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Before Türk Telekom had the monopoly on phone service  but then it also denationalized and service is efficient if costly. You can direct-dial within Turkey and  overseas with little difficulty. When calling Turkey from overseas the country code is +90, and you drop the 0on the area codes. The international access code to call abroad from Turkey is 00 90.

Kontörlü Telefon

If you are only going to make one call, it is best to look for a boots with a sign saying kontörlü telefon ( metered telephone); you make your call and the owners reads the meter and chargers you accordingly. The cost of a local call depends on what the phone's owner charges for each kontör (unit). In touristy areas you can get rates as low as €0,25 per minute to Europe,the UK, USA and Australia. These rates are however almost twice as much as international Phonecards but may become the best option If you are only making a quick call. 

Mobile Phones

Turks adore mobile (cep, pocket) phones,and Reception is excellence throughout nearly all of the country.  Mobile phone numbers start with a four-figure codes beginning with 05.

If you  want use your  home phone in Turkey, note that turkey uses the standard GSM (global system for mobile Communications) network operating on 900MHz or 1800MHz. Most phones are GSM so they should be fine but some US-, Canadian and Scandinavian-  bought mobile phones are not compatible. You should set up an international roaming facility with your home phone provider before you leave home. Mobile can connect with Turkey’s Turkcell ( ), Vodafone ( ) or Türk Telekom ( ) networks.

If you want to buy a SIM card while you are in Turkey, it is a good idea to stick to the big networks - Turkcell, Vodafone or TurkTelekom - as you will get  good coverage over the country as well as competitive rates. A SIM card with Turkcell, Vodafone or TurkTelekom costs around €17 and usually includes some free kontör (unit) ; you'll need to show your passport and ensure the seller sends your details through to Turkcell to activate your account. You can also buy a prepaid phone cards at any all of the little streetsides booths around country. Expect to pay around €7/14 for 120/300 kontör with all these mobile phone companies and sometimes a little more, but it depends on what specials are on.

Pay Phones & Phonecards

Pay phones can be found PTT, in most major public buildings and facilities, public squares and transportation termini.  International calls can be made from all payphones. All payphones require cards that can be bought at telephone centres or, for a small mark up , at some shops. There are two sets of cards in use: magnetic strip floppy cards and ones with chips on them called smart card.

In general, both cards cost about the same. A 30-unit card (€1,50) is sufficient for local calls; 50 units (€2,75) for short domestic Intercity calls; and 100 units (€4,75) for longer domestic intercity calls or short international chats.The newer phones also accept major credit cards.

International Phonecards

The cheapest option for international calls is with Phonecards that you use with a landline (ie the phone in your hotel room) or a public phone. You call the national toll-free number,put in the PIN number on the card and dial away. Companies such as IPC and Bigalo offer the best rates (note, these are not the cards with the Turk Telekom logo). For a 300 kontör IPC card ( which costs €3) you can speak for 20/6 minutes to a landline/ mobile in Australia and around 26/6 minutes to a landline/ mobile to the UK, Europe and the USA. IPC cards are available in 300, 1000 (€8,50) and 1500 (€17) kontör lots. It's worthwhile sticking to a reputable phone card company (such as IPC or Bigalo) as with other companies' cards credit has been known to disappear or calls won't go through. These cards are widely available in the street-side booths in tourist areas of Istanbul and Ankara but can be difficult to find elsewhere. You can not use these cards through mobile phones.