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sim cards

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chicago il usa
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39 posts
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sim cards

Where would I buy a sim card. Will I get one at the airport or the old city? Thanks

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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35,988 posts
65 reviews
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1. Re: sim cards

hyacinth, Get one at the airport. There are three major mobile phone companies in Turkey, namely Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea and they all have stores at the arrivals hall at the airport.

good luck,

enigma...

Auckland, New...
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2. Re: sim cards

It is not quite that simple - unless things have changed - your SIM card will stop working after 2 weeks unless you have a turkish phone.

This is a copy of advice from elsewhere

" If you want to use a Turkish SIM in your own phone you'll need to get it registered for use in Turkey. Go to one of the larger Turkcell / Vodaphone / Avea shops with your phone and passport. They'll register the phone on the government's computer system and should charge you no more than 5 TL for that. Your phone will then be able to accept a Turkish SIM card within 24 hours"

Istanbul
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for Istanbul
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35,988 posts
65 reviews
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3. Re: sim cards

hyacinth, registration takes only two minutes with your passport. All they look at is your entry stamp to Turkey. It is done by the same mobile company that you will be getting your sim card from Have a look at the following link: "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k5257…".

enigma....

Los Angeles...
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20 posts
11 reviews
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4. Re: sim cards

Enigma - you are clearly an expert on Istanbul and I have valued your advice in various postings before going to Istanbul, however in this case I have to disagree with you regarding the sim card.

I was there in February 2012 and went to 3 different mobile stores with my passport and all of them told me that they need to register my phone before the sim card would work and it would take around 3-5 days. Since I was only there for 5 days it did not make sense for me to buy a sim card.

Please advise if this policy has changed or if I was given the wrong information. If not then I suggest all visitors that are planning to stay less than a week, should simply purchase a cheap phone in Turkey.

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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5. Re: sim cards

PhatOzzy, I was talking based upon my personal experience also. Last May, I returned from Los Angeles where I bought an unlocked Iphone. I registered this phone at the Turkcell booth within 2 minutes with my passport. (actually this is an application for registration). They told me I can start using my new sim card right away but the registration will take a few days to be approved. So I assume it was approved, since my phone was not cut off in 5 days.

If the application for official registration is not approved by TTK (Turkish Telecommunication Agency, a regulatory body), the phone is cut off. If you do not make any application, the phone again would be cut off in 5 days, this time automatically. Your experience is more recent though and the rules may have changed slightly.

Hope you enjoyed Istanbul,

enigma...

Edited: 24 April 2012, 05:28
Los Angeles...
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20 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: sim cards

Thanks Enigma and yes we thoroughly enjoyed Istanbul and hope to visit again very soon.

I believe that the rules have changed since last May and are more stringent now. At the last mobile store I went to - I actually purchased a sim card and then was told to go to the other side of the same store where another person would register it for me.

He took my passport and made a copy and then told me it would be active within 3-5 days. I was not pleased with this and asked him why since I just purchased the sim card. He explained the rules then to prove his point, he took it out the sim card from his phone and put it into mine and sure enough my phone would not work. I explained that I was only there for 5 days so could not wait for it to register - they allowed me to return the sim card.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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14,822 posts
118 reviews
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7. Re: sim cards

Here is the verylatest report of a german traveller today in a Turkcell Shop.

It was somewhat difficult because nobody spoke English but the forumite has some Turkish knowledge.

She ordered a Sim Card of 30 Tl + 5 Tl for registration.

Then she had to go upstairs, there was the lady who controlled the passport and gave her a contract in Turkish (frankly she didn´t understand very much...)

Then there was another lady with English knowledge who copied the serial number of the cell phone. She told her that it would take about 2 days, she should call a certain number to see if it already works.

The forumite will inform us how long it will take till the cell phone works.

But I think this procedere isn´t reasonable for short-stay tourists.

Canada
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169 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: sim cards

Does anyone has any recent experience as to how long it takes to get the phone registered? Is it worth getting a SIM if one staying for 8 days. Since, I'll be driving quite a bit, I'd prefer to have a Turkish cell.

Thx1

Canada
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169 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: sim cards

Just came back from my trip & I was told that it takes about a week to register the phone. So, it didn't worth for me & I suffered from not having a local SIM. Hope, this will become quicker process to help the visitors.

Melbourne Australia
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39 posts
69 reviews
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10. Re: sim cards

Am in Istanbul now.

Bought a Turkcell sim card for 50TL with 20TL calls included.

Bought at phone shop in Sultanahmet.

They took copy of my passport.

Phone was connected straight away.

Can add more to it by calling back to shop and they will do automatically on the spot. Could probaby do it other ways but this is easy as shop is close by.