Will my mobile phone work in Turkey?
Yes, most mobile phones will work in Turkey. Coverage is good in large cities like Istanbul and Konya, but may be patchy in remote areas. If you’re visiting for a week or so, it might be better to use the SIM card from your mobile carrier at home. You’ll also need to make sure you have global roaming activated before you depart. Just one note on roaming – fees can be on the pricey side so double-check what fees are involved to avoid an unexpected phone bill upon your return.
If you’re not fussed about using your phone to call and send texts, you could just make the most of free Wi-Fi to catch up with folks back home as it's widely available at hotels, cafes and bars in large towns and cities. Internet access can be spotty or non-existent in more remote areas, so it’s best to treat travel in these regions as an opportunity for a digital detox. With so much to see and do in this beautiful country, we doubt you’ll find it too difficult!
If you’re planning on staying for an extended period or you think you might use a lot of data, you may wish to buy a local Turkish SIM.
Buying a local SIM card in Turkey
Turkish SIM cards need to be purchased and activated on arrival. It’s easy to find a SIM, with phone shops in most airports, towns and cities.
Just note that Turkish SIM cards will be cut off and blocked from all Turkish mobile networks after 120 days if the associated phone isn’t registered within that period. If you'll be staying for a few months, you will need to register your phone at a Turkish government tax office. Make sure you bring your identity card (e.g. passport) and your Turkish resident permit with you as it's needed for the registration.
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