Here’s an excellent site – that will tell you where/ how and  how much to drop for a SIM card in just about any country you are traveling to:

Buying Local SIM Cards Around The World

But let me summarize the portion for Turkey:

  1.  You’ll need to take your phone to a TURKCELL or VODAFONE shop  – an official one big one with the largest signs (Really!) and do so in the most touristic area where there is likely to be English speakers.
  2. Explain what you want -data?  calling service?  text messaging?
  3. Evaluate the pricing – warning – it won’t be as cheap as in Thailand or SE Asia in general – likely $20 for calling and another $20 for Internet for 1-2 weeks.
  4. Pay your bill and ask the person to setup your phone.

WARNING: Turkey works hard to limit the illegal import of cell phones -so you will likely receive a message from the Communications Commission after a week or two, warning you that your phone won’t work after 120 days in the country.  All phones once connected to the Turkish system – are checked against a list of legally sold phones inside the country – yours likely was bought in another country and won’t be on that list… So if your phone stops working – go back to Step 1 above and ask for assistance….

Most European and American travellers simply extend their current service -but those of us used to travelling to Asia -like to get local cards with excellent service and low prices.

Good luck!


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