If you’re planning to visit Istanbul or already living there, there’s some important news regarding IMEI registration fees for mobile phones. The Turkish government has recently raised the IMEI registration fees in Turkey by a staggering 228%! Now, the new fee is 20,000 Turkish lira, which is approximately $765.74. But we have a solution, it’s not perfect, but it will help you to learn how to bypass IMEI registration in Turkey.

Why and When Are Phones Locked in Turkey?

For several years, Turkey has employed the CEIR system, monitoring connections to mobile operators. When you use a Turkish SIM card in a locally purchased phone, all your device’s data is seamlessly registered in the CEIR system. However, if you insert a Turkish SIM card into a phone brought from abroad, you have a 120-day grace period to use it within Turkey.

Once this period expires, your mobile device becomes locked. It’s essential to clarify that the lock doesn’t affect the phone or SIM card itself but rather the IMEI slot where you’ve placed the Turkish SIM card. If you try using a foreign SIM card again, you’ll regain connectivity, but you’ll incur high roaming charges for calls and data. To prevent this, it’s crucial to register your mobile device with the CEIR program.

Usage Abroad

Notably, your phone will continue working perfectly in other countries outside of Turkey.

How to Bypass IMEI Registration in Turkey

20 000 TL for IMEI registration is much, but what can we do? When you come to Turkey, you have from 90 days to 180 days before your IMEI got locked. So if you are just a tourist, the problem is solved. But what if you are here for a year or more? We have two solutions how for how to bypass IMEI registration in Turkey, completely legally. The first what you can do, you can take 2 or more phones with you (old phones are finally useful!) and rotate them after one is got blocked.

Another way is just to buy a cheap Turkish smartphone and use it like a modern, sharing WI-FI with your actual phone. It’s the only way to bypass IMEI registration in Turkey.

Unlocking IMEI in Turkey: Original Instruction

  1. Enter *#06# on your phone, and a window with IMEI numbers will open. We are interested in the fields IMEI and IMEI2 (if any).
  2. Copy the number here: website and click Sorgula. Check that the model information matches and is registered in the system. I recommend not closing this tab and copying the IMEI from here to avoid mistakes.

Here is an example with an already registered IMEI, your Durum field will most likely be different (not registered):

IMEI information

  1. Open website. If you see the form below, you need to first log in with your YKN number and password (by clicking on the big button).

After logging in, you should see this form. It warns that:

  1. The number can be registered within a year;
  2. You can register only one number once every three days;
  3. You cannot edit the IMEI after payment, and all errors are your responsibility.
  1. After clicking Devam Et, you can see the form. In section 1, you can leave the selection if you are registering the phone for yourself, or choose another option with cocuk if it is for a child:

In section 2, copy / enter the IMEI, select Fiziksel Sim for regular SIM cards (usually IMEI) and Elektronik Sim for e-sim slots (usually IMEI2) under the code. The types of cards depend on the phone model: you may have 2 physical slots and no e-sim, or only one slot, etc. It looks something like this:

In section 3, provide information about your entry document – your passport. Choose Yabancı Pasaport, enter “Giriş Yapılan Belge No” – the passport number. Yurda Giriş Tarihi – the date of entry into the territory of the Turkish Republic. For example:

Click Devam Et to proceed to the next step.

  1. I lost the screenshot, but there will be a choice of payment method: Ish, Garanti, and through the tax office. By default, nothing works except the tax office (maybe if you link a banking app or fill it out from the app, it will work). Choose the tax office and make the payment.
  2. A form will open on the tax office website:

Typical form: YKN (number on the residence permit), Ad (name) Soyad (surname) – fill in capital letters, just in case.

In the Vergi/Tax Office field, I chose the nearest office on the map. I think the choice of tax office is not essential, but in case of problems, you will probably have to go there, so it’s better to play it safe, the amount is quite large after all.

You can’t check IMEI here, so be careful and double-check the code.

Check and click the green button (FATE is a translator’s quirk).

You will see an unusual payment form:

The tabs at the top are clickable. For banks of the Turkish Republic, use the default tab (Yurt…), for other banks switch to Yabanci. The second tab theoretically allows you to pay by bank transfer, but it didn’t work for me, probably you have to do some magic with the bank and e-devlet.

Note that additionally, the card data entry form is an on-screen keyboard with scrambled numbers, so do not try to enter the code on the computer keyboard. This is unusual, however, often done for security reasons. Moreover, you will be bombarded with messages, but it is simply a confirmation of payment.

You are continuing the transaction from your bank account. The total amount of the payment will be debited from your account on the date of today. Do you want to continue?

After you will be on the payment page in a new window. Also, allow pop-ups in your browser.

Usually, a bar “pop-up blocked” appears at the top of the browser. Click “allow always” and go through 3D secure if needed.

After payment – ode, you will see the form:

Download the document using the red button.

  1. Go back to e-devlet and you should be given an 8-digit code for your application.

Enter “IMEI İşlemleri” in the search bar in e-devlet

Or follow the link

Enter the IMEI, passport and entry date again.

After that, the site should give you the number of your application.

It may take up to 24 hours from the time of payment to receive the application.

But the e-devlet website has another form for linking SIM and IMEI.

Also, you need more information, we have thoroughly examined the question of whether the blocking of phones in Turkey is true or a myth in our article.

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