Ankara - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Turkcell or Vodafone tend to be best. The Embassy uses Turk Telekom for legacy reasons, but it is the worst cell phone service of the three. - Nov 2023

Turkcell is the big carrier here and the plans are cheap! I would definitely recommend using the local provider. You will have to register any phone within 3 months from arriving at post, but the Embassy can help you do that. Also, you can only have two numbers per adult passport with Turkcell. - Jan 2023

We use Turk Cell and pay less than $10/month for 15 gb data, calls, and SMS. - Nov 2021

We kept our Google Fi iPhones which work here without issue. Turkey is actually impressively wired for cell service and in all our exploring and long drives to the coast, we’ve never lost service. - Sep 2020

USG officials are provided a phone for official business. You can bring an unlocked phone and choose from many cell phone plans available locally. We also bought a phone and plan while there. Again, English language ability was almost non-existent in Ankara; to include among the young, so you may need to enlist language support from a learned colleague to sort through the paperwork.

You also needed to show your passport, for some reason, even if you already had your local diplomatic ID (kimlik), to establish an account. You got bills electronically, and it is important you retain your original paperwork to establish a auto payment arrangement from your Turkish bank account to pay your monthly bills. There is a branch of Garanti Bank at the embassy. - Oct 2018

Local phone plans are cheap. By law, you must register your phone number within a month, and this costs TL50. - Oct 2018

I use my T-mobile from home. Many people get local SIMs as well, not too tough to do. You can pay the bills through your ATM. - Sep 2018

Bring an unlocked phone and obtain a SIM card locally. The plans are super cheap here. - Jul 2018

The embassy had to register my wife's phone, and we had to deal with the slow Turkish bureaucracy (remember that today's 'Byzantine bureaucracy' is Turkish in origin), but we haven't had any issues. - Oct 2017

It would be very expensive to keep your home country plan as international plans don't typically cover Turkey. Phone service is very cheap here. I pay 50TL a month for 6 gigs of data and I talk to my family back home using WhatsApp which does voice calls and text over data. - Sep 2017

If you need a personal cell phone, bring an unlocked one from the US. They are available here but 25% - 50% more expensive. Service is very cheap. I'm paying 60TL ($20) for 6gb of data and more minutes than I can use. - Jun 2017

I love the international plan for vodafone. As others have mentioned, buy your phone elsewhere and then register it in Turkey. It can take a bit of time, but phones here are more expensive. - Sep 2016

All phones have to be registered with the local authority, and you have 60 days from the entry date stamped on your passport to do so. Bring an unlocked phone or get a basic one here. Phones are expensive in the local market. - Jun 2016

TurkCell is easily available, pre-paid is easy to do. - Aug 2015

Bring one unlocked. You will have to pay to register it for a number here within 30 days of arrival or you won't be able to use it. You can buy a local phone but the cost is high. Vodafone and Turkcell are two vendors that you can buy a sim chip for and pay by the call/text. - Feb 2015

No, I got a cell phone here. - Jun 2014

Vodafone. - Apr 2014

TurkCell pay as you go. - Mar 2014

Turkcell and Avea seem used by many. - Mar 2014

There are 3 major carriers in Turkey. Avea, Turk cell, and Vodaphone. There is not a lot of difference between them. - Jul 2013

Several companies to choose from -- no major problems that I'm aware of with any of them. - Aug 2011

The embassy supplies cell phones to the staff. But families can get cell phone service at the local market at reasonable prices. TurkCell and VodaPhone are the big names here. If you bring a phone into the country you must register it with the Turkish government. - Jul 2010

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