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Egads--SIM/phone question for Turkey: Recent Experiences Wanted

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I know my way around SIM-card world. I have two Nokia GSM phones (unlocked) with the appropriate operable bands. Have used these successfully in France, Spain, and New Zealand.

I had expected to arrive, go to the prevailing shop (Turkcell?), get SIMs, move on. I know from Spain that there's a process. Fine. I'll deal.

We-ell, my research is showing that it ain't all that easy. Turkey has instituted laws on cell phones that indicate, if I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, that both the SIM AND the phone need to be registered. And people who seem to have dotted i's and crossed t's have had their service locked out in one week. Even Turkey Travel Planner has been more or less indicating "no guarantees."

I will be in Turkey exactly 18 days. I could operate with just a telecarte ( I loved those pre cell phone madness) and available wifi/computer, for most of this, but I'm going to be on a cycling trip smack dab in the middle of those 18 days, and if past experience is a predictor of future happenstance, I shall a) get lost, b) have a flat tire, c) fall off my bike and need medical treatment, and above all d) wish to be "beamed up" sometime by the touring shuttle.

Ergo--Tell me what in the heck recent visitors have done. Recent experiences (2011-2012) only please!!!!!

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