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How to Use Your Foreign Cellular Phone / Mobile Phone In Turkey
Traveling to other countries using a foreign cellphone or mobile phone may not always be a problem. For instance, if you'll be visiting some Asian countries and you are planning to use your foreign cell phone or mobile phone with you during your entire stay, all you need to do is have your service provider enable international roaming on your mobile phone. Once its enabled, you can immediately use your cellphone or mobile phone as soon as you’ll arrive in that particular country.
However, in some countries like Turkey, that may not always come easily possible. International roaming enabled on your phone may be used though - even as soon as you enter Turkey and calling won't create any problem at all - but that's only good for a short-term stay.
Yes, that means if you'll only be staying in Turkey for not later than a month. Longer than that, you should then be aware that the international roaming enabled on your phone will only be used within a one month period while you're in Turkey. Right after that period has elapsed, all your calls - both incoming and outgoing will automatically be blocked. This is because the Turkish government has enacted a law regarding mobile phone registration within the country. So if you’re planning to stay in Turkey for more than a month and you'll be making several calls during your stay, it would be wiser for you to buy a local prepaid SIM card and have your phone registered.
Advantages in Using a Local Prepaid SIM Card
Turkey has a very wide mobile coverage networks and has recently expanded significantly so whether you are in the main cities or in the tourist resorts, calling from your mobile won’t be a problem.
An international mobile phone combined with a prepaid Turkish SIM card is the most economical way for staying in touch while in Turkey. The local Turkish SIM card provides very good service across the country through domestic roaming.
All incoming calls are free regardless of where they are coming from. All you have to do is pay the local rate for local calls. Since you’ll be buying a prepaid Turkish SIM card, you wont need to pay for monthly fees. You can freely use your mobile phone just like you do at home while in Turkey.
How to Get a Local Prepaid SIM Card
To get a local or Turkish prepaid SIM card, go to any GSM operator’s mobile phone shop of your choice and take your foreign mobile phone and passport (if you’re a foreigner) or Turkish ID (if you’re a visiting Turkish citizen) with you.
The three major GSM operators in Turkey are Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea. Looking for their shops won't be a problem, too for they can be found almost everywhere in Turkey. If your international or foreign mobile phone is already unlocked, just directly buy a local Turkish SIM card and have them “register” it with your phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number along with some of your personal information.
If your phone is locked, you can request them (GSM operators) to unlock it for you. They will probably charge you with a little amount for this service. But make sure to ask them how much you'll be paying for the service charge before having it done. Once your phone is registered, your phone will be activated and is readily available for use.
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