What can / can't be mailed from Turkey

General chat as in a "çay evi" (Turkish tea house).

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What can / can't be mailed from Turkey

Post by GirlHonu » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:48 pm

Hi, all. Today I went to the PTT near Istiklal to mail home some fun goodies to friends and family. Nothing was of any value and some of it was downright silly: I had some hand lotions from Selcuk and I wanted to send my niece (a university student) some of the delicious cheap packaged soup mixes (just open the bag and add to boiling water). When I got to the window the woman inspected my boxes and refused to mail the hand lotions and any of the soup mixes or spice packets (the tourist kind you can buy with about 10 spices all in one long sealed package). What's up? Did I catch someone on a bad day or is it really illegal to mail sealed foods (does Knorr's prepackaged soup mix even qualify as FOOD?) and hand lotions through the PTT? It's not valuable so not worth going to DHL or Fed Ex, but I am willing to try another PTT branch if anyone thinks it's worth the time.


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Re: What can / can't be mailed from Turkey

Post by suppiluliuma » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:01 am

Yes, as much as I know, international movement of chemicals and food stuff is subject to special customs regime.
Better try DHL.
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Re: What can / can't be mailed from Turkey

Post by turkeytom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:34 pm

I think it's worth trying another branch. Here's a story:

I like to buy traditional Turkish kitchen knives from a shop on Hasırcılar Caddesi near the Egyptian (Spice) Market in Istanbul. One time I bought a few. I was going to fly from Istanbul, carrying my luggage onto the plane (not checking any), so I couldn't take them with me.

I packed them up and went to the Büyük Postahane (Main Post Office) near Sirkeci and asked to mail them. The young, bored clerk said knives could not be shipped. I remonstrated—maybe I said something like "You need a hand on the knife to make it dangerous, and I'm not going with them, so they're safe." :shock:

She relented. I mailed them, they arrived fine.

I think the first impulse of a postal clerk, whenever there is anything out of the ordinary, is refusal. It's easy, it costs them nothing, and it may prevent an inadvertent mistake. (They can't be reprimanded for NOT doing something, only for doing something in error.)

On the other hand, Suppiluliuma may be correct that the postal service and Customs in the recipient country may not allow the shipment of certain items. You can look into this by referring to the postal regulations for your country. (If it's the USA, that would be here):

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail ... %20mail%3F

It may also be that, with postal and Customs regulations being so complicated, the clerk didn't want to try to sort it out—which might take a lot of time and effort—and take the chance of getting it wrong.

But it might still be worth trying another post office.

Tom Brosnahan

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