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  1. Thank you for your reply. Update: My friend had overstayed her allowed tourist time by 2 days, which caused the big problem. After speaking with several different government officials who gave her contradictory information, she was told by the Turkish consulate in her city that she could not come back until January--90 days after she had last left. So it seemed the movable period didn't apply in this case--unless I'm understanding it wrong. In the end she has decided to wait until May to return, so I guess that's the end of it!
  2. Thank you so much. Your simple summary confirms what I thought was the correct method for calculation upon re-entry--but was unsure of. So it appears that she does not have to wait 90 days after her last exit to come back. The catch is this: doesn't the 180-day period also move forward when you're leaving Turkey? Suppose the above method tells us that she has 15 days she can stay upon her next return to Turkey--if she came in early December. Let's say this means she had been in Turkey 75 days during the previous 180 days upon re-entry. Let's say that the first 60 days of stay were consecutive and then she was out of the country at least 6 weeks before the next 15 days. This is where my hypothetical 75 used days come from. Suppose she stays 30 days after re-entry in December, despite thinking she can only stay 15 days. This makes her exit date 30 days after her re-entry date, moving her 180-day period forward 30 days to early July from the last time (early June), thereby subtracting the first 30 days she had stayed in June. From this new beginning date you would count the remaining 30 days of her summer stay (Jul-Aug), plus 15 in the fall (45) plus the 30 in the winter on the future visit: total is again 75. In a nutshell: upon exit, do you just count back 180 days, using the same method as when you had entered? It sounds inconsistent, but doesn't that mean that you can think you have a certain number of days to stay upon entry, then this number can change depending on your exit date? Or do they always consider the entry stamp date first when deciding if someone has overstayed their allowable days? Thanks, Jen
  3. Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, I am aware of the e-visa system. I have tried using the Schengen calculator. You have to put in an exit date for the future visit and this should not be after the control date at the top. As an experiment, I put in a hypothetical entry date and an exit date the next day--to know how the calculator will count back the days near the time my friend tries to come back to Turkey. Using this method, the system shows that the beginning of the 180-day period is in early June. Therefore, I think she would be okay to come back in December because this does not consider her days before that. However, if I put in a different exit date, say early January (if she stays one month), then it recalculates the beginning of the 180-day period to July--so it doesn't consider the days she was here in June. It also says a date for the beginning of the 90-day period, which is a bit confusing as it counts back only 90 days. However, I would assume that any days she had spent in Turkey before this 90-day date (yet after the beginning of the new 180-day period) should be subtracted from the 90-day total allowed. What's confusing about the calculator is how far back you should go when entering dates of previous stay in Turkey. If I put her dates from May through early October, even if I add a later re-entry date 3 months after the last exit, it just says she has used all her days. As an experiment, I entered the first entry date as June 1 with an exit on Aug 6 (67 days). The second stay: Sep 26-Oct 3 (8 days). The third stay (this is in the future): Dec 5-Jan 5 (32 days). I put in the control date as Jan 5, 2019. When I set it to planning mode, it says the start of her 180-day period is July 10, 2018, then says her stay can be authorized for up to 50 days. If I total the days from September, October, December and January, it comes to 40 days. This plus the 50 days equals the 90 days maximum stay. So it does not seem to count the days from June-August which I entered as the first visit. What is strange is that if the 180-day period began July 10, why isn't the calendar including the days from July and August? However, I am not sure if this calculation is accurate if I have not included her days as far back as May. I'm sorry if this is confusing! Jen
  4. I am posting this as a question regarding the helpful information in Ken Grubb's article from 2016 about the 180-day/90-day rule. I used to think that a new 180-day period could begin the day after the previous 180-day period ended. I did not realize this period could "move." I thought someone (even a confused police officer) had told me that once you had used all your 90 days, you had to wait 90 days before you could re-enter Turkey with a new tourist visa. Is this true? Suppose someone had used all 90 days and would like to come back to Turkey 2 months after the previous exit. In this case my friend used 84 days between May and early August, and used the rest of her days at the end of September. She'd like to come back in early December. So if I count back 180 days from the date she'd like to re-enter Turkey, this brings me to early June. Does this mean they would ignore the days she had stayed between May and that June date which the system designates as the start of the new 180-day period? Would it be that she could subtract from 90 the days she had stayed from this June date on...until the entry date in December--in order to know how many days she could stay for the holiday? Or if she used all her days between May and September, would she have to wait until January to come back? (90 days after her last exit date) Note: She is German and therefore does not have to actually buy the tourist visa sticker, but the time rules still apply to her and her passport gets stamped the same way.
  5. Redders, thanks anyway. If it ends up necessary for me I can find out which form to get. UPDATE: Tonight I met with a German friend of mine here in Antalya who has foreign friends who get SGK. She said that neither she nor her friends were ever required to have a doctor's visit or fill out a medical form. It's odd since you say it should be required. I wonder sometimes if the requirements differ by province or city. It seems logical that they should be the same for national matters, but that has been my experience--even with residence permit application requirements, for example. The forums say one thing, the hotline says another, and then the immigration office will tell you, "gerek yok." The inconsistencies can be frustrating, but I guess I have to roll with it. Next time I visit the SGK office here I'll ask about a medical checkup just in case. As for due dates, my friend also confirmed that a given month's premium payment is not due until the end of the following month. Also, something the officials didn't tell me: you have to wait about one month before you're fully in the system. I saw my payment record when I logged into e-Devlet, but had trouble finding more information there and could not find my SGK record from my Garanti account. I wonder if this could be why... She also said I should receive a letter in the mail confirming that I'm a member of the SGK system. After that I should be able to log on and find all my information. BTW, she said you can't see advance payments due in the system; you'll only see the current payment due, and I suppose any debts for unpaid past months. The other reason could be that I was choosing the wrong plan option. If you work in Turkey and your employer pays your SGK, you choose plan 4A. My friend told me that all her foreign friends (who do not work here) are considered "Bağ-kur," which means "self-employed"; but even if you aren't running your own business here, she said that plan would be mine, and that's 4B (kendi isteğe bağlı bağ-kur). So maybe all this time I was choosing the wrong option on the Internet sites. No one at the office told me my plan number, so this is good to know! I thought I was getting GSS, but she said that's only 55 TL/month, which seems very low. My friend said that you don't get an SGK card. Once you're in the system, you just give your kimlik number to the doctor. She also said that when my Irish-Canadian husband retires from his job in Kuwait and moves here permanently, he can join my SGK plan as a family member right away--no need for him to wait a year. And his age doesn't matter (he'll be 61 or 62 when he retires). The reason I bring this up is because I thought I read somewhere that anyone 65 or older must have their own SGK plan and can't join as a family member, because they suppose this person will automatically have a government pension. It doesn't make sense to me. I know after age 65, health insurance isn't required for the residence permit, but my husband WANTS health insurance here! The Turkish private insurance companies cut you off around that age. I hope this information helps anyone else out there dealing with this issue. I'll give an update once my account is really up and running.
  6. Hi Redders, Thank you so much for your reply. What you said makes sense, so I'm not sure why they didn't give me a form or tell me to visit the doctor. I know enough Turkish to understand that! Do you happen to know if the form they use is the same as the Sağlık Raporu they require for getting a Turkish driver's license? I suppose I can go back to the SGK office and inquire.
  7. I searched all the links about SGK on this site but could not find the exact information I am looking for... I have questions about the SGK enrollment process, premium payments, and coverage. I'll describe below what I figured out piecemeal, hoping it can be helpful to anyone else who needs to know what to do. I am a US citizen on my third residency permit and have a cheap private insurance that meets the minimum residence permit requirements. However, I had heard that foreigners can enroll with SGK if they pay a monthly premium. I had also heard that the state healthcare system offers better coverage. My Turkish is not perfect so it was too complicated to ask the SGK personnel. I looked at their web site but the English version is different from the Turkish; even on the Turkish page there are so many links (and no search engine) so I found it nearly impossible to find the right information. PROCESS: This is what I know and have accomplished so far: I have gone to the SGK office in downtown Antalya, filled out a short written application and provided a color photocopy of the fronts and backs of my three residence permit cards, everything going back to my first residency. They told me the policy would begin on the date signed on the form. For any foreigner in Antalya who wants to enroll in SGK, ask for a ticket at the front desk to see counter C in the back room. (I waited and talked to 3 people before I was directed to the correct counter.) Within a few hours after they enter your application in their computer system, you will be registered in the SGK system under your kimlik number. They did not ask for my passport or a doctor's visit/form. They also told me the monthly premium would be 450 TL, but said I could not pay at the SGK office. I was told to go to the PTT or one of four Turkish banks. After searching online quite a while, I finally found a link to the e-Devlet site, where you can conveniently make premium payments online. The online payment option link is not easy to find on the SGK site but if you Google "SGK prim ödeme" you'll get a link. The e-Devlet link should be easier to find on the SGK site. You must first go to the PTT and show your residence permit(with the kimlik on it). The teller confirms that you are in the SGK system, then will give you a red envelope that contains your initial e-Devlet password. The teller will also tell you the amount due for your first premium, and will take your payment, giving you a receipt. My first premium was less, probably pro-rated for registering mid-month. There is also a fee of a few liras for the PTT to process the transaction. You can log in to the e-Devlet site with your kimlik number and your initial password from the red envelope. Then you must create a new password. I was able to find the date and amount of my first payment, and the date my membership began. In your ID profile, you'll want to confirm your cell phone number and e-mail address. You can access many other government sites via e-Devlet. The direct link for payment on the SGK site is: "Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu Kart ile Prim Ödeme Uygulaması." This link will also take you to the e-Devlet login, but there are other tabs in the box. The last tab, "İnternet Bankacılığı," shows several banks through which you can make a payment on the site. I believe you must have an account and a debit/credit card with one of these banks in order to pay online. You may also be able to pay the SGK from the bank's web site. QUESTIONS: So now I'm registered and set up online, but what next? Payment Due Date: I noticed that the payment I just made showed a due date at the end of December. I found this strange for enrolling mid-November. Does anyone know the time frame of monthly periods and when due dates fall? (Is this similar to employees? For example, our apartment has a full-time doorman, for whom we must pay SGK insurance of about 500 TL/month. The payment for a given month is due around the 20th of the following month. I wonder if my case is like this even though I am not employed. So perhaps my December premium will be due toward the end of January, at the full amount??) Renewal/Extension: Since I have to renew my residence permit once a year, I have to show proof of insurance that will last the validity period of the next residence permit. I read somewhere that you should apply for an extension of your SGK membership 60 days before your current residence permit expires; otherwise you may be dropped from the SGK system and have to start all over again. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is there anything I have to do to extend the coverage? Coverage: What does SGK health insurance cover for foreign members? I do not have any US health insurance that will transfer over. I think the plan for foreigners is letter D? I can't find the list anymore because their web site is overwhelming. To clarify, I don't work here; I'm not an employee or retiree, just a foreigner paying independently into the system. Can anyone offer any tips on where I can navigate for the information I need?
  8. Thanks for the info, Ken. I appreciate it. Good to know I could pack my own boxes and have the professionals handle the shipping and customs. I figured any of my boxes would be subject to opening. My goal volume was about 150 cubic feet or 4 cubic meters, reduced from 185/5.27. I thought shipment with a crate or liftvan on a LCL load (sharing a container) might be cheaper overall than individually shipping each box via a parcel service or the post office--but it really depends. My only full-service quote from a Turkish company door-to-door was almost $6000, which seemed high--and they wouldn't reduce their quote even if I reduced my volume by a third. Not sure if this is typical for this distance and volume, haven't heard from other companies yet--hence looking into professional movers that let me pack. Just hoping I don't get low-balled and end up paying triple. From what I've seen, the USPS has the best rates over private parcel companies but they must be higher than when you shipped several years ago. Still good to know in case I end up weeding out a ton and just shipping a few essential boxes--or storing some and having my family ship a little at a time. More risk of loss, I suppose. For what you can fit into a large suitcase, excess baggage on an airline seems to have similar prices comparable to the USPS; THY has a great rate from the US to Turkey but they limit extra bags to only 1 or 2--and even then you have to put in a special request. So I'm still hoping I can do a larger shipment. We will see...
  9. Hello everyone, I am researching shipping options to get some personal goods from the USA to Antalya. SELF-PACKING: I'm comparing companies that pack goods for you and some that allow you to pack. I'd like to avoid excessive costs when the "pros" pack for you. The packing should be fairly easy to do with standard boxes, since I'd only be shipping books, clothing and some other personal items--no furniture, nothing complicated. However, from one company (one that packs for you), I received a document listing Turkey's customs regulations for importing personal goods. In one section it states, "The shipment may contain no items packed by the owner (PBO)." There is a lot of contradictory information out there about many procedures in Turkey, so I'm looking for more information based on people's actual experiences. Has anyone ever packed his/her own goods for shipment to Turkey in a crate, liftvan or container? Any issues with customs if this was done? Does Turkish customs require that professional packers sign and verify a list of inventory? DISINFECTION of USED CLOTHING: I also looked into shipping boxes as individual parcels via the USPS/UPS/Fedex/etc. and read that boxes of used clothing must have a "certificate of disinfection." Does anyone know anything about this, and if it's true, what method I'd have to use and where I'd get the form? Would I need such a certificate on each box of clothing inside a crate if I use a shipping company, or do they just fumigate big shipments at customs? SHIPPING to ANTALYA: (Please also see my post in the Antalya Forum.) It seems like most shipping companies go to Istanbul or Izmir, but not Antalya--even though it has an industrial port. Does anyone have advice about shipping goods to Antalya, perhaps using a local Turkish company that could transfer my goods from Izmir once they go through customs? Could it go by ship or would it be better by truck? I'd appreciate anyone's advice! Thank you : )
  10. Hi there, I browsed through many forum postings regarding my topic and found some useful information but it was still a bit confusing. I'm planning on staying in Turkey for awhile and may end up living there permanently. If things go well and I end up staying indefinitely, I'm seriously considering shipping my furniture from the US. I realize it's expensive and have checked out reviews and quotes, but I have nice quality antique dark wood American furniture that you just can't find in Turkey. It's unique and has sentimental value to me, although it wasn't expensive and isn't valuable. All I've seen there is ultra-modern IKEA-style or super gaudy Baroque stuff. And even some of that junk is super pricey. I figure you couldn't replace what I have for the cost of shipping--but ultimately I guess it will depend on how much that estimate ends up being. I had already heard that you can't export antiques from Turkey in order to protect their national heritage. Okay, that makes sense. However, a shipping company sent me a list of Turkey's import regulations and I was shocked to find "antiques" listed under forbidden imports. I spent hours online doing research and still can't find any answers. Most of my antiques are more than 100 years old (but I have no documentation--no receipts, no certificates, nothing--you can just guess the age by style), so in some places that classifies them as "cultural property." I can't find any info on the US CBP site as to whether it's even legal to take it out of the country, even though it's my personal furniture. It's beautiful and from the late 19th Century, but it's the kind of stuff you find at antique stores everywhere in the US. I probably couldn't resell it for what I paid for it. But it's valuable to me; I haven't seen anything like it in Turkey. I read elsewhere that you could bring foreign antiques into Turkey as personal household goods, but if you ever wanted to take them back out, you'd need to certify them at entry and stamp them in your passport. Does anyone happen to know anything about this? Has anyone on this forum ever shipped their own antique furnishings to enjoy in Turkey? I've also contacted the US CBP and the Turkish contact from my shipping company and am awaiting their responses. The Turkish government web sites seem hard to navigate... Thanks for any info you may be able to pass along, Jen
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