Telephone Calls to & from Turkey

Last Updated on April 30, 2019

Calling To Turkey

If you’re not using SkypeApple iOS MessagesGoogle VoiceWhatsAppor some other communications app to communicate with Turkey, and want to use a telephone, enter the international prefix (in North America it’s 011) to connect to the international network, then enter 90 for Turkey, then the city code (212 or 213 for Istanbul, 312 for Ankara, 232 for İzmir, etc.) and the seven-digit local number.

Remember the time difference (an hour or two from Europe, seven to 10 hours from North America) and Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) which may begin and end differently in your country and Turkey.

Turkish telephone numbers are sometimes shown as in this example:

+90 212 555 1212

The plus sign (+) stands for whatever international prefix you need to dial in order to connect the call (011 in North America, 00 in Europe, etc.)

Within Turkey, they may be written 0212 555 1212 because that’s what you’d dial to call from withn Turkey, but when calling from outside of Turkey, it would be +90 212 555 1212.

So if you were calling from North America, you would enter:

011 90 212 555 1212

Or from anywhere you can enter:

+90 212 555 1212

Calling From Turkey

Internet-based calls are far cheaper than traditional landline calls—only pennies per minute, or even free if you use SkypeApple MessagesGoogle VoiceWhatsApp, or any of the other Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) systems.

Traditional landline calls to foreign countries can be surprisingly expensive, especially if you use hotel telephone systems. If you must call from your hotel, make a quick call, give those at home the hotel’s phone number and your room number and tell them to call you back at a certain time. Phone charges from home are probably lower, and are certainly lower than what you have to pay calling from a hotel room.

Turkish Landline Telephones

Public phones operated by Türk Telekom have pictographinstructions and operate on either credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) or on phone cards (TT Kart)that you buy from post offices, street kiosks and other places advertising Telekart Satılır (Telekarts for Sale).

It’s sometimes easier to use a kontürlü telefon, one with a usage-unit meter attached: you make a call and pay in cash for units used. These are found (though ever more rare) at street kiosks and other small businesses. Be sure to ask the rate per unit before you call. Rates vary: shop around, pay less.

Local (in-city) call: Şehiriçi ara (sheh-HEER-ee-chee ah-rah)

Long-distance/Trunk call: Şehirlerarası ara (sheh-heer-LEHR-ah-rah-suh ah-rah)

International call: Milletlerarası ara (mee-leht-LEHR-ah-rah-suh ah-rah)

—Tom Brosnahan

—by Tom Brosnahan

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