Note: If you are a tourist staying in Turkey less than 120 days, this does not apply to you.
SO, YOU WANT TO REGISTER YOUR FOREIGN CELL PHONE IN TURKEY
I have noticed that many foreigners who live in Turkey like to bring phones from their home countries. There may be many reasons for this, but I expect the main one is price. The reality is that the top smart phones are relatively expensive in Turkey. You may spend a few hundred dollars more here than in America.
But if you just bring a phone in, get a SIM card, and start using it you will be surprised when it stops working 120 days later. That used to be 30 days, but the government has become more gracious.
What do you need to do to register your foreign cell phone in Turkey?
Thankfully, the steps to register have become much easier as of 2016. You barely have to leave your house.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
To begin the process you need the following:
1. A passport that has entered Turkey in the last 120 days.
2. An Ikamet (residence permit).
3. A Foreign ID Number (you get this when you get your ikamet)
4. An internet connection
5. Access to the nearest PTT (post office).
6. The ability to pay at one of the following banks: Garanti, Deniz, & Türkıye İş Bankası.
Once these are done you can proceed. You should be able to finish this entire process in less than a day.
STEP 1: PTT FOR E-DEVLET PASSWORD
Go to the nearest PTT with your passport and ikamet and get and e-devlet şifresi (password) for 2TL.
STEP 2: CHANGE PASSWORD
Take the password you got from the PTT and log into the E-Develt System (https://giris.turkiye.gov.tr/Giris/gir). You will then need to change your password.
STEP 3: REGISTER YOUR PHONE
You will then go to the phone registration page (https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/btk-imei-kaydet) and go through the steps to register your phone.
In this process you will have to type in your IMEI number which is usually near the battery space (15 or 16 digits).
STEP 4: PAY
Once you have entered all the required information, you will come to the payment page. The system gives you 3 banks from which to choose. There is also a credit card option but it does not seem to work. Click on your bank (if you do not have one of the banks you need to find someone who does, beg to use their account, and then pay them back) and you will be taken to their online banking page. Pay the 138.80TL (as of winter 2016-17)
STEP 5: CONFIRM REGISTRATION
Return to the e-devlet page and click “Control et”. This will verify that your payment was accepted and give you a başvuru numarası (confirmation number).
With that done you are free to use your phone. Enjoy!
Please let us know about your experience and any tips to make the process easier.
Also, be sure to check out all our posts on using Cell Phones in Turkey:
Oh No! My Phone Broke in Cappadocia
Staying Connected! Internet & Cell Phones in Turkey
Using Cell Phones in Cappadocia Turkey
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