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Old 10-09-2012, 06:56   #1
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Mobile Broadband, Cell Phones, etc. in Turkey

Here are a few items we found interesting upon our arrival back in Turkey. Just wanted to share them:

We found out that our unlocked broadband mobile modem (dongle) using a Turkcell sim no longer works in Turkey. We last used it in May 2012, when it worked just fine, yet when we came back to Turkey this month it refused to work. We went to Turkcell and it seems they changed some internal software and only their own Turkcell dongle will work now. So we bought one of the Turkcell dongles for 90 TL and yes it works but only on a PC and not on a Mac! After spending 2 hours with their "expert" he was able to get the PC side of my Mac working with the dongle but not the Mac side. Being an IT person myself it was easy to see that the drivers for the Mac are missing on the Mac install but are present on the PC install. Duh! Too bad that Turkcell doesn't have the missing drivers for Mac OS 10.7 or higher.

As I was leaving the store another cruiser came in and was complaining about the same exact problem, so I didn't feel alone. There is a work-around for the Mac but I refuse to tell Turkcell how to do it!

On another subject, it seems that our Turkcell mobile phone sim expired. So I tried to just get another sim for the phone. That doesn't work with the same phone they said. The original phone and sim are registered with the government and you can't re-activate an old phone with a sim that expired by just getting a new sim! If we had a different mobile phone we could register it, at a cost of 120 TL (a new fee of course) and we could use the new phone. We will be able to use the original phone in Turkey in 2 years, when the original registration expires we were told. I don't have a solution to this problem but if you do please let me know!

So I go to Vodaphone, buy a new sim and the phone still doesn't work. Vodaphone then tells me the same story, blah blah blah, about coming back in 2 years. I ask for my money back and Vodaphone refuses to give me a refund because they say it is not their problem but my problem with my phone. No refunds!

One last note for those coming to Marmaris, Turkey this season. When we arrived at Marmaris Yacht Marina we were told that the marina is full. Really full. We walked around the docks and there are virtually no berths to be had in the water and this is only September. Business at the marina has increased this season and they expect hard standing to be full as well. Just a note to the wise.

Also at the marina only the huge 330 ton lift is currently working. The smaller lift that services nearly all of the sailboats is non-functional and not working. No date had been given when it will be repaired but we hope it is soon. In the meantime the large lift is being used to haul out sailboats.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:22   #2
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Re: Mobile Broadband, Cell Phones, etc. in Turkey

I had a similar problem in France -- Orange sim card wouldn't work in our Globesurfer terminal, nor in an unlocked dongle. Seems they want you to buy a special data sim card . . . I don't know technically how they do that, but seems to be the case . . .
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:29   #3
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Re: Mobile Broadband, Cell Phones, etc. in Turkey

We purchased the special data sim card for the dongle. The problem seems to be with the Turkcell system.
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Old 11-09-2012, 00:49   #4
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Re: Mobile Broadband, Cell Phones, etc. in Turkey

You have solved a problem for us, or at least cast some light on the problem. I use a PC my partner uses a Mac.

We use an Ericsson W25 data centre with a Turkcell SIM and over the past couple of weeks, my partner can use Internet but only for a few minutes before the signal drops out.

She can also unplug the Mac for a few minutes, plug it in again and it works for a few minutes again before dropping out.

It took us a while to narrow it down to something on the Mac when I plugged my Laptop in and it worked fine. I usually check emails on my iPad, which has separate SIM and that works fine, so it has been a while since I attached the laptop.

Thanks
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:18   #5
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Re: Mobile Broadband, Cell Phones, etc. in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAspen View Post
Too bad that Turkcell doesn't have the missing drivers for Mac OS 10.7 or higher.

As I was leaving the store another cruiser came in and was complaining about the same exact problem, so I didn't feel alone. There is a work-around for the Mac but I refuse to tell Turkcell how to do it!
If you have more than one computer on board, it might make sense to buy a 3G router. TeknoSA carries them. This way you don't have to worry about whether it's a Mac or PC and plugging in and out the dongle out of each computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAspen View Post
On another subject, it seems that our Turkcell mobile phone sim expired. So I tried to just get another sim for the phone. That doesn't work with the same phone they said. The original phone and sim are registered with the government and you can't re-activate an old phone with a sim that expired by just getting a new sim! If we had a different mobile phone we could register it, at a cost of 120 TL (a new fee of course) and we could use the new phone. We will be able to use the original phone in Turkey in 2 years, when the original registration expires we were told. I don't have a solution to this problem but if you do please let me know!
Three ideas:

- If you could go back in time, you could leave some credit on the sim and this way the sim would still be activated.

- Since you can't go back in time, try going to a bigger, dedicated Turkcell shop (I know of one in Bodrum right near the marina, but don't remember a Marmaris one) and tell them to just put money on your old, expired sim. That might work as not all stores are proficient. My phone was off from April to Sept and the Turkcell sim is still ok. NB: it might be that Turkcell disables not frequently used sims sooner, not sure.

- Was the phone that you're using the sim in bought in Turkey? If not, you have to remember that normal Turkish, not only Turkcell, policy is to tie foreign bought phones to sim and enable those sim-phone pairs just for 2 weeks so that people are forced to buy phones within Turkey. The option there is to buy a cheap phone in Turkey. It'll be unlocked since you're not buying a credit plan with it and you can use the phone in other countries.


And you'll never get your money back from Vodaphone. It's hard to return items in Turkey.
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Old 11-09-2012, 13:42   #6
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I have not made it to Turkey yet but I have an old, uh very old iPhone model 3G that is unlocked and jail broken. These are very cheap to buy in the states. So far sims from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy have been used in it and they all work without a fuss. Now you buy MyWi for $20. This allows you to tether your signal by wifi to all your devices. I tether to my computers and my iPhone 4gs (that sadly is still locked!). The old iPhone is pitiful for Internet etc but makes a great and cheap modem.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:08   #7
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Re: Mobile Broadband, Cell Phones, etc. in Turkey

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Originally Posted by terra57 View Post
I have not made it to Turkey yet but I have an old, uh very old iPhone model 3G that is unlocked and jail broken. These are very cheap to buy in the states. So far sims from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy have been used in it and they all work without a fuss. Now you buy MyWi for $20. This allows you to tether your signal by wifi to all your devices. I tether to my computers and my iPhone 4gs (that sadly is still locked!). The old iPhone is pitiful for Internet etc but makes a great and cheap modem.
In Turkey your phone with a Turkish sim will work for two weeks, after which the sim will stop working. You will not be able to use the same sim in another phone or this phone with another sim. It's their cellular policy.
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Old 13-09-2012, 05:36   #8
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Re: Mobile Broadband, Cell Phones, etc. in Turkey

Turkcell in Marmaris is opposite where the old Tansas Supermarket used to be. Go upstairs and ask for Semra. She speaks English (not many of the other staff do) and can start you on the process of re-activating the SIM.

Another option is to call the English Speaking Help Desk on 0532 444 05 32.

I've run into the same snag in that I did not purchase enough credit before leaving, nor did I enable International Roaming. I thought I'd just go online and top up with my Credit Card. I did get my SuperPassword for my SIM card BEFORE I left Turkey, so can log in on the website. But it's all in Turkish and Google doesn't translate too well..... so, I'm now reduced to having to ask some friends to top up my card for me.

To the OP, good luck with resolving this, and I would strongly suggest giving the Help Desk a call. Somehow my account got cancelled while I was sailing through Greece, and I didn't discover this until getting back to Turkey. One call to the Help Desk got everything back up and working including crediting me for the period that the service had been unavailable (even though I was out of the country at the time!).

Cheers, PT.
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