer may be in the one of the earlier comments.

      • @AdventuresInAnkara This seems to contradict what you’ve recommended in previous comments, that people leave and come back with a new entry stamp to register their phones after the 120 day period. Is this new guidance that Joseph would “NOT be able to use the same phone” based on some new information?

        I have a friend who is trying to register his phone now. He started using it 130 days ago and during that time had left the country and come back in. The phone is now blocked, but not sure which entry date to use. The entry date prior to using the phone or the more current one. But what you’re suggesting now in your reply to Joseph is that it doesn’t matter? After 120 days, he can’t use the phone nor register it, even if he left the country and came back in?

        Thanks!

      • The 120 days pertains to getting it registered. Once it is blocked, it is blocked until it is registered. A new entry stamp is then needed to register the phone. The comment I made was for a tourist – who as far as I know, cannot register a phone.

      • I will have news in august. I have found a turkish citizen, who is ready to register my phone on her name. 120 days will expire in that time. I am very curious of this 🙂

      • If I have well understood, she has to leave turkey and to come back, even if she is a turkish citizen?
        Sorry if I have misunderstood…

      • Yes, the nationality of the person does not matter. The phone is foreign, so it must be registered. Whomever does the registering must have entered Turkey within 120 days. This is for Turkish nationals and foreign residents. (I don’t know if it is possible for a tourist to register, but I don’t think so.) It is best if that person also do the payment to the bank (and might actually be required, not sure about that.)

  42. Hello! I will check the earlier entries and if I don’t find the information, I’ll start to search it elsewhere. I will let you know the result.

    • 🙂 Good luck! You may also want to ask this question to a few stores (keep in mind they will tell you the wrong thing if they don’t know – they won’t just admit to not knowing. So a few stores is best.)

    • Joseph, there is also info in the comments by Ginger on how to get around adding an ikamet number, and online, I have seen you can write 0009151009 as your kimlik number. I have not tried it myself.

  43. Thanks for the answer! When I go to bank, will they ask my non-existing ikamet or they will be satisfied with my passport?
    Thanks in advance.

    • I don’t know the answer to that. I know that in at least one instance, a commenter wrote that the bank actually wrote the fake number into the system, which caused a problem for the person because they actually had a kimlik number. So it became a conflict in the system for them. That being said, if you are willing to chance the 130+TL fee, it may be worth a try. Hopefully, they would say no before charging you. If it works, you are golden! If not, you may lose about 45 bucks.

  44. Actually, I will ask in several Türkcell shops the info about the process, just in order to see what they say. I will tell you the result.

  45. Hello! Having all sorts of trouble because I went through the process and did all the steps, yet when I went to register my IMEI online, it says that “IMEI is entered with an existing application made earlier.” I have not done anything and am also getting the KAYIT DIŞI OLDUÐU TESPİT EDİLEN IMEI status when I go through the inquiry. Any tips or ideas?

  46. I arrived to Ankara last month but only bought a SIM card 2 weeks ago, do they start counting the days from the day I arrived to Turkey or from the day I bought the SIM?

  47. Just want to thank you for this post. I did follow the steps but first time I tried I got a message that there is no payment on record, I went back to the bank and they told me I have to go to the tax office. but being so busy and limited Turkish I found out I can make a payment online, they have an option to do so for three banks one of which is Garanti bank. I paid again and it is done checked after couple of minutes and showed “IMEI NUMARASI KAYITLI” . so yes I paid twice, my advice if you have a bank account with Garanti, Bank Deniz Bank or Türkiye İş Bankası to do payment online … Thanks again

  48. Hi, I am a Canadian who visits Turkey as Technical Advisor on a Visitor Visa E-Visa. I’ve been here earlier in the year and returned to discover my phone cannot be used here. I went to the local Vergi Dairiesi Alindisi and completed the process of registering my IMEI, Passport, personal information and paid a 138.60 TL. As visitor without a Kimlik number a BTK rep provided me with a 10 digit number (0009151009) to use instead.
    Went to the PTT office and there I was informed their system doesn’t recognize that 10 digit number. As a result I wasn’t able to complete the unlocking process.
    Please advise if you were able to complete this process as a visitor.

    • I would try taking it to a cell phone store to register it. (note there have been a lot of problems with Turkcell). It’s worth a try. Or, try a different PTT – perhaps the one on Guvenlik Cad.

      • Thank you. Will try Turkcell head office in Polatli, where I am at. If not successful here, I’ll try Ankara as you suggested.

    • Koby, you might be able to backdoor it. You can access the system without a PTT password if you have a Turkish bank account by using this link. https://giris.turkiye.gov.tr/Giris/Banka-Giris If you don’t have an account, and you probably don’t, one comment says you can open one for free at Ziraat Bank with an address and telephone number. You could try your local address (assuming a hotel) or a Turkish friend’s address.

  49. Please let us know if it works, Koby. I read it everywhere that you can use that number. Seems ridiculous not to be able to register it! The issue with Turkcell was that different stores charged different prices (don’t think they should be charging at all) and often folks found the registration canceled by Turkcell later. But it is worth a try.

  50. Teah, that worked, thanks! one more thing, do they start counting the 120 days from the date of arrival or the date I bought the sim card?

  51. Thank you so much for this post!! I did everything you said except going to the bank to pay, I decided to go the the vergi dairesi instead, they already know the procedure and even gave me a note with the next steps (PTT first and then e-Devlet). I registered the phone the same day and it was registered that same moment saying they had my information already. I think if you do it at the tax office then it’s quicker. Anyway… it was soo easy and here in the city I live neither Avea, Turkcell or Vodafone does this or know how to do it, I might actually put a stand myself and charge for this service 😉 Thanks again!

  52. As I already passed 120 days for registration the cell phone that purchased abroad, what should I do? The main problem is I won’t go and entry again to get a new entry stamp. Please help.

    • To register it yourself, the only option is to leave Turkey and come back. Perhaps you have a friend who has left Turkey in the past 120 days that will register it for you? But that person should be aware that they can only register one phone every 2 calendar years.

  53. Is it possible to register it by myself as I already paid the tax before, just don’t know still need to fill-in the form online. Please advise. Many thanks.

  54. hi guys !
    i did all what you said above, and got my phone unlocked for like two days. then it got locked again, after going to Turkcell it appeared that the probem was from my phone. though my phone has nothing wrong with it, it got a signal today for around 5 6 hours then again its stuck on searching.
    is there anything in the settings i should do ? i took the phone to a repair shop (a friend of mine) and he said theres nothing wrong with the phone but he got many cases like mine. he said its something to do in the settings though he didnt know how.

    any one experienced same trouble ?

    kindly advice please, iv been without a phone for about 15 days !!

      • I want to know the exact answer to this question? I have purchased a new phone from abroad. But I have old SIM card and I m a foreigner obviously. Till this date for both phones old and new 120 days has not been passed. But I have registered old phone with this SIM card.

        Can I run this SIM card on new phone with IMEI of new phone registered with above method ????

    • Hi,
      A couple of suggestions.
      Test your SIM in an unblocked phone to make sure there are no issues with placing or receiving calls.
      If SIM OK, take phone to Turkcell and asked them to verify that all parameters have been filled correctly in the Mobile Network, Access Point (Android)

  55. Hi this is Numan,

    I need to have clear and comprehensive answer on this. I have purchased a phone from USA but my simcard is older and it has already been registered with older phone. As I know that IMEI has to be registered if I registered my new phone by paying the TAX can I use older SIM card or not

    • Yes you can use the old sim card. I have had the same number for 6.5 years. I have had 3 phones from the US. You need to be sure it is not a locked phone (or the new issue of locked to a region even if unlocked.) If the sim card is a different size, the phone company will give you a new one for free or a small charge, or cut it down for you.

      • Another question is regarding that my wife has just arrived with her new phone. One of her friends who have left Turkey has given her a SIM card of voda fone. Can she use that sim if I get her new phone IMEI registered?

        That SIM card is in name of another person means bought and used by other person will it matter ???

  56. Another question is regarding that my wife has just arrived with her new phone. One of her friends who have left Turkey has given her a SIM card of voda fone. Can she use that sim if I get her new phone IMEI registered?

    That SIM card is in name of another person means bought and used by other person will it matter ???

      • First, please recognize that much of Turkey is mourning. So an urgent reply is not urgent for us. Any phone can use any sim card. Your wife can use her friend’s card but I don’t know why she would. That card will be registereed to the other person.

  57. Update: Yesterday I registered my phone using Government Portal, I didn’t have to go to PTT, I used IS bank and then registered their for free, I had to enter my mobile number, IMEI, passport number and date of entry, note that if I entered a wrong arrival date, the system will give me an error, after that, I got promoted to another page where list of three banks are listed there, I used IS Bank and while everything was in Turkish I managed to register as all my info was already there, after I paid using IS bank I had to go to the previous page and click continue and then my application was submitted, I waited 2 minutes and then checked my IMEI, it shows the following:

    Durum: IMEI NUMARASI KAYITLI
    Kaynak: Yolcu beraberi kaydedilen cihaz

    I think it’s registered now, I can’t know for sure until two weeks and it costs around 140 TL.

  58. I have a good news too. my phone was not blocked after 120 days. it works as usually. I received the sms in March. I don’t understand how it is possible but I am happy for this.

      • I received another sms today:
        35438306297877 IMEI nolu cihaz KAYIT DISI dir, 90 gun icinde kapatilacaktir, satin aldiginiz yere basvurunuz veya cihazinizi kaydettiriniz.
        I will have to register my phone anyway…
        I wonder if it is a system error because they sent me the first sms on 15 march 2016:
        35438306297877 IMEI nolu cihaz KAYIT DISI dir, 120 gun icinde kapatilacaktir, satin aldiginiz yere basvurunuz veya cihazinizi kaydettiriniz.
        I shall make the registration anyway, I will have to.
        H
        Joseph

  59. Good morning or afternoon hehheh I have only one very important question 😛 I am from Dominican Republic, studying and living in Turkey (I have the ikamet, my student bus card and of course my passport) the question is: Is it possible i can open and account in Turkcell (like to buy a phone with the sim and pay the taxes montly as a turk does)?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  60. Hi, my cell phone got blocked around 5 months ago , and I registered it yesterday (I have a new stamp on my passport for the past sunday), it says IMEI is registered, but my phone is not working, can anyone help me?

  61. Thanks for the great details! I’ve been in country since August 27 and have not yet registered my phone. Can I start the process prior to having my residency card? My appointment is oct 20, 2016? (I am leaving the country Oct 28th for two weeks)
    Thanks!!

  62. Thanks for all of your useful information!! One question, if I don’t have my residence permit yet, can I start this process? My appointment is on the 20th, but who knows when I’ll actually get my card…

    Thanks again,
    Shira

  63. Hi,

    Should we have the receipt for buying the phone?? I got an iphone as a present and i need to register it but i dont have the receipt and i cant find it.

    Thank you

  64. Hi Terry,
    Thanks for this guide.
    The thing is that I went to Vergi and paid 138 TL and then went to Turkcell and they told me it should be done within 120 days from entering the country, and tried the eState myself and a message appeared informing me the same thing. However, it’s been like 8 months. So, what can I do now?
    Thank you

  65. Id like to know that as well. I have a confusion, I can register my phone within 120 days of arrival right? then what is the 60 days deadline? is the 60 days deadline if i want to register it AGAIN? I have already crossed the 60 days deadline and I want to register my 2nd phone I was waiting for 2017 so that I can register it with the two calender years policy, Id still be within my 120 days of entry in Turkey so I can still register right? Hope Im making sense, Im really desperate here Id appreciate any feedback. thanks

    • Hello. At the top of the post it says it changed from 60 days to 120 days from the last entrance into Turkey. My apologies if I have not checked the entire document to change that. I will check it out when I have a chance. A second phone can be registered once every two calendar years – unless that’s been recently changed. So if you registered one in 2015, you can register one in 2017 (assuming you do it within 120 days of entering Turkey.)

  66. Brilliant post, total life saver for what would have been a gut wrenching exercise in administrative futility and frustration..thanks alot! Here are some other tips and updates:
    – Waits at the post office can take upto 2 hours. So grab a ticket (check your number and the ones being called- I had over 80 people in front of me), so I popped out for lunch and when I returned the wait should be a bit quicker.
    – At the bank say to the guy “IMEI Kaydet” – that seemed to work for me, and then get a ticket and join the queue. Say the same to the teller. Halk bank worked, Ziraat did not.
    – Bank charge is now 138TL
    – i didnt need a phone receipt
    – On the website, if you are using Google translate, don’t forget some of the entries will need to be in Turkish (for example page one asks you to acknowledge terms and conditions – type “evet” not yes (like I did!)
    – After you search for “IMEI KAYDET”. it should take you to the page to enter IMEI details, date of entry and also paspsort number. Then the details in the main blog post follow.
    – Feeling confident? Update your email and mobile phone so that the next time (God forbid) you need a password you don’t need to got to the post office, they can send it to you (at least that’s the theory)

    all the best.:)

  67. Hello,
    I couldnt thank you for your reply earlier regarding the change in days from 60 to 120. I registered my last phone in September 2015 so basically Im waiting for 2017 to come so I can register my phone. I will be tight but I would still be within 120 days of my entrance. I have another question regarding this website https://giris.turkiye.gov.tr/Giris/Banka-Giris
    So I dont have a Kimlik no. and thats basically the same issue should I mention 0009151009 at the Vergi Dairesi as my Kimlik no. or my Ikamet no.? I am a foreign student in Turkey.
    After the payment there do I not need to get the PTT password? how can I make use of this website after Ive paid at Vergi Dairesi https://giris.turkiye.gov.tr/Giris/Banka-Giris
    I am a little paranoid and find the online registration a bit complicated because I feel nothing goes right the first time for me when it comes to processes here. But I dont want people at Turkcell to charge me loads and then later delete my registration. The last time I registered my phone they charged me a 100 TL at the Istiklal branch :/ Its a dilemma.
    I know you’re probably exhausted by now and want this thread to end already but apparently foreigners have to struggle a bit here and your help will be highly valuable ❤ thanks.

  68. hi Guys
    I still suffering from this service. I have registered my phone at first time under my friend’s name (mistake by Finance staff) and already 138 TL has been paid. My phone has been locked now. I call this number (312) 294 94 94; they advised my to pay again (another 138 TL) under my name?! I did the second payment before one month (totally 280 TL) and send them the corrected form under my name but unfortunately my phone still locked till now : I cannot find any email address for them because every-time I call them they said ok but no action has been taken?!!! I will appreciated any advice

    Ayad

  69. Thanks so much for this resource; I wish I had known about this before entering the country!

    I also have questions about how to register a phone once it has been blocked (blocking the number was how I learned about this whole problem). I have recently left and re-entered Turkey, so I’m still well within the registration window. If I go to the bank to pay the tax and then the Turkcell store, will they be able to register it? Or do I need to take additional steps.

    This whole process is maddening, so I am very, very grateful for your advice!

    • Also, one other thing: I have successfully applied for a residency card but have yet to receive it, so I just have the temporary piece of paper that they give you to use until you receive the card…the card has yet to be mailed to me. Will that be sufficient to get the password at PTT? Or do I need the actual card?

      • Yes, I’ve made a lot of progress reading these comments. One last thing: I have a tax number–separate from the Kimlik number–that I used to pay state taxes and apply for the residency permit in the first place. Someone told me that I could use this number to pay the tax at the bank, not the kimlik number. Any thoughts on that? The reason is that my kimlik number does not appear to be active yet (unclear why…bureaucracy), so it would be nice to not need it.

        Thanks again for a really, really helpful blog post. I would have been totally lost without this.

  70. Ok, I think I’ve negotiated the process now…my apologies for the confused/ill-informed questions above. This post describes my experiences, which may be useful for anyone else who either:

    a) has a blocked phone
    b) has not yet received their official residency permit (mine is still in the mail)

    To start, my phone was blocked yesterday. After some furious googling I found this blog; what a lifesaver. I decided to attempt the PTT + e-devlet method, and to try paying online instead of at a bank.

    The following morning I went to PTT and asked for the e-devlet password. I highly recommend going right when they open…no line. There were no problems. I gave them my passport, Kimlik Numarasi (the one that starts with 99), and my temporary residency paperwork. You may also know that paperwork as “the 15-days paper,” as it allows you to travel out of Turkey for 15 days while you’re waiting for them to process your residency application. Notably, that paperwork *does not have* the Kimlik number on it yet, so you need to look it up online at the link above in this blog. But, the 15 days paper, along with passport and kimlik numarasi, was apparently sufficient for them to give me a PTT password.

    Then I logged onto e-devlet with the new password. At this point, i *strongly recommend* that you use Google Chrome as a browser, and tell it to translate Turkish webpages into English in Chrome’s settings. The translation is amazingly good, and made the process much easier than anticipated. I speak literally no Turkish, and did what follows entirely by myself.

    So you log on with your password from pTT, then they immediately have to change your password. They then ask you to confirm that you understand the terms of service for e-devlet; type “EVET” not Yes. Then they ask you for email and phone number. I only verified my email address, as I obviously could not verify the phone number because it is still blocked. This apparently doesn’t matter.

    As one of the other posters noted, instead of proceeding to update your profile, you can just search in the box at the top right of the page for “IMEI KAYDET.” A little dropdown window appears with options–that are quickly translated into English for Chrome users–one of which is about registering an IMEI number. Select that one, and then the next steps are pretty straightforward; just fill out all the information that they ask for (IMEI number, passport number, last date of entry, telephone number). *Triple check* that it’s all correct; apparently, you can’t fix it once you’ve submitted.

    Once you’ve entered the info, the next screen prompts you that you have not yet paid the required tax. There are options to pay online through 3 different banks. My bank, Ziraat Bank, was not one of them. But, at this stage, a friend of mine helped me by logging into my account and paying through his bank account at Garanti, which is one of the three. Aside from this minor hiccup, paying online was very straightforward, and I highly recommend it; it’s just one less step for someone at the bank to mess up your IMEI number somehow.

    Confirmation of registration was immediate. As described above, you can look up your IMEI number on the site to see if it’s registered…and mine was, immediately after they accepted the payment.

    As for the blocked phone: the site also tells you when you pay that your phone will be unblocked within 12 hours of registration. However, one other poster above noted that it took his blocked phone 36 hours to be unblocked once he successfully registered, so I doubt that the 12 hour deadline means much. It’s only been a few hours, but my phone is still blocked.

    I’ll update you all once my phone has been unblocked.

    One last thought: I had tried yesterday to avoid the PTT route by logging into e-devlet through my Ziraat bank account with my bank customer ID and password, a backdoor trick described in one of the above posts. While e-devlet lists Ziraat Bank as one of the participating banks for which you can supposedly do this, it did not work for me. When I used my regular bank password, I was told that I needed to use a Turkish identity number (Kimlik numarasi); but when I used the kimlik numarsi, I was told that the password was incorrect. That may be because my residency permit is still under review, and therefore my kimlik numarasi is somehow not active yet, or because they just want you to get a password from PTT. Either way, getting the password from PTT was easy enough.

  71. As of today, April 26, 2017 the new fee for the foreign purchased phone tax is 149.20TL. Also, I had to pay at the local tax office as both my bank, Garanti, and Halk Bank told me they no longer accept payment for this tax.

      • Well, I tried 3 Garanti branches and then Halk Bank, which the last Garanti branch told me to use because they no longer accepted this payment. Also, Garanti has an option on their online banking to allow for this payment but I was getting an error message every time.
        I basically went to the same place that I used to pay the ikamet fees and found two other local folks with foreign purchased phones waiting in the cue. All the man needed was my ikamet, passport, and imei number. I got my receipt, went home and followed your online instructions for registering and I was done. I checked right after I registered and they had already recorded my tax payment. Perhaps paying at the government tax office put it into the system faster than the banks used too.

      • Thanks again Mark! For some reason I wasn’t able to reply directly to you on the blog.

        You never know where the “fail” is going to be. It used to be the tax office was the big hassle – super long lines and no one knew what we were talking about. Good to know.

  72. Update: mine was unblocked after only 6 hours. So perhaps there is a glimmer of efficiency in Turkish bureaucracy after all….

    Best of luck to everyone else.

  73. well this was immensely enlightening bearing in mind how abhorrently perplexing this situation is to me since I’d received a message stating I had 60 days on the 26th of december then another one on the 5th of january saying I had 120 days , my phone wasn’t until a 180 days later in total ( which is a dreadful prospect since I’d have my SIM card deactivated and be forced to purchase a new one) , on the last days before it was blocked I attempted to register it (followed through the procedures including tax payments) but to no avail , it would say I had passed the 120 days which is true yet somehow misleading since I could still use the phone and the messages ostensively dissuaded me from registering my phone beforehand by a false sense of security. it’s simply infuriating. most of all because I had to visit several turkcell shops and only one would say there’s something to be done( the sales assistant in which did what you’d warned of ie. charge a fee). then I went to kizilay’s Turkcell shop hoping they’d be more professional, when I asked for help they recommended visiting the BTK and gave me an address and a number ( both of which were wrong not to mention I gave one of them a map to determine the exact location only to realise each one gave a different address). eventually I had spent 6 hours for utter naught.

  74. what a lifesaver this blog was for me..
    I came to this country in 2014 and registered my first phone thru Police Station/Turkcell, took me 2 days of hassle.
    Following steps described on this blog it took me 1.5 hrs to complete registration.
    Many thanks again!

  75. As the internet is full of all kinds of outdated information on this topic, I want to leave here the knowledge that now all the steps can be done online.
    For this, you need your internet banking (note that not all the banks are compatible; I am using IŞ bankası) to register into e-devlet system (no need to visit PTT). As soon as you are logged in, you can change your profile, set a password for your account, confirm your e-mail and phone no, etc… or directly proceed to https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/btk-imei-kaydet
    Fill in the necessary information (IMEI, document nr, phone nr, entry date).
    Then the system let’s you choose again only between the limited banks (including IŞ) for online payment of the tax which is now 149.20TL. You will pay through the internet banking system. E-devlet webpage then immediately checks that your payment was successful.
    After that step I got an error, saying that ‘this passport number and entry date have already been used’. However, when I entered the info to https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/imei-sorgulama for checking the registration, it was written that “IMEI numarası kayıtlı” – The cell phone is REGISTERED! 🙂

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