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Mobile Phones In Turkey


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#1 lozengelegend

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 02:41 PM

Turkcell's my mobile phone provider here. I didn't make an informed decision when I first chose them, when I initially bought a SIM card I was given a Turkcell one and it let me make calls so I was happy!

But here are some useful bits of info I have picked up along the way:

STARTING OUT

    [*]If you use a UK phone in Turkey it can be really expensive! You pay once for the call back to the UK receiver and then for the call itself, and god forbid you then call a mobile from another country or try and collect your voicemail as you can end up paying 3 times! So getting a Turkish SIM is good.
    [*]You can buy SIM cards freely, usually with a certain number of credits (kontors) included in the price.
    [*]You can buy a mobile phone without it being tied to a particular network, or you can get most UK phones unlocked and put your SIM in that.
    [*]Mobile phones are usually about the same as the Pay As You Go price in the UK BUT you can buy good condition second hand phones from most independent phone shops.
    [*]There are several mobile phone service providers (SPs) here. The main ones are Turkcell (originally a division of Turk Telekom although maybe private now), Avea and Telsim Vodafone.
    [*]Usually their SIM cards cost about the same but the SPs often have different offers or features.
    [*]It's usually cheaper to call mobile numbers from the same SP as yours so try to buy the same as your nearest & dearest.
    [*]There has been a recent spate of SPs disconnecting unregistered SIM cards, which probably doesn't matter if you are coming on a single 2 week holiday but is bad if you want to continue using your number. Also if your SIM is unregistered and you lose it, you lose the phone number too (this happened to me and I was bemused to find out my phone number, which I had been using happily for the past year, had been registered for the last 6 months to a man in Aydin... ). Oh and you get to top your credits up in English if you register your Turkcell phone!
    [*]Buying a registered SIM card is easy and little if any more expensive than buying an unregistered one. Just go into a store, give them your passport to check and a passport photocopy and ask for a registered number.
    [/list]USING YOUR PHONE

      [*]The easiest arrangement is Pay As You Go (PAYG) - use credits or KONTORS that you can top up as you use them. Actually it's the only way unless you have a residency permit.
      [*]You can buy kontors in units of 50, 100, 250 and 1,000. As of mid April 2007 100 Turkcell kontors cost 13.5 YTL but the price seems to go up every time I need more credit! Not sure about Avea and Telsim though.
      [*]With Turkcell you get some free kontors with each amount you purchase. I think it's 30 free on top if you buy 250 credits, and 10 if you buy 100 credits. I've never bought 50 or 1,000 so I don't know about them!
      [*]To add kontors to your Turkcell phone, scratch off the silver strip on your PAYG card. Call 8090, wait for the talking to stop and then put in the 14-digit card number followed by #. The next talking is someone confirming the number you have put in. If you've put in the right number, press 2, then hang up. If you've put in the wrong number, press 1 then put the number in again. You get 3 goes and then you strike out and have to buy a new card :)
      [*]You can sometimes add kontors via text. If you see something on your card that mentions *121*XXXXXXXXXXXXXX# it means you can type *121* plus the 14-digit scratchcard number followed by # into your phone, press the Call button (usually the green one!) and Turkcell will get the message and top up your kontors. I always find it less reliable than calling 8090 though.
      [*]To check your normal kontors, type *123# into your phone and Call. That'll tell you how many normal kontors you have but not free ones.
      [*]To check your freebie kontors, type *131# into your phone and Call.
      [*]To add your freebie kontors, text the number of kontors you want to add to 2255 (eg 50).
      [*]You can add free kontors in units of 50 (ie 50, 100, 250, 750) but only 3 times in each month so add them generously!
      [*]Your freebie kontors don't expire so you can collect them pretty much indefinitely if you are disciplined enough not to run out of credit unexpectedly. But there isn't a big advantage to saving them up too much unless you anticipate a credit-buying drought of some kind in the future.
      [*]If you AREN'T disciplined enough not to run out of credit unexpectedly then you can usually go into minus kontors and carry on using your phone for a while. You might need to build up a little record of topping up your credit before you can do that though.
      [*]Checking your kontors, topping up and sending service messages is free.
      [/list]NOT USING YOUR PHONE

        [*]If you are buying a SIM card just to use on holiday, make sure you don't let it lie unused for 6 months or you will lose your credit. I don't know if this is true with registered phones actually but it is DEFINITELY true with unregistered ones.
        [/list]SPECIAL OFFERS

          [*]If you're a chatterbox and have lots of Turkcell friends, right now Turkcell are offering a great deal called NAR (pomegranate!). Send the word NAR to 2377 and Turkcell will relieve you of 50 kontors. But one day later they will give you 500 to use up in a week chatting to all your Turkcell-using friends!
          [*]If you text a lot within Turkey and know what model phone you have, you can get 100 texts a month for 100 kontors - exactly half price. Send the word ABONE + your model number to 2150 (ie "ABONE 6600") and watch 100 kontors disappear, and then receive 100 text credits! When I did this they also gave me an extra 100 time-unlimited texts for free and even I can't use that many!
          [/list]

#2 lozengelegend

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 02:56 PM

I've been browsing the Turkcell website again and have some more info that might be useful. But first I'd just like to add that it's now August 2007 and 100 Turkcell kontors have gone up to 15YTL in my local shop! (Compared to April 2007 and 13.5YTL in my previous post). Avea and Telsim are 14.5YTL. Onwards and upwards must be the phone companies' motto....

So it's even more useful to know about discount packages that are offered. This info is copied directly from the English section of the Turkcell website but if you want to check it out directly, the link is here: http://www.turkcell.com.tr/en/plans

Call Packages:
Alo60: Pay only 8,5 YTL for 60 minutes of calls made to all Turkcell subscribers and landlines within a month and pay only 14,2 YKr per minute of call.
Alo120: Pay only 15,5 YTL for 120 minutes of calls made to all Turkcell subscribers and landlines within a month and pay only 13 YKr per minute of call.
Alo240: Pay only 29 YTL for 240 minutes of calls made to all Turkcell subscribers and landlines within a month and pay only 12,1 YKr per minute of call.
Alo480: Pay only 55 YTL for 480 minutes of calls made to all Turkcell subscribers and landlines within a month and pay only 11,5 YKr per minute of call.
Alo1200: Pay only 120 YTL for 1200 minutes of calls made to all Turkcell subscribers and landlines and pay only 10 YKr per minute of call.
The prices include VAT but not OIV.

To register for Economical Call Packages by SMS, type in ABONE, leave a space, type in the name of the package you chose and send to 2710 for free.

For example;
ABONE Alo60
ABONE Alo120
ABONE Alo240
ABONE Alo480
ABONE Alo1200

You can also apply for Economical Call Packages by calling 444 0 532 or going to the nearest Turkcell Extra or Subscriber Centers.

All individual lines can use Economical Call Packages.
Notes:

* Using the periods given under the packages, you can call all Turkcell lines and landlines in Turkey.
* Any inland calls you make after you overuse your package, will be charged every one minute. The total period of time you can use under your package can vary according to the duration of your calls.
* Minute charges of the calls made under the packages, are obtained by dividing total package period by the package price.
* Packages can be purchased with PackageCell tariff. When you overuse your package, the charge for calling inland Turkcell and landlines is 0,149 YTL/minute (including VAT) and 0,35YTL/minute (including VAT) for calling the subscribers of other operators.
* Unused minutes within a month are transferred to the next month only once.
* You can subscribe to Economical Call Packages until the end of December 2007.
* You can subscribe to only one Economical Call Package at the same time.
* To inquire the minutes you use and your remaining minutes, type in PACKAGE DURUM and send to 2710.
* You can inquire about your used/remaining minutes through the Online Services Center.

A new discount from Discount Options: 4te1 Discount!

NOTE: THIS SAYS IT'S ONLY TIL END OF MARCH BUT IT'S STILL AVAILABLE, I JUST TRIED.

With the new "4te1" discount, talk as much as you want without any restrictions on duration or number of people! The 4tel1 discount allows you to pay only 1 unit per minute after the 1st minute of all your Turkcell calls!

Under single number discount, you can talk with 1 Turkcell/HazırKart subscriber for 1 unit per minute; in 3-numbers option, you can talk with 3 Turkcell/HazırKart subscribers or 2 Turkcell/HazırKart subscribers and 1 landline only for 2 units per minute. And the weekend discount allows you talk to all Turkcell/Hazırkart subscribers for only 2 units per minute.
Option Minute charge for discounted calls Discount rate(According to BizbizeCell tariff )
Single number 1 units %75
Three numbers 2 units %50
Weekend 2 units %50
4te1 1 units %75

There are no monthly subscription fees for discount options campaign. You can register for free.

You can apply for discount options and make changes through Turkcell Online Services Center 24/7 with your super password.

For application by SMS, type in ABONE, leave a space, type in the discount option you chose, and the number(s) you choose for discount calls or the period and send to 2710 to start taking advantage of Discount Options. This message is free of charge.
FOR EXAMPLE:

* ABONE 4TE1
* ABONE TEKNUMARA 532xxxxxxx
* ABONE 3NUMARA 535xxxxxxx 532xxxxxxx 533xxxxxxx
* ABONE HAFTASONU

Also you can register by going to nearest TurkcellExtra or Subscriber Service or calling 444 0 535 Hazır Kart Customer Services.

* Discount Options are valid until 31 March 2007.
* Except for KampusCell and KamuCell subscribers, all individual Hazır Kart subscribers can take advantage of Discount Options.
* Subscribers can register for only one discount option.
* Any calls not within the scope of the discount options, will be charged according to your existing tariff.
* When your application is accepted, you will get a notification message.
* Your request for number changes will be valid as of the end of that discount period.

Turkcell reserves its right to change the validity period and/or rates of "Discount Options" without prior notice.

Economical Message Package

PACKAGE Package price Advantage
SMS 1000 19,50 YTL Pay 19,50 YTL instead of 170,00 YTL*
SMS 250 19,50 YTL Pay 19,50 YTL instead of 42,50 YTL*
SMS 100 9,50 YTL Pay 9,50 YTL instead of 17,00 YTL*
SMS 30 4,00 YTL Pay 4,00 YTL instead of 5,10 YTL*

* Based on standard short message price 0,17 YTL
How to buy an Economical Message Package?

Type in ABONE SMS 30, ABONE SMS 100, ABONE SMS 250 or ABONE SMS 1000 and send to 2222 to buy one of the Economical Message Packages.

Also you can buy one of the Economical Messages Packages by logging into the Online Services Center using your S

#3 lozengelegend

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:09 PM

I've been browsing the Turkcell website again and have some more info that might be useful. But first I'd just like to add that it's now August 2007 and 100 Turkcell kontors have gone up to 15YTL in my local shop! (Compared to April 2007 and 13.5YTL in my previous post). Avea and Telsim are 14.5YTL. Onwards and upwards must be the phone companies' motto....

I spoke too soon - actually 16YTL from my two local bakkals...

#4 Ken

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 03:18 PM

Info from the Turkish Consulate, UK Regarding foreign mobile phone registrationMOBILE PHONES NEED TO BE REGISTERED FOR USE WITH SIM CARDS BOUGHT IN TURKEYTurkish and foreign visitors are entitled to bring one mobile phone into Turkey within one calendar year for use during their stay in Turkey. A personal mobile phone brought in to Turkey in this manner is exempt from tax and duty.It is necessary to register the mobile phones in order to use them with SIM card bought from a Turkish network operator. (In order to use such a mobile phone with a SIM card bought in Turkey from a Turkish network operator, the mobile phone number assigned to the SIM card needs to be correlated with the IMEI number of the mobile phone. The handset can only be registered with one line. Phones not registered in this way will be blocked and unable to receive or make calls. There is no charge levied for this registration.)No customs documents are required for the registration of mobile phones.Mobile phones to be brought into Turkey are to be registered with the Telecommunication Institution or with the mobile phone shops of Turkish Network Operators (Avea, Turkcell or Telsim).Documents required for the registration of mobile phones are:TR Citizenship Number or Passport number Passport (Identity details indicated on the passport) Copies of all Turkish entry/exit stamps in the passport No more than one mobile phone per person can be registered in one calendar year.

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#5 lozengelegend

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 01:32 PM

Sometimes the easiest solution is to buy a second hand mobile phone in Turkey - reconditioned phones are found in many phone shops. The typical price for a second hand Nokia here is 60-70 ytl.If you have a working phone, but your problem is no credit, there's a solution for that too - you can make a reverse-charge call from your Turkcell phone to another Turkcell phone. Dial *135*053xxxxxxxx# and if the person accepts the call, the cost will be debited from them instead of you. If you receive a reverse charge call, you will hear an announcement to that effect when you answer the call. To accept the call and the charge, press 1. To refuse, press 2. The notes about this can be found in English on the Turkcell website here: http://www.turkcell..../OdemeliAraCell

#6 lozengelegend

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 09:23 AM

Another useful service, if you need to get phone credits to another Turkcell user, is KontorTransfer, which can be done by text message / SMS. Type the number you want to send credits to followed by the amount of credits you want to send (between 5 and 70 for each transaction) and send the message to 2277. Eg:
53XXXXXXXX 50 > 2277

You will shortly receive a text message from Turkcell confirming that you want to send credits to that number. Send the word Evet (yes) in reply and your friend will receive the credits almost straight away.

The service costs I think 2 kontors, plus the number that you send to your friend so you need to make sure you have enough credits on your own phone to do it. Minus credits don't count!

#7 Steve

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:25 AM

...i have a few mobiles here also have lost a couple through not topping up or registering ,we have one with avea ,a standard bill every month ,i also have turkcell which must be topped up within 6 months,also i have one-roam that can never be disconnected ,and can be used anywhere in the world ,and if you make an arrangement with one-roam you can get an automatic top-up if it goes under

#8 Devilhawk

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 07:19 AM

Been a while since this thread has had any posts. Is Turkcell still a recommended service provider?
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#9 doodle

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 09:11 AM

What Ive come across is if you use any phone shop for you kontors other than Tukcell and dont know the game the keep the free one for themselves and also even if they have a Turkcell sign abouve the shop its not allways a genuine Turkcell outlett Be aware be like a ball look round!!!
They tell me that the skys the limit but I know that there is footprints on the Moon!!!!

#10 Abi

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:20 PM

We use Avea and get billed monthly rather than top up with kontors, we switched from Turkcell because we got a better deal.

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. - Thomas Jefferson


#11 Devilhawk

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:23 PM

Are there other companies besides Turkcell that are good? Also what if I bring my motorola Razor from japan, will I be able to use it with a Turkish SIM card in it...
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#12 Abi

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:38 PM

Yes, you will be able to use your Razor but you will have to get it registered first. Not sure if you still have to show your proof of purchase still, maybe someone could advise.Another company is Vodaphone.

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. - Thomas Jefferson


#13 Ken

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 11:19 AM

Also what if I bring my motorola Razor from japan, will I be able to use it with a Turkish SIM card in it...

I'm just adding this in reference to cell phone issues for those who are coming to Incirlik Air Base, like DevilHawk, not regarding cell phone use in general in Turkey. So I'm not really off-topic I think, but specific issues regarding Incirlik can be found here, for those guests or members visiting this topic:Incirlik Air Base ForumOkay, off to answer DevilHawk's question, with an extra helping of info about Incirlik as well! :)I'm not sure if your sim card will work in Turkey, but if it doesn't, you can get a new sim card, as well as a new cell phone, rather cheaply. My cheapest one was about 80 YTL, what is that... $60 USD I think.There was a vendor at the BX at Incirlik Air Base, named Simi, who will set you up with a new sim card, that is, if you need one. He'll also set you up with a new cell phone if that's necessary.This is dated information, but unless Simi's done something wrong or somebody's outbidded him (I doubt it), Simi's still there. Please tell Simi we all said hello, and that he's a very popular figure on the Internet and we're all talking about him, but you can't remember what website it was where you saw all of this conversation about him. It will drive him crazy.If Simi isn't at the BX, and you need a cell phone or sim card, one of the other vendors will call him. If he's handy, he'll be there rather quickly. But if he's at his regular cell phone shop in Adana, he normally leaves a few new, out-of-the-box cell phones for his buddies to sell on his behalf (that's how I bought mine). They'll give you the phone, cut you an invoice, and settle up with Simi later.If your sim card won't work, and it's a problem with your phone, Simi will try to sell you a new sim card as well as a new cell phone. Before you buy, check out the Incirlik Alley first... I can practically guarantee you that whatever price the BX vendor is charging, you can find it for less in the alley. Or if you go to Adana, you may find the same model cheaper, maybe even from his own store. Personally, I'm not that picky. But if you're price sensitive, maybe you can use the info to get the price down. Some military members leaving Incirlik also have used cell phones for sale. I don't think you'll have any problems finding a cell phone at Incirlik, that is, if your sim card doesn't work.

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#14 Devilhawk

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:19 AM

Thank you, that was some real good info. I will definitely check out the alley when I get there for some price comparing. Also when I figure all this out, I will post up on here how it went to further help others....
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#15 Damascene

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 05:41 PM

Info from the Turkish Consulate, UK Regarding foreign mobile phone registrationMOBILE PHONES NEED TO BE REGISTERED FOR USE WITH SIM CARDS BOUGHT IN TURKEYDocuments required for the registration of mobile phones are:TR Citizenship Number or Passport number Passport (Identity details indicated on the passport) Copies of all Turkish entry/exit stamps in the passport No more than one mobile phone per person can be registered in one calendar year.

Thank you Ben Densin for the valuable info.What actually happened to me was the following:During my first visit to Turkey in 2008, I bought a Turkcell sim card from a shop near Galata Tower, and it worked normally in a few minutes.During my second visit in March 2009, I bought a Vodafone sim card from the airport booth with a contract, and it also worked right away, with no complicated procedures, as I dont remember they registered my mobile. After that in May 2009, I used the same line automatically.Last week, in August 2010, I bought a Turkcell sim card with a contract too, whose copy I wasn't given (!), the clerk told me it'll work in a few minutes, but it hasn't for the whole day. I checked with Turkcell office in Istiklal, and they told me that I needed to register the mobile device, and it will be activated in 4 days' time, the period I am staying in the country. They wanted my copy of the contract, which I didn't have. Their suggestion was to do so from the airport office where I bought the card. Prior to depart yesterday around 9pm, the clerk at the airport office said the registration should be done during working hours. Now I have an unused card, with full credit, without any registered devices of mine. Why would I buy a local device?! I wasn't ever exposed to such a solution wherever I traveled, east or west. I usually use Samsung D-880 with a dual sim, so I use it for my Syrian sim and a local sim of the country I am visiting.Can registration be done online? so I register before my next trip?! Please guide me if you have any info.Cheers

Edited by Damascene, 09 August 2010 - 05:43 PM.

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