It’s said that the biggest fear one has it that of public peaking. For me, my biggest fear is not having cellular service, and not being able to connect while on the go.

So, how does one connect while in Turkey

Some quick tips to staying connected while on the go:
Dial 112 for an ambulance in anywhere, from any telephone, without a charge. In case of a fire, dial 110; for police, call 155. However, in rural areas there is not a police coverage, so dial 156 for gendarme, a military unit for rural security. All these numbers are free of charge and can be called from a telephone booth without inserting a calling card, or any phone including cell phones.

turkish telephones photo

Photo by @CyprusPictures

Telephone While not as common as they used to be, possibly because of the widespread use of mobile phones which are virtually used by the whole population in the country, public pay phones can still be found at the sides of central squares and major streets in towns and cities and around post offices (PTT), especially around their outer walls. With the phase-out of old magnetic cards, public phones now operate with chip telekom cards which are available in 30, 60 or 120 units and can be obtained at post offices, newspaper and tobacco kiosks. (However emergency numbers can be called without card or anything from these phones.)

You can also use your cr card on these phones, though it may not work in the off chance. All phones in the booths have Turkish and English instructions and menus, many also have German and French in addition. There are also telephones available in some kiosks and shops where you pay cash after your call. To spot these, look for kontürlü telefon signs. These telephones are more expensive than the ones at the booths, though. It is estimated that approximately 98% of the population of Turkey lives within the coverage areas of Turkey’s three cell phone line providers. Line providers from most countries have roaming agreements with one or more of these companies.

Pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards can be purchased for approximately 20-50 TL. These can be purchased at the airport on arrival or from the many outlets in Istanbul and other large cities. Providers include Vodaphone. Here is a quick list of telephone codes for some major cities and towns of touristic importance: 212—Istanbul-European Side 216—Istanbul-Asian Side, and Princes’ Islands 224—Bursa, and Uluda? 232—Izmir, and Çe?me 242—Antalya, Alanya, Kemer, and Ka? 252—Mu?la, Bodrum, Marmaris, and Fethiye 256—Ayd?n, and Ku?adas? 258—Denizli, and Pamukkale 286—Çanakkale, and Gallipoli 312—Ankara 332—Konya 384—Nev?ehir, and most of Cappadocia (though a few well-known Cappadocian towns which are parts of Aksaray Province have 382 as their area code) Prior to the telephone code, dial 0 for intercity calls. Numbers starting with 0800 are pay-free, whereas the ones starting with 0900 are high-fee services. 7-digit numbers starting with 444 (mainly used by companies) are charged as local calls wherever they are dialed in Turkey. Dial 00 prior to country code for international calls from Turkey.

When calling into Turkey, the international country code that should prefix city code and phone number is 90. Post Post offices are recognizable by their yellow-black PTT signs. Letters and cards should be taken to a post office since the postboxes on the streets are rare (and there is no guarantee that they are emptied at all, even if you spot one). Nevertheless, Turkish Post (PTT) prints some beautiful stamps. Postage for cards and letters costs 0.80 TL for domestic shipments, and 1.10 TL (about €0.55) for international shipments to most countries, although may be a little more (up to 1.35 TL) for most distant countries. Please check the PTT webpage for the most current rates . Main post offices in cities are open between 8:30AM and 8:30PM, whereas post offices in towns and smaller post offices in cities are usually open between 8:30AM and 5:30PM.

Poste restante/general delivery letters should be sent to an address in the format of: official full name of the addressee (because the receiver will be asked for an ID card, passport or anything that can proof he/she is the receiver) + POSTRESTANT + name of the quarter/hood/district if in a city where there are more than one post office or name of the town where the post office is + postal code (if known, not obligatory, generally available at the entrance or on the interior walls of the post office itself) + the name of the province in which the quarter/town of the post office is located. The receiver should pay 0.50 TL upon taking his/her mail.

Other tips on staying connected while in Turkey? Please add your comments and tips.