Here's how it works
You might have moved to Turkey bringing along your mobile phone(s) from back home. Upon arrival, you might have acquired a local Turkcell chip with a local number, and placed it in your mobile phone. It works, no problem. You're thinking: "Great, I can switch chips depending on which country I'm in."
The phone and chip work fine ... for about 2 months or so.... just long enough to make sure you're not a visiting tourist. Then one morning, you wake up to find a strange message on your mobile screen when you try to make a call. Something like "limited network" or "no connection". Huh?!
YOU HAVE ILLEGALLY IMPORTED YOUR OWN MOBILE PHONE
AND THEY ARE BLOCKING IT!
This is what should have happened:
Cellular Telephones entering the country must be accompanied by a certification form showing ownership. Ownership must be documented in the passport of the owner and will be checked on entry and exit. For more information contact the Ministry of Transportation, General Directorate at Tel: (312) 212 35 72 - 212 60 10 (10 lines), Fax: (312) 221 32 26 or write to Ulastirma Bakanligi Telsiz Gn. Md. Emek - Ankara
But of course! Silly, me! It's a well-known fact, that one's mobile phone should be registered in one's passport! Duhhhh!!!
How to get it working again
You will need proof of purchase in your name (if you don't have proof of purchase, don't even bother) and your passport. Go to Epatel Elektronic, Sair Esref Bulvari N° 6/ B-C Cankaya. Tel. 0232.4455050. (**for instructions on how to get there see bottom)
Once this is done, they will kindly unblock your mobile connection.
You can just buy yourself a new mobile phone in any Turkcell shop, which will automatically be registered in your name (keep the receipt!) thereby contributing to the local economy...
Do the big mobile phone brands even know their marketing teams have such staunch support form the Turkish government?
If you have not yet entered the country - or next time you do - go to customs and show proof of purchase of your mobile phone so that they may document it.
Crazy, huh? ... but true!
**How to get there:
Walking out of the Hilton Hotel, turn left, turn into the second street on your left (Esref Bulvari) walk about 30 meters and it will be on the right side of the street. It looks just like any Turkcell shop.