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Cell phone use in Turkey - How do I get my Irish cell phone set up for it?

Cell phone use in Turkey - How do I get my Irish cell phone set up for it?

Feb 20th, 2005, 07:48 PM
  #1  
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Cell phone use in Turkey - How do I get my Irish cell phone set up for it?

We purchased a GSM cell phone in Ireland last spring, and are hoping to use it in Turkey this fall. We just sent it out to someplace in WA to get it unlocked. After it is unlocked, I need to make sure I understand how to set it up for use in Turkey. Ok, so first I need to get a SIM chip for Turkey, correct? Does anyone have an idea where to get one and how much it might cost? Once the SIM chip is installed,I can just use a Sams Club phone card and it will use as many units per minute as needed to make the call back to the US, right???
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 08:58 AM
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topping for the weekday crowd
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 02:44 PM
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I'm open to correction on this one, haven't been to Turkey, but I would have thought that the only way to get a SIM card locally would be to buy one that includes a certain amount of prepaid call credit as well as a local phone number. In that case you may as well use up the credit you've paid for, even though the rates may well be more expensive that those offered by your phone card. Once you've used up your credit, though, I imagine that you wouldn't be able to use your cellphone to call the phone card access number.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 04:04 PM
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Your Irish O2 (Speak Easy) or Vodafone (Ready to Go) sim can be used in Turkey, roaming on Turkcell network. Charges are high, 0.99 euro/min to make or receive a call with O2 and whopping 1.79 euro/min with Vodafone.
Local pay-as-you-go sim would be a lot cheaper. Turkcell sim card is called Hazir Kart and has 100 call credits for around 15 euro. Local call costs about 5 units (0.33 euro/min), and US will be around 1.40 euro/min. There are two other operators, Telsim and Avea. They are slightly cheaper but have less coverage.
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Feb 21st, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Thanks Neil and Alec!

That makes sense that I would need to buy the SIM with some credits on it in order to make it work. Hopefully when it is unlocked (yes, it was a Vodaphone Ready To Go, but I did not leave any credits on it when we left Ireland) it will be able to accept a pay as you go Turkish SIM. Are Hazir Karts found all over?

Do you see any reason that I would not be able to use a calling card on the phone for calling the US? I think I would want to keep the Turkish SIM credits on the phone for emergency use. We are going to have a car for a week to 10 days and want to be able to call for help if needed. Not too sure who I would call tho.....LOL.

It sounds like it should work like I had hoped, right? I just wasn't sure if things were totally different in Turkey.

I also want to loan the phone to my friend for her trip to Ital in May. I hope it will work the same way, buy an Italian SIM and use a phone card with it
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 04:48 AM
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Turkcell use 900MHz and your now unlocked Voda handset should take the sim card with no problem. Sim card is widely sold, but I suggest buying in a specilaist cellphone shop (they are everywhere) who can help in setting the phone up for you (literature may be entirely in Turkish). I don't know if Turkcell allow connection through a calling card number, and if any extra charge is imposed. Most telecom companies try to ban the use of calling card as it clearly doesn't make any money for them, though in some countries (Ireland comes to mind), regulators insist free access to toll-free numbers. Usually cellphone shops also sell calling cards and you can ask. You can usually use a calling card in public phones, though there may be a surcharge (taken from the prepaid credit on the card).
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Feb 22nd, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Thanks Alec- you have been so helpful and I really appreciate your time!
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Feb 26th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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I may be missing something, but why would you need to use a Sam's card with your cell? You will be paying for "air time" minutes whenever you make any call on the cell. Does the Sam's card offer a toll free nunber that you dial in Turkey? You won't be able to call a US 800# from there.
Seamus is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Seamus..

The idea is that if you use your mobile to access the Sam card you would pay Turkish domestic rates for that call as opposed to the much higher rate for an international call.

The other way of dealing with making calls and avoiding high mobile rates on international calls is to use a call back service. The best one seems to be at www.callbackworld.com. Here's how it works.

You set up an account with them and they bill you with your credit card so no need to worry about running out of credit. They assign you a trigger number in the US and you tell them what number you wish to be called back at. Callbackworld.com doesn't charge a monthly fee; don't use it and you don't pay, super eh...

Anyway you call the US international number with your mobile. After 2 rings, you hang up. No charge as no call has been completed.

Within seconds the computer calls you back on your mobile. I am pretty sure that Turkey follows the international GSM norm of not charging to receive calls on its GSM network so since you will be receiving a call you don't get charged on the Turkish end. The computer asks you what number you wish to call and you enter it and after a sweet thank you you will hear the ringing sound and be connected. While it may sound complicated, it works nicely. You would have to check with them for rates.

There is also a brand new international mobile sim called Riiing. You will have to check their web site for coverage in Turkey and whether they provide free reception of calls in Turkey as they do in the rest of Western Europe...if they do, you will be receiving calls on a Liechtenstein number (country code 423). They charge 0,39€ per minute for calls in Western Europe, not sure about what happens in Turkey and the set up fee is 0,25€ for each call but if they are allowing international roaming and the free reception of calls you can use callbackworld.com referred to above and put in your Liechtenstein number as the call back number and then you would pay $0.14 US a minute.

The whole thing, though, is contingent on how Riiing considers Turkey and I have had no experience but if you want to go in this direction you could check at www.riiing.com. You will have to go through e bay to buy the sim or via www.riiing.ch but that site is only in Italian but they ship the cards for free. More info about some of this is available on a forum called www.prepaidgsm.net and you'll find all sorts of offers there for international cards and lots of information and perhaps you might wish to post and ask questions about Turkey...

Sorry I don't have the answers for Turkey specifically but you can scout out some of the answers with the resources I have provided.

Good luck
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Okay I did the research on Riiing as it applies to Turkey and good news...Turkey is considered in Riiing's zone 1 which means there is no charge for receiving calls and their zone 1 charges for making calls €0,39/minute applies with a €0,25 set up fee...but using callbackworld.com would be $.14 US/min to make calls.

Don't think you can beat that deal!
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Feb 27th, 2005, 07:29 PM
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Wow. THANK YOU! I will need to read this line by line a few times, but I think I understand the basic idea. I very much appreciate all your time and effort!
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