Since October 2015, foreign visitors to Turkey have been allowed to use their own mobile devices or cell phone for 120 days instead of 30 days without paying any fees to register them.
Despite the extension of the time limit, if you wish to use your mobile devices while in Turkey and if you are staying for any period that exceeds 120 days, you are legally required to register these devices and pay a registration fee to continue to be able to use them. Especially when it comes to phones, you'll need to register your device if you want to continue to text or make or receive calls.
Things You Should Know Before You Begin:
- All mobile devices imported into Turkey, whether they are mobile phone, laptop (cellular), tablet (cellular), or watch (cellular) must be registered in the Mobile Devices Registration System (Mobil Cihaz Kayıt Sistemi).
- Each individual is allowed to register only 1 SIM-enabled device in Turkey every 2-3 years. In other words, one phone per passport. As of January 01, 2021, you can now add up to 3 IMEIs per registration, multiple foreign SIM cards, or eSIMs.
- Choose your phone carefully. If you want to get a new phone and register it, you will have to replace the old IMEI number registered on your passport with the IMEI on your new device. This means you will have to pay the registration tax again.
- Your registered device will only work with a SIM issued in your name (the name printed on your passport). If you decide to gift your phone to a friend decide to put their own Turkish SIM card in, it will not work.
- You may only register your mobile phone with IMEI once every three years. If you plan on buying a new mobile outside of the country, you will not be able to register it until the old registration has expired.
To Register Your Mobile Phone in 2023, You’ll Need the Following:
- Your mobile device,
- Your valid passport and entry stamp inside it that shows your date of entry into the country (immigration police will stamp a page upon your arrival),
- Your Turkish residence permit*, or in Turkish words, your “ikamet tezkeresi”,
- 20,000 Turkish Lira - the Turkey phone registration fee for 2023.
If you are on a diplomatic mission in Turkey or have been deployed for military purposes, or are a student studying at a Turkish university, you will be allowed to use other documents that evidence your residency.
The Registration Process
- Registering your phone should be one of the first things you do when you arrive in Turkey. Try to complete this procedure as soon as possible as you have a 120-day time limit.
- Find your device's unique 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number and note it down.
- This information can be found under Settings in the About section in Android and in Settings > General > About on iOS devices. If you have a phone with a removable battery, check the sticker under the battery for your IMEI number.
- Pressing *#06# on the keypad can also reveal your handset's IMEI.
- From here you have 2 options. The first will require you to navigate a Turkish website but allow you to make an online payment.
Online/ E-Devlet Route
- Go to your nearest PTT branch (Turkish Post Office) with your passport, and resident permit (aka ikamet) and ask for an "e-devlet password" (e-government) to register your phone. This will cost you TL 20, if you already have an e-devlet then skip this step.
- https://giris.turkiye.gov.tr/Giris/gir and enter the e-devlet password inside the envelope you have been given. Then change your e-devlet password.
- https://ivd.gib.gov.tr/?gn=ceptelharc and select Harç ve Değerli Kağıt Bedeli, and then CEP TELEFONU HARCI, once you have filled out all the information, asked you will be directed to the payment page. You will see options to use online banking or pay by credit card to pay the registration fee.
- Making payment alone is not enough. You will have to return the registration page on e-devlet and receive confirmation that the process has been completed. You will be given an 8-digit application number to see your progress.
- Type in “IMEI İşlemleri” in the search bar and you should see an option that reads “IMEI kaydet” (register your IMEI). Or you can always directly go to https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/btk-imei-kaydet You will be asked to type in your IMEI numbers (physical or eSIM), passport number, and last entry stamp, … complete all 4 steps to get your 8-digit application number.
Tax Office Route
If the e-devlet site seems too complicated and you would rather pay in person, or you cannot register through e-devlet, then you should go with the second option, which is going to a tax office.
- With your device, passport, Turkish residence permit, and up to 3 IMEI numbers written down on a piece of paper head, to your nearest tax office ( vergi dairesi ) and tell the clerk that you want to register your mobile device imported from abroad.
- You will be sent to the “vezne” (pay desk) to make your payment for the registration. You should tell the clerk you want to pay the registration fee for your phone. (In Turkish: “Telefon kayıt vergisi ödemek istiyorum.”) You should be given a “vergi dairesi alındısı” or “dekont”, which is a receipt of payment for the registration tax.
Choosing a GSM Operator if You Haven’t Already
No matter which way you chose to make your payment, you will have to go to an official branch/store of one of the 3 Turkish mobile network operators, ie. Turkcell, Türk Telekom and Vodafone. Turkcell and Turk Telekom are more expensive compared to the latter but have wider coverage.
After choosing your operator, explain to the customer representative that you want to register your phone. You will need to have your phone, passport, residence permit, and receipt from the tax office or your 8-digit number from e-devlet.
You will be given options to choose a payment and data plan. You will be paying for the new Turkish SIM card and your first data/call package (if going the prepaid route). Most stores will also charge you for completing the registration application of your phone.
Have a Turkish Sim Card?
To register your Turkish SIM card, visit the provider where you bought it and have them register your SIM card with your ID (kimlik). Alternatively, simply call customer service, and they will handle everything for you. If you cannot travel there at this time and have an existing mobile phone, then download the Mobile App and follow those steps.
Remaining Time to Re-Register
- You cannot re-register within two calendar years after the date on the entry document used for the registration application of the device you brought from abroad for personal use. If you have registered before, at least three calendar years must pass from the date on the dormitory entry document used in your last device registration. For example, a person who made the latest device registration with a dormitory entry document dated 01/06/2019 can register a new device as of 01/01/2022.
- If your dormitory entry document used in your last device registration is dated 29/05/2019 and before, the calculation of the registration right is made over 2 calendar years. For example, a person who registers with a dormitory entry document dated 19/05/2019 will have the right to register a new device on 01/01/2021.
- With this service, it is possible to view the information of the devices that you have completed the registration confirmation process and to query the remaining time to re-register.
- It is possible for the IMEI numbers of your devices whose registration confirmation process has been completed with a dormitory entry document dated 30/05/2019 and after to receive service only over the GSM lines registered in your name for three calendar years. In this context, if you think there is an error with your matching line numbers, you can request an update by using the "Match Line" button in the table.
Frequently asked questions
Looking for more info? Here are some things we're commonly asked
What is the cost of registering a mobile phone in Turkey in 2023?
The cost of registering a mobile phone in Turkey in 2023 is approximately 6,091.30 TRY (Turkish Lira).
What is the purpose of registering a phone in Turkey?
The purpose of registering a phone in Turkey is to protect consumers from fraud and to ensure that the phone is not used for illegal activities.
What is the process of registering a mobile phone in Turkey?
In order to register a mobile phone in Turkey, one must first present proof of identity (such as a passport, national identity card, or residence permit). After that, they must pay the necessary taxes. Finally, they must register on e-Devlet to complete the registration process.
What steps are necessary to register a SIM card in Turkey?
The steps necessary to register a SIM card in Turkey are as follows: provide proof of identity, kimlik, obtain a SIM card from the local carrier, and provide a copy of address proof to the cell phone company.
Is it possible to use WhatsApp in Turkey?
Yes, it is possible to use WhatsApp in Turkey.
How many mobile phones can be brought to Turkey?
The Turkish Government allows a maximum of 1 mobile phone per person to be brought into Turkey, depending on the type of visa the individual holds.