Update to Registering a Phone in Turkey

The process for foreigners registering a phone in Turkey has changed again.

Go here to see our updated article which explains the new process.

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From the Creators: Registering a Foreign Phone – Update + Update

UPDATE2 (11-10-13): We recently received an email from Vincent Teplitxky who informed us that:

“I successfully registered my phone on 1 October 2013 and learned on this occasion that the Turkish administration had come up with a brilliant new idea.

Paying 115TL to the Vergi Dairesi (the one in Şişhane is, by the way much less crowded than others – thanks for the tip!) is not enough to open a line now. New legislation came into force on 30 September 2013.

After going to the Vergi Dairesi, you now need to go to the police station with a photocopy of your passport (open at the page showing your photo) and ask them for a Giriş belgesi – proof of entry into Turkey. Getting this document is free yet compulsory.

From Şişhane, going to Tarlabaşı police station is a good idea. The shop right in front of the police station’s entrance will photocopy your passport for 50 kuruş. The police will not photocopy it.

I was then asked to wait for 1 hour before an officer could come and sign my document. I was then able to open a line with Turkcell for an additional 35TL in taxes. “

Thank you, Vincent for bringing this to our attention and hopefully it will help anyone intending to register a phone in the near future.

UPDATE: So at the time of this post my phone was yet to be registered. A month later SUCCESS! So what is the secret. GET TO TAKSIM! After getting shoved from bank to bank in Etiler and Levent I decided it was time to bite the bullet and head to the tax office in Taksim. Something I should have done from day 1. You catch the metro to Şişhane, just outside the exit you will see a Big Chef restaurant – Directly opposite that is a huge government building with flags hanging. Go in and, soon as they see you, they will assume you are there to register your phone and walk you through the process. Then make your way to Taksim turkcell where they do this transaction all the time. They are super friendly and help you out quickly and efficiently.1-7 days later you should be up and running! (for me it was 1!)

Ok, so here we go, my turn to write about the happenings of the week. Well winter is hear and with that comes the rain and a crazy busy week of admin preparing for parent – teacher interviews.

Yes admin, hard enough to deal with bureaucracy in your home country let alone abroad. As you may or may not have realized mobile phones are insanely expensive here due to the electronics tax. So a trip abroad often means the purchase of a new phone for a lot of expats and turks.

We were recently in Spain so decided to take advantage of the cheap prices and purchase a sexy new smartphone.  We knew a ton of people who had embarked on the same cost cutting adventure and were told, yep buy the phone come back to Turkey pop in to Turkcell and get it registered with the government. (or else after about a month it will get cut off).

IMG_4807So off we headed….3 trips to Turkcell and 4 trips to the bank and we still have not managed to register the phone. So what’s the deal? Turns out the Turkish Government has recently changed the regulations. These are the steps required.

1.       Go to your local bank, tax office or post office.(In my case I found most banks to be useless, I highly recommend going straight to the tax office in Taksim.)

2.       Give them you passport and residency and handset.

3.       They will use this to find out your tax number.

4.       Find out your phones IMEI number (you can do this by dialing *#06#

5.       Pay 115 TL and get a certificate.

6.       Take this to Turkcell or Vodaphone and register the phone. Pay another 20 TL. Wait 1-7 days to become active.

Ok, so a few painful steps but achievable. But here comes the real stickler….after 3 attempts at this we discover that the system used to pay the tax continually crashes. So we have been told we should probably go into the bank or tax office between 9-12 Monday – Friday in order to make sure the system can accept the payment.

SO there you go, hopefully I can save you a few trips to the bank! Good Luck!