Traveling in Turkey without internet access is quite inconvenient nowadays. A local Turk Telekom SIM card is necessary if you want to stay connected to the internet, use location services, make calls and send messages while exploring this beautiful country.

This article will walk you through all the key things to know about getting a Turk Telekom SIM card in Turkey as a tourist.

Turk Telekom SIM Card and eSIM for Tourists

I. Quick Facts about Turk Telekom

Turk Telekom is the major fixed line telephone operator and second largest mobile network in Turkey. Here are some quick facts about this brand:

  • Established: Originally founded in 1840 as the Directorate of Posts. Privatized in 2005 under the name Turk Telekom
  • Branding name: Türk Telekom
  • Services provided: Fixed line telephony, mobile telephony, broadband internet, TV services
  • Number of subscribers: Around 48 million in total across all services as of 2021
  • Number of stores: Over 2,500 across Turkey
  • Customer service: Available 24/7 online, by phone and in stores
  • Awards: Named “Service Provider of the Year” at Telecoms World Middle East Awards 2021
Turk Telekom SIM Card and eSIM
Turk Telekom

II. Why Turk Telekom When You’re Exploring Turkey – Coverage and Speed

2.1 Turk Telekom Coverage in Turkey

Turk Telekom Coverage map
Turk Telekom Coverage map. Source:

Turk Telekom has excellent coverage across most of Turkey, including major cities, tourist destinations, airports, highways, rural areas and more. As the incumbent and dominant telecom operator in Turkey, Turk Telekom has invested heavily in its network infrastructure over the years.

With 2G coverage reaching 99% of the population and 4G/LTE reaching 90%, you can stay connected with Turk Telekom cell service just about anywhere in Turkey. This makes it a very reliable choice for tourists exploring different parts of the country.

2.2 Turk Telekom Speed

In addition to solid coverage, Turk Telekom also offers good network speeds to support common tourist usage like web browsing, maps, social media, calls, videos and more.

Average 4G download speeds on Turk Telekom are around 20-22 Mbps based on third-party speed tests. Its maximum advertised 4G download speed is 300 Mbps. While not the absolute fastest, these are decent speeds for a pleasant travel experience in Turkey.

So with its great coverage plus reasonably fast speeds, Turk Telekom is a good choice for staying connected during your Turkey travels.

III. Turk Telekom Connectivity Options for Travelers to Turkey

There are three main ways travelers to Turkey can get internet and cell service:

Option Pros Cons
Buy a Turk Telekom SIM card Convenient to get at airport & shops Need an unlocked phone
Affordable data packages SIM card could get lost/damaged
Local Turkish number
Use a pocket wifi rental WiFi signal for multiple devices Extra rental cost
No SIM card required Limited to WiFi coverage area
Roaming on home network Use existing number Very expensive
Familiar rates & plans Limited coverage

Getting a local Turk Telekom SIM card is generally the most convenient and cost-effective option for travelers. Rentals of pocket WiFi are very beneficial for team travels whereas roaming is often quite costly and be avoided.

IV. Best Turk Telekom SIM Card for Tourists & Cost

Turk Telekom provides prepaid and postpaid SIM cards. Prepaid SIM cards are the best option because they don’t require any long-term contract or commitment.

Some top prepaid SIM card choices for tourists:

Package Validity Data Calls SMS Price (USD)
Welcome 25GB 28 days 25GB 750 mins within Turkey 750 SMS within Turkey $19.13
Welcome 50GB 28 days 50GB 1500 mins within Turkey 1000 SMS within Turkey $25.11
Welcome 75GB 15 days 70GB 750 mins within Turkey 750 SMS within Turkey $25.11
Welcome 10GB 7 days 10GB 250 mins within Turkey 250 SMS within Turkey $5.59

Overall, the Welcome 25GB package is the best choice since it offers variety plans which is the most suitable for the almost tourists travel to Turkey.

Overall Turk Telekom tourist SIM Cards provide an excellent value to stay connected during your Turkey travel.

V. Does Turk Telekom Support eSIM in Turkey?

Yes,  while eSIM adoption is still expanding, Turk Telekom does support remote eSIM activation for its plans on compatible iPhone models, providing additional connectivity flexibility for users.

Some benefits of eSIM include:

  • More convenience – no risk of losing a SIM card
  • Use dual SIM functionality on iPhone
  • Quickly switch between data plans

While Turk Telekom does not directly provide eSIM yet, there are some third-party eSIM providers that partner with Turk Telekom’s network like Turkey eSIM.

VI. Where Can You Buy a Turk Telekom SIM and eSIM?

6.1 Where to Buy Turk Telekom SIM Card for Turkey

You can easily buy a Turk Telekom SIM card at the following locations:

  • Airport – Turk Telekom store after exiting customs
Getting Turk Telekom SIM Card at Airport
Getting Turk Telekom SIM Card at Airport
  • Turk Telekom stores – Available in most cities, malls and airports
Buying Turk Telekom SIM Card at Store
Buying Turk Telekom SIM Card at Store
  • Other retailers – Some grocery stores, kiosks and hotels may also sell SIMs

When purchasing, you will need to show your passport as ID. The sales staff can assist you with activating your new Turk Telekom SIM card right away.

6.2 Where to Buy Turk Telekom eSIM in Turkey

Since Turk Telekom does not directly offer eSIM service yet, you’ll need to purchase from a third-party eSIM provider instead. One of popular options include Turkey eSIM, 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.

These providers partner with Turk Telekom to offer prepaid tourist eSIMs you can use during your stay. Prices are similar to physical SIM cards.

VII. How to Activate Turk Telekom SIM/eSIM in Turkey

7.1 How to Use Turk Telekom SIM Card in Turkey

You only need to follow these simple steps and everything will be ready:

  1. Insert the SIM card: Locate the SIM card slot on your device
  2. Power on your device: Turn on your device and wait for it to recognize the SIM card
  3. Activate the SIM card: In most cases, the Turk Telekom SIM card will be pre-activated
  4. Set up APN
  5. Check your services.

With these steps completed, your Turk Telekom SIM will be ready to use for calls, texts and internet in Turkey!

7.2 How to Activate Turk Telekom eSIM

Getting started with a Turk Telekom eSIM for Turkey is quite easy as follows:

  1. Install the eSIM: Download from provider app or enter voucher code
  2. Activate the eSIM: Follow provider instructions to activate the plan
  3. Set up the eSIM: Configure eSIM profile on your phone
  4. Start using the eSIM: Once activated and set up, you can start using its services

Be sure to follow your specific provider’s setup guide for the version of phone you have:

And that’s it! With a few quick steps, your Turk Telekom eSIM will be ready for internet access, calls and texts in Turkey.

VIII. Turkey Turk Telekom Call & SMS Rates

Turk Telekom prepaid SIM cards come with some initial domestic calling and messaging credit included. You can then purchase top-up credit as needed. Here are the current Turk Telekom prepaid rates:

Call/SMS Type Rate (TRY) Rate (USD)
Calls to Turk Telekom numbers ₺0.20/min $0.012/min
Calls to other operators ₺0.30/min $0.018/min
Calls to landlines ₺0.18/min $0.011/min
SMS to any number ₺0.15/SMS $0.009/SMS

So with a Turk Telekom SIM, you can make affordable calls and send texts while visiting Turkey. Top-up as required to maintain your credit balance.

IX. Useful USSD Codes for Turk Telekom SIM/eSIM

USSD codes are special number combinations you can dial to check your Turk Telekom SIM card balance and other info. Simply dial the codes below and press call:

  • *123# – Check main account balance
  • *124# – Check bonus account balance
  • *125# – Check data balance
  • *126# – Check mins/SMS balance
  • *130# – Check Turk Telekom store locations

Enter these USSD codes on your phone’s dial pad when using a Turk Telekom SIM to quickly access useful account info and settings.

X. How to Top-up Turk Telekom SIM/eSIM

When your Turk Telekom prepaid credit starts running low, you can easily top-up both physical SIMs and eSIMs. Here are some ways to top-up your Turk Telekom SIM:

  • Online using credit card via Turk Telekom app or website
  • Vouchers purchased from stores, kiosks and sales points
  • Cash payments at Turk Telekom stores

Top-ups come in various amounts from 10 TL to 500 TL. Enter the voucher pin or payment confirmation to add credit instantly to your Turk Telekom SIM.

XI. FAQs about Turk Telekom in Turkey

Do I need to show ID to buy a Turk Telekom SIM?

Yes, you will need to show your valid passport when purchasing a Turk Telekom SIM as a foreign tourist.

Does Turk Telekom have monthly plans?

Yes, Turk Telekom offers longer-term monthly plans. But prepaid SIMs are recommended for short tourist trips

Can I use Turk Telekom SIM in other countries?

Turk Telekom SIMs will switch to expensive roaming rates outside Turkey. So they are intended for domestic use only.

How can I check my data usage?

Dial *125# to check your remaining data balance on a Turk Telekom SIM card.

How do I contact Turk Telekom support?

You can call Turk Telekom customer service at 444 1 444 or visit a Turk Telekom store for assistance. English support is available.

XII. Final Words

In summary, getting a Turk Telekom SIM card is the best way for tourists to stay connected with mobile data, calls and messages while visiting Turkey. Consider Turkey eSIM for smooth connectivity during your trip.