Friday, August 04, 2006

Mobile phones need Turkish resident permit

Did you know that your foreign mobile phone requires a Turkish resident permit?
No kidding, really, it does.

OK, it's not really a resident permit per se, but it does need to be declared as residing here with you.

Here's how it works:

You brought your mobile phone(s) from back home, as one does. You buy a local Turkcell chip with a local number, and place it in your mobile phone. It works, no problem. You're thinking: "Great, I can switch chips according to what country I'm in."

The phone and chip work fine... for about 2 months or so.... just enough time to make sure you're not a visiting tourist.
Then one morning, you wake up to find a strange message on your mobile screen. Something like "limited network" or "no connection".


This is what should have happened:

Cellular Telephones entering the country must be accompanied by a certification form showing ownership. Ownership must be documented in the passport of the owner and will be checked on entry and exit.
Source: "tips and advices for foreigners"

But of course! Silly, me! It's a well known fact, that one's mobile phone should be registered in one's passport! Duhhhh!!!

To get it working again, you actually have to show proof of purchase of the mobile phone in your name. But, of course!

Proof of purchase needs to be faxed to customs so that they can certify that you have legally imported your mobile phone and register it. If you don't have proof of purchase, don't even bother.

Once this is done, they will kindly unblock your mobile connection.

God forbid you lose this document! If they ask you for it when you leave the country - you could be fined for selling your old goods here!


You can just buy yourself a new mobile phone in any Turkcell shop, that will automatically be registered in your name....thereby contributing to the local economy.

Do the big mobile phone brands even know their marketing teams have such staunch support form the Turkish government?


CP said...

Sandra, that is just crazy. Probably one of the craziest things I have ever heard actually.

*still shaking my head*


Mike said...

Wow! just imagine how much good the government could do if they used that technology for a useful purpose...

Sandra said...

I'm curious... what useful purpose did you have in mind, Mike?

Ania said...

I travel to Turkey in 1976 from Poland with my parents. We spent two hours on a border. Every single item that could be sold in Turkey had to be written down in passport. There was no car phones, but we had camera, my mom was wearing gold ring and bracelet even small turist iron! Three days later when we were living the country every item was checked against passport list. We would be in big trouble if anything is missing!

Sandra said...

So this thing of theirs isn't even recent ?! (since their are hoping to join the EU, I mean). It's nuts! They do everything they can to make you buy stuff made locally by imposing HUGE import taxes (over 40% in some cases!)- if you import your own car for example or if you chose to buy an imported brand that doesn't have a local factory. "Protectionist" is an understatement here! Glad you didn't get in trouble back then!

duke said...

My husband's mobile phone was blocked since it was not bought in Turkey and we didn't register it.

'really annoying. The whole registration of mobile phones is just bollocks!

but then again, we can't do much but abide by their rules or buy a new mobile...

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