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6 August 2006

Foreign mobile phones need Turkish resident permit

Did you know that your foreign mobile phone requires a Turkish resident permit?

No kidding, really, it does. Ok, it's not really a resident permit per se, but it does need to be declared as residing here with you. Huh???!

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?!


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
Source: http://www.ankaracityguide.com "tips and advices for foreigners"

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)
They will fax your proof of purchase to the customs so that they can certify that you have legally imported your mobile phone and that it is now registered. (N.B. don't lose this document - you could be asked to produce it when you leave the country - don't want you selling your old goods here!)

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?

To avoid all of this happening
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.


Anonymous said...

same thing happened to me. I bought a new phone.

Insp. Slipovic said...

Me too...

Jo said...

Dear Izmir Blogger,
I am very glad you explained how to leave a comment. I have been wanting to, but did not know how.


Anonymous said...

The easiest way to keep your own phone is to pay a registration fee at any retailer, the network will do the rest. Also by way of comment, is it not better that you need to register your ownership of pre-pay gsm's? Better than our stupid system where you can buy one and start using it to plan a crime or call and abuse people or children without any trace? Just another side of it folks!

Anonymous said...

My vodafone sim card was registered via the shop and under the shop owners name so it has no reference to me whatsoever, unless this is being tracked through my phone alone?!!!?