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Sunday, 22 June 2014 00:00

Residing in Turkey & bringing your items to Turkey

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Can you bring your household or office items to Turkey?

Household items can be brought to Turkey through a system called "temporary import" provided that the validity of the residence permit is not less than one year. In this case, you pay a deposit and take it back when you return to your own country or submit a bank guarantee letter which should be obtained either from a Turkish bank or a well-known foreign bank ensuring that all customs duties will be paid if the goods are not taken out of Turkey at the end of the period of residency during the first five years.

You do not need to extend the guarantee letter for the period starting from the completion of the first five years following the importation of goods. For further information please visit the web page of Undersecreteriat of Customs.

A banderole fee is collected only once by Customs administrations on behalf of TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) for colour television, black-white television, radio, video, television satellite receivers, combined devices to be brought from abroad for non-commercial importation purposes and all kinds of devices for receiving broadcasting signals. The amount of banderole fees are set by Council of Ministers Decree annually.

Lots of reliable Turkish carriage/freight/shipping companies are available to move your items to Turkey from any point in the world. 

On the other hand, you don't need to bring your household items to Turkey. You can find thousands of good choices ranging from local authentic ones to international style furniture and domestic appliances, produced at the highest standards and at very reasonable prices in Turkey.

Can you bring your pets to Turkey?

You can bring your pets to Turkey as long as you carry the live animals’ health/vaccination certificates with you. Veterinary health certificate must be issued not more than 10 days before departure. Rabies vaccination must be given the animal not more than 6 months ago and not less than 15 days before departure. None of the documents need to be legalised by either Foreign and Commonwealth Office Legalisation Department or Turkish Consulate General, provided that you accompany your pets.

However, there is a legal limitation on the number of pets to be brought to Turkey. A person can bring 1 cat or 1 dog or 1 bird or 10 aquarium fish at most.

Please have a look at Turkish Airlines web site (www.thy.com.tr) for other relevant information.

Moreover, for further information, you can contact the Office of the Financial Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in London through

Address: Turkish Embassy,
Office of the Financial Counsellor
43 Belgrave Square,
London SW1X 8PA, UK
Tel: 020 7245 6318
Fax: 020 7235 1020

Can you bring your car to Turkey?

If you visit Turkey on a tourist visa you can bring your car into Turkey and keep it up to six months in a period of 12 months. if you were to leave Turkey for some reason during your stay in Turkey you have to either take your car out of the Turkish Customs Territory or leave it at the nearest customs depot. If you choose the latter there is customs depot fee applicable.

In accordance with the Turkish Customs Regulations you cannot bring your car into Turkey with a resident permit unless you have a work permitand a job in Turkey or you are a retired person. If you are in employment, you need to submit a letter from your employer ensuring that all customs duties will be paid if the car is not taken out of Turkey once your employment in Turkey terminates. You have to apply for a special plate for foreigners who work in Turkey.

If you are a retired person and have a resident permit, you are allowed to bring your car into Turkey and keep it as long as you live in Turkey. First, you should register your car to the Turkish Touring and Automobile Club and obtain a temporary entry carnet for foreigners from them. You should submit the following documents to the Turkish Touring and Automobile Club.

1) Your passport, 
2) Your resident permit, 
3) Your official retirement documents (should be translated into Turkish) 
4) Your car’s registration documents 
5) Giving a guarantee, either a form of a letter from your bank or cash ensuring that all customs duties will be paid if the car is not taken out of Turkey once you leave Turkey.

Once you have obtained your carnet you should go to the nearest customs office where your residency is and register with them.

For further information, you can contact either Undersecretariat of Customs in Turkey or the Office of the Financial Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in London through

Undersecretariat of Customs
Address: Gümrük Müstesarligi
Hükümet Meydani 06100 Ulus Ankara/TURKEY
Tel: +90-312-311 12 52 (pbx),
Fax: +90-312-310 22 14
Web: www.gumruk.gov.tr
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office of the Financial Counsellor
Address: Turkish Embassy
43 Belgrave Square,
London SW1X 8PA, UK
Tel: 020 7245 6318
Fax: 020 7235 1020

On the other hand, you can buy a car in Turkey and have it registered in your own name provided that you have a resident permit. In this case, according to the regulations, you are supposed to have your car insured. In addition, you are also supposed to hold an appropriate driving license. You can gather a driving license that will allow you to drive in Turkey if you register to an authorised Driving Course and pass all examinations. In order to replace your UK driving licence with Turkish driving licence, you first need

-to have your UK driving licence translated into Turkish,
-to have the translated document notarised in Turkey or have it legalised at the Consulate General in London 
-to gather an application form/file from the local Association of Drivers ("Soforler Odasi" in Turkish) and fill in it.
-to have resident permit, 
-blood type certificate, 
-3 passport size photo,
-to have a full medical examination report from a state or private hospital,

Next, you are required to present the relevant documents to officers at the local Transport Registrar (Trafik Tescil Mudurlugu) which is at local police headquarters.

For the full list of required documents for driving licence and vehicle registration please visit the Traffic Research Center's website at www.trafik.gov.tr/english/

Can you bring and use your mobile in Turkey?

As you know, roaming is the ability for a mobile phone user to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive SMS or access other services when travelling abroad. Turkish mobile operators, AveaTurkcell and Vodafone, provide roaming services to visitors coming from the UK, in partnership with British operators. Therefore, you can use your mobile phones with British sim card in Turkey. Most of mobile services such as picture messaging, text messaging, fax/data and GPRS are available with Turkish networks.

Please keep in mind that, if you pay monthly at least 24 hours before you leave, you should call your mobile operator in the UK, and they will set up your phone to be used abroad.

If you are temporarily staying in Turkey as a tourist, visitor, diplomat etc., you can buy a sim card from a Turkish mobile operator on the basis of contract, and then your British handset’s IMEI number is matched with MSISDN (mobile phone) number. In this case, your handset can only be used with matching Turkish sim card, but not any other Turkish sim card. For the matching purposes you should apply to a subscription centre (“abone kayit merkezi” in Turkish) of relevant Turkish mobile operator. (AVEATURKCELLVODAFONE)

On the other hand, if you intend to reside or stay a long time in Turkey and would like to use a Turkish sim card or would like to take a British handset to your friends or relatives living in Turkey as a gift, you must get your mobile phone registered with the Turkish Telecommunications Authority. Because the recent changes in the Turkish Telecommunications regulation requires all mobile phones to be registered with the Turkish Telecommunications Authority’s database with their IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers in order to use Turkish sim card. Mobile phones (IMEI numbers) not registered with the Turkish Telecommunications Authority are blocked for connection through a Turkish sim card.

According to the Turkish customs regulation, from 1st February 2008, travellers can bring only one mobile handset into Turkey in two calendar years as one of their personal belongings, free of customs duties and they do not need to declare it to the Turkish Customs.

In order to get your handset registered, the following documents should be submitted to the Telecommunications Authority within one month from entrance date, through a subscription centre (“abone kayit merkezi” in Turkish) of relevant Turkish mobile operator. You must also pay a tax on the phone at your local "vergi Dairesi" / Tax office.

• Passport and copies of relevant pages of passport (identity and entry stamp pages), 
• A petition indicating IMEI number of handset. (could be provided by subscription centre)

After the registration is completed Turkish network sim card can be used with a British handset. Please ensure that the handset must be sim free or not locked.

You can check if your handset's IMEI number is registered with the Telecommunications Authority or not through Turkish Telecommunications Authority's website at: http://imei.tk.gov.tr

Your handset's IMEI number is found on a sticker underneath the battery, or on screen by simply keying *#06# into most phones.

You can find a subscription centre (abone kayit merkezi) of relevant Turkish mobile operator through

And last but not least, please do not forget to take your charger and a european power adaptor you may need.

How much money can you bring into Turkey?

There are no restrictions on the amount of money (either YTL or any foreign currency) you can bring into Turkey. (Foreign Exchange Regime)

However, please bear in mind, as from 15 June 2007 if you are arriving directly from, or are travelling directly to, a country outside the European Union (EU), and are carrying 10,000 euros or more or the equivalent amount in another currency, you must complete a cash declaration form at HM Revenue & Customs. These will be available at the port or airport of your entry to, or departure from, the UK.

How much money can you take out of Turkey?

The Turkish legislation states that one may take up to $ 5,000 or the equivalent amount in another currency notes out of the country. Non-residents- provided that they have declared it on their arrival- and residents those present a document that they purchased foreign exchange from the banks or participation banks within the framework of the regulations of invisible transactions, may freely take abroad foreign currency of which value exceeds $ 5,000. Otherwise, they can transfer foreign exchange of which value exceeds $5,000 through banks and participation banks only.

Please note that if a person breaches the above rule and this is detected/proven by authorities (either in Turkey or abroad):

a) The money is seized and becomes a possession of the Republic of Turkey.
b) A principal penalty of YTL equivalent of the seized amount is to be charged if the money is captured by Turkish authorities.
c) If the money brought abroad had not been seized/detected by the Turkish officers, then the principal penalty is twice stated in (b). Thus, the total principal penalty may amount to up to twice the seized money.
d) Moreover, a 'late payment penalty' (the interest) is to be charged based on the above mentioned principal penalty at the interest rate mentioned by Law No. 6183, which is currently 3% per month for the duration between the time of the breach and the date when penalty will be paid.

Moreover whether the source of the money was legal/in line with the anti-money laundering rules is of great importance to the relevant authorities. In case a money laundering action had taken place, the penalties are to be much severe.

How much jewellery can you bring to Turkey or abroad?

Travellers can bring any jewellery, which is of non-commercial nature, crafted with precious metals and the gems, and worth of USD 15.000 or less.

If you would like to bring jewellery worth of more than $ 15.000 to Turkey, you are supposed to declare it to the Turkish customs authorities just prior to your entry to Turkey. In this case, you are allowed to bring abroad jewellery worth of up to that declared value.

Moreover, if you certify that you have purchased your jewellery in Turkey, then you are allowed to bring it abroad, regardless of what its value is.

Does your social insurance scheme cover your health expenditures in Turkey?

If you reside in Turkey, your social insurance scheme (UK) could cover your health insurance expenditures in Turkey. Please contact the relevant organisation in UK for the details.

Please note that Turkish health insurers provide very cheap insurance policies and cover diagnosis/treatment of lots of diseases. They are in connection with very good private hospitals, scanning centres, and medical laboratories. No waiting lists and instant diagnosis and treatment are in question.

You can buy private health insurance policies at reasonable costs. 28 insurance companies offer health insurance products as of December 31, 2004. Health insurance products are usually, yearly renewable. Private companies offer in patient and out patient health services in private hospitals.

There are travel assistance products, contract lengths are less than one year. They offer health services during the tourists' journey in Turkey.

Furthermore, prices of pharmaceutical products are very cheap in Turkey.

If you work in Turkey, you are covered by the State health (social) insurance schemes which will let you utilise all covered health services.

Read 1414 times Last modified on Sunday, 21 June 2015 19:35
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