If you plan on staying in Turkey for an extended period of time, you may find that your phone’s SIM slots become blocked. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on what to do with phone locking in Turkey as well as how to pay the necessary tax to unlock your phone in Turkey in 2023.

Types of Blocking

There are two types of phone blocking in Turkey:

  1. Blocking of a Tourist SIM Card
    • Occurs 3 months after entering the country, regardless of when you purchased the SIM card.
    • You will be given 3 months to unblock it by providing your residence permit number to the tour operator.
  2. Blocking by IMEI
    • Starts when you insert a Turkish SIM card into your phone.
    • The countdown will start for 4 months, and you will receive a warning about imminent blocking approximately a month before the end of this period.


What can you do to avoid phone locking in Turkey?

  • Free 1-2 month extension via e-devlet (you must have a residence permit)
  • Buy a Turkish phone (or router) and distribute internet from it
  • Pay 6090 lira tax on the phone you bought
  • Insert a SIM card in the second slot if you have a dual-sim phone.

If you choose to pay the tax, remember:

  • The SIM card must be on you
  • In Turkey, the phone will only work with your Turkish SIM card (outside Turkey with any SIM card)
  • You have to pay the tax on the phone you bring into Turkey within 365 days from your entry
  • Pay the tax once every 3 years

Additional Information

  • Some have their locks reset starting with the new calendar year. Some do not.
  • Some have their locks reset after a month of leaving Turkey. Some do not.
  • Some have no IMEI blocking at all
  • Some have both IMEIs blocked at once (if the phone is dual SIM)
  • Some fail to renew for free via e-devlet, and some do it 3-5 times.

If you’re traveling to Turkey and need to purchase a SIM card, we have an article guide that can help you through the process.

SIM Card Blocking

If you buy a local Turkish SIM card with your passport, it will work for 90 days. To extend its validity, you need to provide your Turkish residency permit (İkamet). If you do not provide the necessary documents, your SIM card will be restricted after 90 days from activation and fully blocked and removed from the registry after 181 days.

The message you may receive about this: “Turist musterilerimiz icin abonelik yurda giris tarihi +181 gun ile sinirlidir. Aboneliginizin devami icin yabanci kimlik numaranizi 5555e gonderebilirsiniz. Iletmemeniz durumunda yurda giris tarihi +90.gunde hattiniz kisitlanacak, +181.gunde kapatilacaktir B001

IMEI Phone locking in Turkey

If you use your phone purchased in another country in Turkey, it may be blocked within 120 days. This is due to the policy of blocking IMEI numbers of phones not registered in the country. As a result, the SIM card slot will be blocked, and neither the Turkish SIM card nor any other will work.

The message you may receive about this: “…IMEI Numarali cihaz kayit disidir ve 120 gunluk kullanim hakki kalmistir. Lutfen satin aldiginiz yere basvurunuz. B001

Tourists who have lived in Turkey for a long time note that if they do not use a Turkish SIM card, their phones are not blocked. However, if you plan to use your phone in Turkey, it is recommended to purchase a local SIM card and register it in your name.

How long will your phone be unlocked after you pay the tax?

After unlocking a phone, only the original owner can use it for three years. However, it is not specified on the website what will happen after the three years. According to user reviews, after three years from the moment of unlocking a phone, any person in Turkey can use it.

We have a detailed manual on how to unblock IMEI in Turkey. The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to unblock your IMEI and get your phone working again. It includes all the necessary information and tips to make the process as smooth as possible:

Detailed manual on how to unlock IMEI in Turkey

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