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Ken Grubb

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Everything posted by Ken Grubb

  1. Unfortunately you have one name on your passport and your friend has power of attorney to pick up the residence permit card from someone with a different name. So there's nothing you can do there. I called the Istanbul airport some time ago and talked to the visa violation office. They told me that if you have an approved residence permit (which you do), they can see it in their computer system and you will be able to enter Turkey without a visa. We have also had two Turkey Central members do this. One of them was out of the country when his residence permit was approved but he didn't have his residence permit card (same as your situation). He was able to enter Turkey, without his residence permit card, with no problems. So just return to Turkey, check with the post office to see if your residence permit is there. If it isn't, go to the immigration office and get it.
  2. I'm not familiar with this exact situation, but the online residence permit application system will need a sicil numarası (registration number) which serves like an insurance policy number. You should be able to get it using e-Devlet, which is the government services portal. Here's the page you probably need: https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/sosyal-guvenlik-ve-sigorta-hizmetleri Scroll down to Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu and check the options there, but I believe the one you need is this one: https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/4c-tescil-kaydi
  3. It probably depends on the quality of the place you get and whatever system you use. However in ever apartment I've rented, the lobby has mailboxes, but the postal worker doesn't put the mail in them. In They typically just leave it on the top of the boxes to let the tenants sort it. For that reason, I rented a post office box at the local post office. It's very cheap, like ₺20 per year. I use it in case I have any packages coming by mail, to make sure nothing happens to them in local delivery. When a mail package comes, often the postal worker just puts a sticker on the outside door of the apartment building, or maybe on (not in) my mailbox. The only time they come to my door is if it's registered mail. Of course anybody can take the sticker, even somebody just walking by, so that's another reason I have a post office box. Some years ago, someone sent me a package through the mail, and I never got notification that it had been delivered. I went to the post office to find out where it was, and they said they had left a note in the lobby of my apartment to come and pick it up. But I never saw it, so I suspect somebody took it. They sent the package back. None of the cargo companies can deliver to a post office box. So if you want something sent to your post office box, you have to make sure the sender uses the mail system and not UPS, FedEx, or whatever. If you get something sent by a cargo company, you have to use your home address. The cargo companies normally bring the package to your door. But they may also send you an SMS message and have you go to their local branch to pick it up.
  4. You can get electricity, gas, and water set up before you have a residence permit. But to get your telephone and internet service, you have to have your residence permit. I don't recall the exact process, but you have to go to the utility office. Electricity is supplied by local quasi-companies depending on your region. In Antalya it's CK Akdeniz Elektrik. Water is supplied by the municipality and there is a department within you go to to get it set up. I would assume they need some proof of address, unless but I don't remember exactly, anyway take a copy of your rental contract or title deed with you, and of course your passport. The setup fee will be included in your first bill. For water, you have to pay a deposit. But you get it back when you close the account, like if you move. It's a very small amount. I would assume you also need some proof of address. I've never set up a gas account but I assume it works the same way. Same with the internet. You'll need to set up both a telephone and an internet account. Again, after you have your residence permit. The installation fee is included in your first bill. Telephone service is provided by Turk Telekom. You can choose their internet service, which is TTNet, or you can choose another provider, which uses the same lines but has different packages and different pricing.
  5. I do a LOT of research before I write something. Sometimes I don't even believe what the government officials say. I have to see it in the law or a government publication implementing the law. For example the man at the ministry who told me a person must get a residence permit when their tax home becomes Turkey. That's why I asked my friend who speaks fluent Turkish to find out where in the law it says that, so I could check it for myself. I've read the law before and never saw anything like the man was telling me, and sure enough, this time we talked to someone else who said the information was wrong. It's up to the immigration specialist who reviews your application what they ask for. If a person has bought property, they often don't ask for financial proof. I've also heard of cases where foreigners weren't asked for it. Personally they ask me for it every time. Like the "required documents" section of the government site says, thee immigration specialist may ask for proof. So it's better to have it when you go to your appointment. Otherwise you'll have to go get it and bring it back. They give you time to do it, but it's better just to have it when you go to your appointment. For individuals, Turkey follows a yearly tax period. Your country probably has a tax treaty with Turkey. Under the Turkish law it says foreigners must pay taxes for all worldwide income. But the tax treaty will say "except for this income... and that income..." For example, under Turkish law, I have to pay taxes on all of my income. But my country's tax treaty with Turkey says I don't have to pay taxes on my government retirement or rental income from property I own in the USA. So because of the tax treaty I pay taxes in the USA and not in Turkey. You can find your country's tax treaty with Turkey by Googling it. Unfortunately I can't advise you on paying taxes, since I've never paid them in Turkey. What I would do is talk to a tax advisor in your country who is familiar with your tax treaty. Or find a Turkish accountant and ask them to be sure. If you'll be in Istanbul you can find an English-speaking accountant, they are kind of rare everywhere else. I have heard, but never verified, that once you have your taxes done once and get familiar with the paperwork, you can just fill out the documents yourself and send them in. If I ever find an English-speaking accountant in Antalya I'll be able to get more solid information on paying taxes, but for now that's all I have. Just a tip about Facebook groups and what people say... a lot of it is wrong, based on rumor or a single situation, or based on information that has been misunderstood. Every time I hear something like doesn't sound right, especially about residence permits, I call the Foreigner's Communication Center at 157 to check the information. You can call that number from any phone in Turkey, and they have several language options. That's the best source of information you can get.
  6. My friend and I called the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services again today. I wanted to learn where in the law it said that a foreign online worker must get a residence permit once their tax home became Turkey. They said that the information I was given by one of their workers was wrong (I have crossed it out above). The only thing that triggers the requirement for a work permit is when a foreign online worker does business directly with a Turkish company or individual, selling goods or services, getting paid or cutting invoices. If a foreigner doesn't do any of that, they may work online in Turkey indefinitely without a work permit. The fact that a foreigner's tax home becomes Turkey has no effect on the need for a work permit. The law covering work permits is No. 6735, which doesn't even mention foreign online workers. However, the definition of working in Turkey is established as I have explained above.
  7. A friend of mine and I called the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Security again today. We called to ask where in the law it said a foreign online worker needed a work permit once their tax home became Turkey. They said the information I was given previously (which I have crossed out above) is incorrect. The only thing that causes a foreign online worker to require a work permit is when they do business directly with a Turkish company or individuals, selling products or services, getting paid, and cutting invoices. If they don't do any of those things, they can continue to work online indefinitely. They also said that when a foreign online worker's tax home becomes Turkey, it does not trigger the need for a work permit. The law about work permits is No. 6735, which doesn't cover foreign online workers. In fact, there is no law about foreign online workers. However, the definition of working in Turkey is established as I have described above.
  8. A friend of mine and I called the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Security again today, to ask them where in the law it said that a foreign online worker needed a work permit when their tax home became Turkey. They said that the information they gave me previously was wrong. They said that the labor law involved, No. 6735, says nothing about foreign online workers. If you work online and only do business internationally, and don't sell goods or services to Turkish companies or individuals, don't get paid by them, and don't cut invoices in Turkey, you do not need a work permit at all, and you can work in that way indefinitely. The fact that your tax home becomes Turkey does not trigger the need for a work permit.
  9. I crossed out some information in my first reply because it is incorrect. It didn't sound right that a person's tax home being in Turkey should have no effect on whether or not they had a work permit, so we called to ask where in the law it said that it did. We were told that indeed the information I was given was wrong. The labor law, No. 6735, does not cover foreign online workers, and what I was told is nowhere in the law. The only thing that triggers the need for a work permit is when a foreign online worker does business directly with a Turkish company or Turkish individuals. That is, selling goods or services, getting paid in Turkey, and cutting invoices. It has nothing to do with the foreign online worker's tax home becoming Turkey.
  10. A correction to the information I crossed out in my previous post: When I got that information from the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services it didn't sound right. And I forgot to ask them where it said that in the law. Unfortunately, some government officials just talk off the top of their head and give opinions rather than checking the law. So a friend of mine called today to ask where in the law it said what I was told before. Today they said there is nothing in the law which says what I was previously told. The law is Law 6753, and it doesn't cover anything about foreigners working online. They said that if a foreign freelancer works only internationally, and doesn't sell goods or services directly to Turkish businesses or individuals, doesn't receive pay from them or cut invoices, there is no need for a work permit, ever. However, once they start trading with Turkish companies or individuals, they must get a work permit. If a foreigner's tax home becomes Turkey, it has no effect on the need for a work permit. It simply means that the foreigner must start paying taxes in Turkey.
  11. A friend of mine called the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services today. What they told me before about a foreign online worker needing a work permit when their tax home became Turkey didn't sound right. So we called to learn where in the law it says this. This is what they told us today? Foreigners who work online don't need a work permit unless or until they do business directly with Turkish companies or individuals, such as selling goods or services, receiving payment, and cutting invoices. The fact that a foreigner's tax home becomes Turkey at some point does not cause the foreigner to require a work permit. The law that covers work permits is Law No. 6735. But there is nothing in it about working online, and nothing which says what the person from the ministry told me previously.
  12. Today a friend of mine called the Aile, Çalışma ve Sosyal Hizmetleri Bakanlığı (Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services). The reason is because what they had told me previously didn't sound right, and we wanted to learn what law said that a foreigner working online needed a work permit once their tax home became Turkey. They said that the only thing that triggers the need for a work permit by someone working online is when they start doing business with Turkish businesses or Turks, such as selling products or services, cutting invoices, and being paid. Whether someone's tax home becomes Turkey or not has no effect on the need for a work permit. So foreigners do not need a work permit when their tax home becomes Turkey. I've crossed out that information in my post above and am correcting it here.
  13. A friend of mine called the Bilgi Teknolojileri ve İletişim Kurumu (Information Technologies and Communication Authority) today. They said that if a foreigner is outside of Turkey for one year or more, the time they can use their foreign mobile phone in Turkey without registering it and paying the tax is reset to zero. If a foreigner returns to Turkey within one year, then the time starts again from the point at which they left Turkey. So in your case, when you return, the clock will start again where it left off.
  14. Mertsel's contact form is set up now. You can contact them and they'll get you a tax number. Their fee is ₺300. Get a Turkish Tax Number
  15. Thank you for your kind words Abed. Good luck to you in getting your address updated. We're here if you need anything.
  16. The six months of banking activity is not false information. I have not only been told this by an immigration specialist, but I also extended my residence permit in February and they asked for exactly that. If you don't believe me, then when you go to your residence permit appointment, take no proof of financial ability at all, and see what happens. I've listed all of the required documents in my articles linked above, so I won't repeat them here. The best source, obviously, is the immigration office. So go to their website here: https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/. And at the bottom, click "Required Documents." Regarding the Need for a Work Permit A friend of mine and I called the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Security again today. I wanted to learn where in the law it said a foreign online worker needed a work permit as soon as their tax home became Turkey (as I was told by a person in the ministry previously). They said the work permit law, No. 6735, does not cover foreign online workers. In fact, there is no law about foreign online workers. And what the person from the ministry told me for is not found anywhere in any law, and it is incorrect. They said the only thing that triggers the need for a work permit is when a foreign online worker does business directly with a Turkish company or individual, selling goods or services, and getting paid for them. If a foreign online worker never does that, they can work online in Turkey, without a work permit, indefinitely. Additionally, if or when a foreign online worker's tax home becomes Turkey, it has no effect on their need for a work permit, as long as they don't do anything which is defined as work, as I have written above.
  17. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Do you have a residence permit and you're reporting a change of address? If so, you don't have to go to the Nüfus (Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs). Address changes for foreigners are now done by the immigration office, not by the Nüfus. The immigration specialist will update the central Address Registration System, which is the same system the Nüfus uses. You don't need an appointment. I talked to an immigration specialist in Antalya about this. He said the only thing you need to change your address is one or more utility bills showing that service is connected to your new address in your name. There's no need to get a notarized copy of your rental contract. That's Antalya, it may be different if you're in another province, but he also said that the immigration specialists consider a utility bill as better proof of address than a notarized copy of a rental contract. Don't worry about the time that's passed. Because of the lockdown, everybody's having problems like this, and the government offices are taking that into consideration. Besides, despite the warnings, I've never heard of anybody getting any kind of a fine for reporting their address change late.
  18. Yes. But actually you can now get one online without first being a resident. If you know someone who has access to the "online tax office," they can get one for you. One must be a Turkish citizen or foreign resident to join and use it, and someone who has access can actually get a tax number for another person. There's a company (Mertsel Insurance) who does residence permit applications and provides health insurance for Turkey Central members. Currently they have contact forms for this under "Foreigner Services" in the top navigation menu. They said they could also get tax numbers for members. So today I'll be setting up a contact form so members and guests can contact them and get a tax number that way. They charge a fee, but it saves a trip to the tax office. They just need a copy of your passport to get you a tax number. I'll post here when the contact form is up, if you're interested.
  19. The lockdown ends tomorrow, may 17th, at 5:00 AM. So the tax office should be open for normal business hours. But nothing official has come out regarding exactly how things will be when the lockdown ends tomorrow.
  20. I'm glad you mentioned that, because the Yabangee article is incorrect. The $500 requirement in a Turkish bank was abolished some years ago. Banks stopped giving accounts to people without residence permits because they were depositing money, getting their residence permit, and withdrawing it as soon as they got a residence permit. The immigration office now accepts foreign bank account records, and the minimum you need is equal to or greater than the Turkish minimum wage. The Turkish minimum wage is listed in my article, which covers how to prove you have enough money to live in Turkey, here: You should double-check what you read on other sites, because a lot of the information is wrong. Everything I write I verify with the immigration office, and also through actual experiences, including my own.
  21. Thanks Eddy. It's what I do. I definitely need some feedback on the process of getting an independent work permit. Unfortunately I don't know anybody who's done it (or at least they haven't told me), and that kind of feedback is usually the best. The six-months of bank activity thing is usually what they ask for because it's the easiest for somebody to get. And it's pretty straightforward. But the proof of financial ability doesn't have to be a bank account statement. Here's a good rule of thumb. If you have enough money to live on while you're in Turkey, then you must have some documentation to prove it. Whatever that documentation is, that will be what the immigration office will want to see.
  22. I have a friend coming over on Monday. I'll ask her to make a call and ask about this. PayPal got banned over some dispute with the government years ago. I don't think any other payment systems are affected by it. There should be no problem with the transfers. I don't see why a transfer from Payoneer would be different from any other kind of transfer. Turkish online stores do acccept international credit cards and bank cards. The only time I've had a problem is when my bank back home wouldn't process the payment because it was in Turkey. So contact your bank and have them insert something into your record which says you're in Turkey. I'm writing a new article about applying for a residence permit. But I have one now which explains step-by-step how to apply for a short-term residence permit, here: Regarding paying a company to apply for your residence permit for you, see this: I recommend Mertsel application services and insurance. They not only do your application for you at the best price I've seen, they also create your health insurance policy and send it to you. They'll have it done within 24 hours after you send them the information they need. They have a contact form here: Turkey Residence Permit Application Service
  23. Do a Google search for your country's tax treaty with Turkey. You'll probably have to pay taxes in Turkey when your tax home becomes Turkey. According to a conversation I had with the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services, you have to apply for an independent work permit once your tax home becomes Turkey. Unfortunately I didn't ask where in the law it says that, sometimes government officials tell you what they think rather than what is. You don't have to establish a company. As Cukurbagli said, PayPal has been banned in Turkey. However, if your bank account isn't in Turkey, people can still use Paypal to send money to you. For example, if I try to go to the PayPal.com website from here in Turkey, I get a message saying that I can't use PayPal. But if I access it from anyplace not in Turkey, it works just fine. So if people can get to PayPal, they can pay you. I don't think Turkish banks can receive money transfers from PayPal. I doubt it, because when you enter your country and banking information into PayPal you may get a warning saying it won't work. You could try it and see. If you go to the PayPal website from Turkey and get that message, be sure to remove the PayPal cookie. If you don't then PayPal will continue to block your access until you remove it. As for Payoneer, I haven't heard of that being blocked. I don't think they have any presence in Turkey. You could give it a try. Note: The information I have crossed out above is incorrect. A friend of mine and I called the Ministry again today to find out where in the law it says this. They said the information I was given previously is wrong. See my fourth post after this one for more information.
  24. Go to Skype.com. You can buy a phone number in Istanbul. I don't know for sure if it will receive SMS messages, but I have a Skype number in the USA and I'm able to receive SMS messages with it.
  25. I hope you enjoy your retirement in Istanbul. I know what you mean about the city. When I go there, sometimes I just look around and think "wow, I'm in Istanbul!" I'm the same as you. I love to meet and get to know people who aren't from where I'm from and who have a different view of things. It seems to me Istanbul would be the ideal place for that. Personally, I love to visit Istanbul but I don't think I would want to live there. Yet I meet people from Istanbul who would never want to live anywhere else. I ended up in Antalya. One of the main reasons I chose Antalya is because I can take a flight and be in Istanbul in an hour or so. There are some very conservative areas of Istanbul. And also some very Bohemian areas like those around Beyoğlu. Since you're already a lover of Istanbul you probably already know that. If you haven't done it before, do some research on the history of Jews in Istanbul. I was surprised to learn about how the Ottoman Empire was very sympathetic to the Jews who were suffering persecution in Europe, and how the sultan invited the Jews to come to Turkey.
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