I read a few articles on the subject of mobile phone registration in Turkey. Most of them suggested this needs to be done within 60 days or your phone gets locked. One Turkish friend advised that it’s now a 120 day limit (2018). I didn’t want to take the chance of losing my “lifeline” so decided to go through the registration process after my first 50 days in Turkey.
Step 1: Find out your phone’s IMEI number (try *#06#).
Step 2: Pay the registration tax 170TL (2018).
I read that this could be done at banks, Post Office (PTT) or the Tax Office (Vergi Dairesi). After queuing for 2 hours at the PTT, was told by the cashier that she couldn’t access this system – so go to the Tax Office.
At the Tax Office: Pointed at my phone, said the word “vergi” and handed them a piece of paper where I’d written down my name, IMEI number and local phone number. Showed my passport and they recorded my Passport number against this IMEI. They did ask for a Turkish ID initially, but then said my UK Passport number was fine. Paid my 170TL and received the receipt. They told me the next step was to get a “password” from my mobile service provider.
Step 3: Register with a local mobile phone provider, 30TL.
Vodafone store 1: Showed them my tax office receipt and asked to register my phone. Response was “yok” and a vague wave of the arm towards the horizon.
Vodafone store 2: Young guy in his 20’s, seemed more interested in showing off to his young female customers. Use the word yabanci at least 4 times in asides, bringing giggles from the girls. Studied my tax office receipt, then told me I needed to take my phone to the governor’s office for registration, scribbling the word “valilile” on a piece of paper, then turned his back. Still have no idea what that was all about. Governor?
Vodafone store 3: First tried to sell me yet another Tourist SIM pack. Then seemed to understand that I wanted to register my IMEI against the Vodafone SIM I was already using. Shrugged and said “internet, yok”, come back tomorrow. Next day, the internet’s working. Show your passport (they will copy), tax receipt, and pay 30TL registration fee. Job done, insallah.