Opening a Utilities Account
For all utilities, the following documents are usually required for connection or transfer:
- Residence permit
- Passport and copy of your passport
- Application form
- Proof that you live there, like an apartment contract, if you don't have your residence permit yet
- A previous bill, if you have one
If you are renting an apartment, the landlord will often keep the utilities in his or her name. In any case, ask the utilities company to take a meter reading so you are not billed for previous use.
For newly-built homes, ask the building contractor to install everything required for utilities connections, and to obtain all certificates of compliance.
Electricity is provided through meters, which are outside your home or in a common place (usually the ground floor corridor) in apartment buildings. Your electric bill will be left either there or in your mailbox. If you don't pay your bill, the electric company will cut off your electricity and put a seal on your electric meter. While you can cut the seal with wire cutters and keep using the electricity, you can face a hefty fine (on top of the fine for late payment) for doing so.
Electrical power interruptions are not uncommon in many places. It is a good idea to have a flashlight or other means of lighting when the electricity goes off. For your desktop computer, you can get a non-interruptible power source (UPS), which will keep your computer running long enough for you to save your work and shut down properly. To protect your computer and electronics from power surges, get a power surge protector.
Voltage: Turkish electrical power outlets are 220 volts, and a frequency of 50 Hertz. They work on a two-pronged plug. The prongs are round (cylindrical). If you have a multi-voltage appliance, you can get plug adapters from an electrical shop. See the external links section for a website which will show you what kind of plug works in Turkey.
Transformers: If you have some appliance which works on the American 110 volt system, or another system only, you can buy a transformer rated for the voltage and convert the voltage to 110. You may be able to find these in an electrical shop, but since they are not common you will probably have to ask around. 110 volt electric clocks won't run correctly on a transformer.
Water is supplied by the local municipality. The tap water is drinkable, and chlorinated. Most people, however, get bottled water delivered to their house, from a nearby bottled water supplier nearby. These hefty 19-liter bottles can be inverted on a standing dispenser (like a water cooler), or placed on a table and used with a siphon pump.
Your home may have natural gas lines installed. In that case, you will need to open a new account with the local gas company. Some managed residential complexes buy natural gas collectively, and bill tenants for the amount of gas they use. In that case you would be billed by organization which manages your residential complex. If you don't have gas lines, you can buy natural gas (LPG) in bottles from a local provider and have them delivered.
Paying the Bills
Electric, gas, and water bills are typically brought to your house and left in your mailbox or affixed to your electric or water meter. You can pay these bills at the PTT (post office), or at any bank listed on the back of the bills. You can also have your bills automatically deducted from your bank account. Just take your bills to a bank where you have an account, or open a bank account, and your bank will set up the automatic payments.
National Numbers for Utility Problems
Water Problems: 185
Electrical Problems: 186
Natural Gas Problems: 187
Electricity, Water, and Natural Gas forum: If you have questions or comments about utilities in Turkey, please ask them in this forum.
Electricaloutlet.org: In English. Scroll down to "Turkey" to see the kind of plug which is used in Turkey.