Postal services in Turkey are provided by the Posta Telgraf Teşkilatı, or PTT, recognizable by its distinctive yellow logo. They are open from 09:00 AM to 12:00 noon, and from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM on weekdays. Larger, central PTT offices are open from 08:00 to 12:00 midnight. PTT does more than offer postal services. You can also pay your utility bills, and exchange foreign currency for Turkish Lira.
Mailing Letters and Packages
To mail a postcard, letter, or package, go to the nearest PTT office. Postal rates vary by package weight and destination. If you plan to mail a lot of postcards or envelopes with similar contents, you can buy stamps at PTT and put the letters or postcards in the mailbox outside. There are different rates for postcards and envelopes containing letters.
Ask for yurt dışı kayıtlı posta takibi (yuhrt duh-shuh ka-yuht-luh posta tah-kee-bee). To get a signature from the recipient, say imzalı (eem-zah-luh).
Mail Delivery Times and Methods
Mail from the UK can arrive in as little as five days. Mail from the USA can take a month or more. Small packages, like books, will be delivered to your door or box. Large packages will be kept at the local post office and a notification slip sent to your door or box. If there is something found in the package which is subject to customs duties, you will have to pay the duty when you pick it up at a central PTT office which has customs facilities.
If you live in an apartment building, there will be a mail box for each apartment on the lobby floor. Turkish mailmen seldom use them, often putting the mail in a pile on whatever level surface is nearby for everyone to sort through.
PTT doesn't offer mail forwarding. When you move, you will need to have a friend forward it, or go back and pick it up.
Turkey Mail and Package Shipment Forum: Our forum for all things having to do with the Turkish postal system. If you have any questions, please ask them there.