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How to Get a Mobile Phone Line in Turkey

Updated on March 1, 2011

If you’re a tourist or a visiting Turkish national and you’re wondering how you can get a mobile phone line for your stay in Turkey, there are three simple ways for you to choose from. Here are a few simple tips and advice to guide you on on how you can immediately get a mobile phone line in Turkey.

Buy a phone and a local prepaid SIM card.

One good option to get a mobile phone line is to buy a new mobile phone in Turkey and a local (Turkish) SIM card.  For this, you won’t necessarily need to buy an expensive one (unless you have the latest model in your head to get)  but a cheap one and an older model will do if your purpose is to only use it for a short duration - just while you're staying in Turkey.  Besides, all mobile phones bought in Turkey are already registered with the ICTA so you don’t need to do any registration procedures for your mobile phone.

Both mobile phone and a prepaid Turkish SIM card can be purchased easily at any mobile electronic shops, grocery stores, major shopping malls, or almost everywhere all throughout the country.  To get a Turkish SIM card, you will just have to present your passport to provide them some personal information and you will have a brand new phone to use during your entire stay in Turkey, hassle-free!  And if you wish, you may even leave your phone as a gift to any of your cherished friends, relatives or family members (if you have any) who live in Turkey before going back to your country of origin.

Most electronic shops have an extensive selection of wireless mobile phones that fit every person’s desire or needs.  You can compare prices from shop-to-shop or seach the best deals online on some Turkish websites. You can also choose which mobile prepaid service you want from the country’s three major wireless service providers (Turkcell, Vodafone, and Avea) which are serving almost every region in Turkey.

Buy a phone and get a postpaid subscription plan.

If you’re plannıng to live or work in Turkey and you want to use a postpaid plan for your mobile phone, all you have to do is go to any of the three major GSM operators of your choice and choose a postpaid subscription plan that best suits your calling needs. There are only three major GSM operators in Turkey as of the present – Turkcell, Avea, and Vodafone.  All three offers prepaid and several postpaid subscription plans. You can go to either of these three GSM operators’ shop, buy a new mobile phone, and make sure to check out the rates for a montly or annual subscription plan.  There are several plans for subscribers to choose from – some plans may even provide you cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or even roaming.  Note that these types of plans only apply to those who will be living in or to those who are intending to stay for a longer period in Turkey.

Rent a phone

Another great way to get a mobile phone line in Turkey is to rent a GSM phone to use for your stay in Turkey. This may be a great option to tourists and short-term visitors who don’t want to buy a Turkish mobile phone, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of registering their foreign mobile phones either. In this case, renting a mobile phone in Turkey can be a great option.

Renting a cellular phone or mobile phone – preferably in Turkey, not from your home country can give you the advantage of making and receiving calls instantly and hassle-free while at the same time paying for lower (local) rates. This also allows you to enjoy the convenience of calling and receiving calls instantly without paying for the high cost of international roaming fees with your foreign number. 

Turkey has several cellular phone or mobile phone rental shops where you can rent one to cut down on the frustration of calling home while you are doing your business or holiday in Turkey. To do this, try to visit any of the major Turkish GSM operators’ websites and check out their offers for several rental plans. Depending on the area where you will be staying, some hotels or hostels in Turkey may even help arrange this for you.


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