Keeping the lines of communication open – will my mobile phone work in Turkey?

All phone addicts can’t go five minutes without their mobile phone; their very survival is dependent on talking and communicating on social media.

Are you an addict? If you update your Facebook status and tweet before you brush your teeth and have to talk to friends constantly then you are.

For phone addicts moving to Turkey, it is not just about finding the perfect Turkey property; it is also about sorting out how to keep in touch with all the envious friends you are leaving behind in gloomy old UK.

A million and one questions pop into the head when it comes to taking mobile phones abroad;

  • Will my phone work in Turkey?
  • Does my network provider operate in Turkey?
  • Is it cheap to call friends in the UK?
  • Can friends call me in Turkey?
  • Can I use my UK number in Turkey?
  • Can I tweet from Turkey Villa?
  • How much does it cost to keep my phone?

And the questions go on and on, so to help ease the anxieties of all you tweetaholics out there, here’s information on how you can take your mobile phone to Turkey.

First if you are moving to Turkey permanently, you can use your phone from the UK as long as it is on a SIM-based GSM network. You can unblock the phone and use a Turkish Sim card which is cheaper than using the roaming feature on your UK sim card.

  • To use your phone and a Turkish SIM card, you need to register your International Mobile Equipment Identities (IMEIs) with the Turkish Information Technologies and Communications Authority
  • Do not assume that registering your phone will be quick or easy. Registry backlogs are common, and if your phone is not registered within one or two months of your arrival it will be excluded from the Turkish network. Once a phone is excluded from the Turkish network it is nearly impossible to have it reactivated so beware.
  • Turkey has 3 mobile network providers; TurkCell, Vodafone and Avea. A Sim card from any of these providers is cheaper than using the roaming feature on your UK sim card.

Alternatively if you think the whole idea of importing your phone and registering it with the government is too much of a hassle, just get a Turkish prepaid or contract phone.

Prepaid Phones

Prepaid phones allow you maximum flexibility since you pay as you go. Once you sign up and buy a handset you can recharge your mobile with prepaid cards available at most shops and newsagents. The prepaid card system is more expensive than a mobile contract, but it prevents you from racking up high bills without realizing it.

Contract phones

Mobile contracts are another option. Besides delaying payment until the end of the month, the benefits of a contract include lower calling rates (quite significant in some cases) and discounts on new handsets. Contract bills, like utility bills, can be paid at a post office or through a direct withdrawal from your bank account.

You are eligible to open a contract account if you are a resident in Turkey. If you are not a resident and still want a contract phone, see if a Turkish friend will open an account for you in his or her name.

So there you have it, all the needed information to make sure you can chat to your friends back in the UK once you move to Turkey.

4 Responses to “Keeping the lines of communication open – will my mobile phone work in Turkey?”
  1. Jay says:

    Couldn’t find you on Facebook Networked Blogs…. is your site registered there? I’d like to add to my Network Blog link. thanks, Jay

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