Choosing the right mobile operator when visiting Turkey can be difficult with so many options to pick from. The country has 3 major operators – Turkcell, Vodafone, and Türk Telekom, as well as several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Aycell and TurkNet. Read on to find out which Turkey mobile operator is best suited for your needs.

Best Mobile Operators in Turkey

I. List of Mobile Operators in Turkey

Let’s first look at the main mobile operators in Turkey, as well as some of the popular MVNOs:

1. Main Mobile Operators in Turkey

  • Turkcell – The largest mobile operator in Turkey with 34% market share. It offers 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE coverage across the country.
Tukcell - Top Mobile Operators in Turkey
  • Vodafone – The second largest provider with 27% market share. Vodafone has wide 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
Vodafone - Among top Mobile Operators in Turkey
  • Türk Telekom – The third biggest operator with 20% market share. It provides 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE services nationally.
Turk Telekom - On top Mobile Operators in Turkey
Turk Telekom

2. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in Turkey

Some popular MVNO options in Turkey include:

  • Aycell – Uses Turkcell’s network. Offers prepaid plans only.
  • TurkNet – Rides on Turkcell’s infrastructure. Postpaid and prepaid plans.
  • FinCell – Uses Vodafone network. Prepaid options only.
  • Nkolay – On Turkcell network. Prepaid plans only.
  • Bimcell – Uses Turkcell coverage. Prepaid plans.

II. How to Choose the Best Mobile Operator in Turkey

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a mobile operator in Turkey:

  • Coverage – Check network coverage maps to see which providers have the best coverage in your destination cities. Turkcell generally has the widest 3G and 4G reach.
  • Speed – Turkcell and Vodafone tend to offer faster mobile internet speeds compared to other networks.
  • Features/Benefits – Consider extra perks like roaming deals, free streaming, discounts, etc.
  • Customer service – Pick a provider with good English support options.
  • Phone compatibility – Ensure your phone works with Turkish networks (GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz).
  • Length of stay – Prepaid SIMs are better for shorter trips. Longer visits may benefit from postpaid plans.

Analyzing these key aspects will help you determine the right Turkish mobile operator based on your specific requirements.

Mobile Operators in Turkey - Experience Awards
Mobile Operators Experience Awards. Source: Opensignal

III. Best Mobile Operators in Turkey – Detailed Comparison

Let’s now look at a detailed overview of the top mobile operators in Turkey to see how they compare on key metrics:

Operator Coverage & Speeds English Support Prices & Plans Other Factors
Turkcell Extensive 4G coverage, especially in cities and along major highways. Average speeds of 25-40Mbps. Basic English support available through call centers and some stores. Competitively priced plans for data and calls starting from $10-15. Large data only plans available. Largest network with most subscribers. Often first to roll out new technologies.
Vodafone Wide 4G coverage in cities and major towns. Average speeds of 20-30Mbps. English speaking staff available in key stores and priority lanes in call centers. Mid-range pricing with plans from $15-25 offering balanced data and call bundles. International roaming services. Partnerships for international caller/traveler services.
Turk Telekom Strong 4G network in major cities but limited rural coverage. Higher average speeds of 30-50Mbps. English online support and limited staff support. Some materials translated. Higher priced premium plans with faster speeds and priority services. eSIM support. Fiber Internet provider. Turk Telekom stores provide bundle subscriptions.

In summary, their competition and scale have benefited Turkish consumers with affordable plans, new technologies, and improved quality of service over the years.

IV. Where to Buy SIM Cards from Turkey Mobile Operators?

You can easily purchase SIM cards from Turkish mobile operators at the following locations:

  • Airports – All major airports have dedicated booths/stores for Turkcell, Vodafone, Turk Telekom, and some MVNOs.
  • Shops – Provider stores and retail partners are available in all cities and most towns. Look for signs.
  • Kiosks – Local street kiosks and convenience stores often sell SIM cards.
  • Online – Major operator websites allow online purchase and delivery globally.

When buying your Turkish SIM:

  • Have your passport ready for identification and registration
  • Opt for prepaid plans to avoid contracts
  • Choose data-focused packages for smartphone access
  • Verify SIMs are activated before leaving the store

Purchasing locally is quick and easy. But order online in advance for convenience upon arrival.

V. Do Mobile Operators in Turkey Offer eSIM?

eSIM allows using mobile plans without a physical SIM card. eSIM support in Turkey is currently limited but growing:

  • Turkcell – Offers eSIM to postpaid customers only. Activated in-store. Limited phone compatibility.
  • Vodafone – Does not currently provide eSIM, but may add support in future.
  • Türk Telekom – Adopter of eSIM and continues to actively offer eSIM plans and services
  • MVNOs – Do not provide eSIM given reliance on host networks.

With great value bundles starting from as low as $5, Turkey eSIM is the worry-free way to stay connected while exploring all that Turkey has to offer. Let’s check our best plans:


eSIM tips: Check eSIM-compatible devices list before purchasing your own


Which Turkish mobile operator has the best coverage?

Turkcell has the most extensive coverage across 2G, 3G, and 4G networks in Turkey currently. Vodafone is also very good.

Do I need to show ID to buy a SIM card?

Yes, you need to show your passport when purchasing a prepaid or postpaid SIM in Turkey for registration.

Can I use VoIP services like WhatsApp calls?

Yes, VoIP calls and messaging apps work normally on Turkish mobile networks. No restrictions.

Is mobile internet censored in Turkey?

Some websites and social media networks may be blocked or censored. Use a reputable VPN if you require unrestricted access.

Are there penalties for unused prepaid credits?

Most operators give you 120 days of SIM card validity. After that period, you will lose any unused prepaid credit.

VII. Conclusion

Choosing the right mobile operators in Turkey requires comparing coverage, speeds, prices, and benefits to match your travel requirements. Turkey eSIM offers the best overall performance for most tourists with excellent connectivity.