December 29, 2013

turkey & hoops! (ie. phone registration and residency permit)

bringing a phone to Turkey from abroad and registering it (if u plan to live here and use it...) has become harder and harder over time. the gov keeps adding hoops (todays zaman's article) (someone's personal account on the process). i personally decided long ago to be a good girl and buy my phones here, but mainly for the warranty concerns, of which i learned the hard way... however the latest changes would probably deter me too.

now, besides the taxes and whatever the operators charge, you are supposed to go get a proof of entry to turkey from your local police station. previously, you had to show your passport and the most recent entry stamp (less than 30 days before), but now you ought to "confirm" this with a paper from the police.and then hope the operator will do their job, which is not certain at all, so you should keep track! anyway this all sounds easy but for sure the tax office or operator or police - or all 3 - will give you a good run around. the operator might come up with additional, funny charges and rules of their own and whatnot...:D just saying cos this happened to me 2 years ago...    the turkish system is interesting in that it is not looking to weed out bureaucracy, quite the opposite. well, anything to improve the phone sales and economy, i guess? there still seems to be a surprisingly big market for imported phones, the price difference really is that big. but you can only register one phone every 2 years and within 30 days of arrival.

i also heard rumors that if you go abroad, use a foreign sim over there, once you come back the previously registered phone would require a new registration, but i am not sure how this would make any sense, the IMEI that they record, does not change when u go out of the country or change sim's.

the residency permit rules in turkey are changing a bit too, and not so much for the better, imho. well, except now it will be possible to get a permanent residence permit after 8 years of continuous residency - that i can appreciate, whether i will need it or not. well, i dont plan on being here until 2018.

a rundown of the residency permit changes and steps needed at  the main cause of worry for current residency permit holders:  
As of the 1st of April 2014, you can no longer apply for a 3 or 5 year residency permit. Instead all applications are renewed on a yearly basis.

while for the average westerner getting a turkish residency permit is not a problem, its a lot of ...yeah, trouble and bureaucracy to go through. most people prefer to get longer permits if they have a reason to expect staying...  i am really, really glad i got 5 years the last time i applied, despite the higher cost. i also surprised that even those married to turkish citizens can only get 1-year permits...   8 years of that and then a permanent residency, or after 3 years of marriage, a citizenship.

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