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Buying a SIM card for 10 day holiday in Turkey

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So mainly for the sake of being able to use Maps, and to take photos and share the odd one or two on Facebook, I would like to be able to take my iPhone for our 10 day trip to Istanbul in July.

Has anyone tried buying a SIM from a carrier like Turkcel whilst in Germany?

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Nope, and last I heard Foreign Cell Phones (IMEIs) must be registered with the Govt.

and activated/allowed on the Turk. cell networks before they can connect/use service.

You might want to look into that further.

 

Just stick to Wifi, free access is everywhere. For maps, just use google maps

to do offline caching of large chunks of where you are going (If the IOS version supports it)

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Might want to look into Türkcell Germany. It's registered as a German company, and offers various packages aimed at residents of Germany who spend time in both countries. See this prepaid one, for example.

 

In Turkey, you can also get the Turkcell Tourist Welcome Pack, which includes a prepaid SIM card (a regular Turkish one).

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You can, from what I heard, get a sim card from anywhere... if its not registered withing 14 days, it will get blocked..

 

I suggest you go into any of the Phone shops in the city center and ask for a cheap used phone with sim...

 

Dont forget your iPhone will need a Micro-sim... unless its an older 3 model..

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Again, stop stalking me you fucking twat, you're on my Ignore list so I can't see what you're writing.

 

I am assuming this is aimed at me...

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You may choose any of the three operators. They all have prepaid offerings with monthly and/or weekly data packages (usually a standard tariff is much better than the tariffs offered as tourist tariffs, I am sure the clerk will be more than helpful to help you choose one). All three have shops at the international arrival hall of Istanbul Atatturk Airport.

 

For Turkcell: http://www.turkcell.com.tr/site/en/turkcellhakkinda/Sayfalar/genel.aspx

For Vodafone Turkey: http://roamingturkey.com/

For Avea: http://www.avea.com.tr/web/en?ldgdeixlwsbjskln

 

Don't worry about the phone registration. Once you go to the operator's retailer, register your phone along with your sim card purchase. They will ask for a pass copy, sign a prepaid contract along with the registration application and the imei number of your phone. Once a phone is registered with a foreigner's local sim card, it can only be used with that spesific turkish sim card or with any foreign sim card (within turkey).

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There are several discussions ongoing in Turkey about using prepaid SIM cards on the mobile phones purchased outside of Turkey. Some may argue that the phones will be blocked in 2 months, whereas the text I got from the governmental offices was telling that it will be blocked in case I do not pay the tax of 115 Turkish Liras (apprx. 40 Eur).

 

Beside Turkcell and Vodafone, what I can suggest would be considering the pocket wifi dongle rental option. You can find a list of whole companies operating in Turkey at Wikia, and also at Alldaywifi.com.

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I'm reading mixed reviews - now that there has been some opening between Turkey/EU, has there been a change in using German sim cards in Turkey?

 

Specifically, my question is: if I use my German Ortel sim on my normal phone when I travel to Turkey for a few days, 1) will I be able to use the network in Turkey without any problems, and 2) If so, does anyone know where I can find what roaming charges would be?

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Still very much a grey area.. But..

 

 

now that there has been some opening between Turkey/EU, has there been a change in using German sim cards in Turkey?

No. It may or may not not work, or be blocked shortly after you try to use it in Turkey.

 

 

1) will I be able to use the network in Turkey without any problems, and 2) If so, does anyone know where I can find what roaming charges would be?

1) see Above 2) Check your providers website.

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Go to a shop there on the streets, the prices drop every year. Most salespeople in turkey speak english or german, so should be no problem to ask for prices and if they got something that fits your special needs.

 

After a certain amount of time - I think over 3 weeks - you´ll recieve a message that your phone will be taken out of service. It won´t be made unuseable, it is just illegal to use other countries phones/cards there for ever. If you leave turkey and come again, this period starts new.

 

Altough you can use it with Wifi in every cafe for FB/Skype/Whatsapp without limitations.

 

Calling/SMS/Internet with a german card is possible but expensive. As Turkey is not part of the EU, you can not use the cheap 7-day EU packages that some german providers offer.

 

Edit: You can also buy one of these Mobile WLAN Hotspots. Am not sure if this one fits, basically it should http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00C5V8XA6/

 

I´m sure you can get something similar from a turkish shop too. Then you leave your smartphone like it is and connect it with this WLAN device and you got internet on the road.

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The Mobile WLAN device also requires a SIM card and would also have the same problems a Phone SIM would.

So it doesn't make sense to tell the OP to get it, unless they plan to connect multiple devices under 1 internet connection.

But even in that case, most if not all Android devices also provide this service, thus making the Mifi Router again useless

and not needed.

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Specifically, my question is: if I use my German Ortel sim on my normal phone when I travel to Turkey for a few days, 1) will I be able to use the network in Turkey without any problems

 

You won't have any problems other than the high roaming costs.

 

 

If so, does anyone know where I can find what roaming charges would be?

 

Here

 

 

now that there has been some opening between Turkey/EU, has there been a change in using German sim cards in Turkey?

 

No. Turkey is still not in the EU, so mobile phone operators are under no obligation to apply the EU caps when roaming in Turkey. German SIM cards can be used in Turkey, of course, but the roaming rates will be much higher than the EU ones.

 

In many non-EU countries such as the US, it's really easy to bypass the high roaming fees charged by German operators by buying a local SIM card. In Turkey this is much trickier because of "security concerns". As I wrote in my previous post, the easiest way to get reasonably cheap service in Turkey without too much hassle is to get this. It's a pre-paid SIM card which you can order for free while you're in Germany. €14.99 for 200 MB of data in Turkey is not a bad price. If you're interested in voice calls (rather than data), you can get this which costs €9.99 and gives you 75 minutes of talk time while you're in Turkey. You can use those to call either Turkey or Germany.

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The Mobile WLAN device also requires a SIM card and would also have the same problems a Phone SIM would.

should be no problem if one stay only for a couple of weeks. The advantage of the combo is, you do not have to take out your simcard from your smartphone. If somebody calls you, you don´t pick up but you can text back. I don´t know about other providers, I´m with Aldi and their prices are acceptable. SMS D->TR or TR->D 13 cents. And no charge for incoming SMSs.

 

One can buy such a device in turkey and get a cheap internet-only Simcard. Offers on the street last year were 1 GB for 29 Lira / 1 Month prepaid. That´s 10 Euro.

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One can buy such a device in turkey and get a cheap internet-only Simcard. Offers on the street last year were 1 GB for 29 Lira / 1 Month prepaid. That´s 10 Euro.

But you forgot to add in the 150-200 Eur Price of the MiFi Router.. Does the deal still seam good now?

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As a father of a family spending the summer holidays each year in Turkey, I can say I have tried almost every option that has been mentioned above. Having proper internet for the kids is crucial for me and my wife in order to have a peaceful vacation. Buying a sim card was by far not a good option as offers from mobile operators are mostly with limited data and not enough to stream cartoons or play online games.. Besides you have to register the sim card to be able to use on your next visit, or need to buy a new sim card each year. For the past two years we have been renting a wifi dongle from Alldaywifi  and had a good experience. They deliver to the security of our rental villa in Antalya before we arrive and we simply leave the package with the guard before we leave. The speed was good and connection was reliable, I can say it is worth the price.

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