Mobile Telephones in Turkey

Find out how to get yourself a mobile cellular phone in Turkey...

Mobile communications are expanding quickly in Turkey. There are three major service providers in Turkey, Turkcell, Avea and Vodafone Turkey. Each offers a range of tariffs, packages, services and branded equipment. GSM standard bandwidths are 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands.

Turkcell (prefix 530-539) has the widest coverage in Turkey and also covers some parts of Europe.

  • Customer Service, Tel: 444 0 532
  • For information on the types of packages available: Click here (in Turkish)

Avea (prefix 502-506)

  • Customer Service, Tel: 444 1 500
  • For information on the types of packages available: Click here (in Turkish)

Vodafone Turkey (prefix 541-549)

  • Customer Service, Tel: 444 0 542
  • For information on the types of packages available: Click here (in Turkish)

There is a choice of either a permanent contract at a fixed monthly rate, or a rechargeable/pay-as-you-go scheme (pre-paid lines - TL Hat).

Pay as you go

For pre-paid phones a card must be purchased, which comes with a phone number associated with it. These cards have expiry dates, and credit cannot be used after the expiry date. Holders of the card may not benefit from all the services offered by the provider. The line may be cancelled automatically, if not used for a long period. Cards can be purchased from a service provider's outlet/shop. A subscription form must be filled in and the customer must present proof of identity.

A recharge can be paid for at kiosks, service provider's outlets, supermarkets, and petrol stations. It is also possible to top up the credit on the card by sending a text message to the service provider.

Permanent contract

In order to sign up for a permanent contract with a mobile telephone provider, a subscription form must be filled in and signed at a shop or office. The following documents are required:

  • Proof of identity
  • Recent utility bill

Payment is made monthly on receipt of the bill. The bill is sent by email or post to the subscriber. The service provider has the right to cancel or stop the service if bills are not paid on time.

Lost or stolen mobile phones

A mobile cellular telephone has:

  • A SIM Card with number. This is the telephone number. Access can be protected by personalising the card with a 4 digit PIN number
  • An IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity). This is the mobile's unique identification number

The IMEI number protects the owner if the phone is lost or stolen. It is usually printed beneath the battery or can be found by typing the following into the keypad:

  • * # 0 6 #

If a mobile telephone is lost or stolen, contact the service provider and give the IMEI number. The service will be suspended and the phone may be traced. To report a theft, supply the police with the IMEI number and the date, time and place the phone was last used.