Roaming in Turkey – How You Can Use Your Phone For Free In Turkey!

In this article, we’ll cover which mobile networks offer free roaming in Turkey, and how much it costs to make & receive calls, send texts and use data in Turkey.

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Turkey is a culturally and historically rich country, and it’s also tourist-friendly. The country appeals to both culture-seekers and beach-buffs. Turkey attracts more than 35 million visitors per year, and a significant portion of that number is made up of tourists from the UK. Of course, their tourism sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but when these hard times are over, the country will be welcoming visitors again. In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at how much it costs to roam in Turkey and what options are available to roam freely in Turkey. Also keep in mind that Northern Cyprus uses Turkey’s GSM operators, therefore you can also roam there if your plan allows roaming in Turkey.

If you want to learn how to use your UK allowances in Turkey, or how much it will cost if you’re a pay monthly or pay as you go customer of a UK based mobile network, we’ve got you covered.

We will also share some tips on how to reduce costs when roaming in Turkey and other countries outside the EU free roaming zone.

Table of Contents

1. Roaming in Turkey for UK Mobile Users

– Vodafone

– EE

– Three

– O2

– BT Mobile

– SMARTY

– VOXI

– giffgaff

– iD Mobile

– Sky Mobile

– Tesco Mobile

– Virgin Mobile

– Plusnet Mobile

– Superdrug Mobile

– 1p Mobile

– Lycamobile

– Lebara Mobile

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Roaming in Turkey for UK Mobile Users

Vodafone

Vodafone Global Roaming Plus

vodafone-article-logoAt the time of writing, only Vodafone offers free roaming in Turkey and unfortunately, inclusive roaming in Turkey is only available to Vodafone Unlimited Max customers. This is Vodafone’s most expensive pay monthly plan, but it comes with Global Roaming Plus, which lets you roam at no extra cost in 81 destinations including Turkey.

Global Roaming Plus is by far the superior roaming scheme, offering more than the O2’s Travel Inclusive Bolt On (75), Three’s Go Roam (71) and EE’s Go Further Roaming (53). Plus, there are no restrictions or limitations as all 81 countries are counted in the same zone. You’ll also have access to the fastest, uncapped 4G data speeds across Turkey, as Vodafone has its own infrastructure in the country.

You can only benefit from Global Roaming Plus, if you bought a Vodafone Unlimited Max plan from 10 July 2019.

Vodafone Roam-Further

Turkey isn’t included in Vodafone’s base roaming scheme Global Roaming that covers 51 destinations, but it’s a Roam-further destination. This means you can use your UK allowance of data, minutes and texts in Turkey for £6 a day.

Vodafone’s pay monthly customers can benefit from Roam-further except Vodafone Basics users.

The carrier will apply a daily charge automatically to your bill whenever you use your device in Turkey. However, the network won’t charge you when you receive calls or texts. Exceeding your UK allowances will cause you to be charged at Vodafone’s standard out-of-plan rates, be it data, minutes or texts.

If you are in Turkey whilst using your Vodafone SIM and you call or text a number outside the country (excluding the UK), you’ll be charged Vodafone’s standard international charges on top of the Roam-further daily cost.

The Roam-further daily charge will only apply when you use your device. The network counts a day as 00:00 to 23:59 Turkish local time.

Vodafone Turkey Pay As You Go Rates

If you have a Vodafone Big Value PAYG Bundle or are using the network’s traditional pay as you go service, you can check out the table below to see how much you’ll be charged for making & receiving calls, sending texts and using data while you’re in Turkey. Make sure to check out our Vodafone Review to discover more about the UK’s oldest mobile network operator.

PAYG Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls60p/minute
Receiving Calls36p/minute
Text Messages8p/text
Using Data12p/MB
Picture Messages66p/MMS

EE

EE World Select Talk and Text

ee-article-logoThe UK’s largest network doesn’t offer a free roaming service in Turkey, but there are two add-ons you can purchase to make up for it. The first one is EE’s World Select Talk and Text add-on, which gives you unlimited minutes & texts in Turkey, as well as in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UAE.

This add-on is only available to pay monthly customers, and you have to text WORLD to 150 to activate it. You should be able to start talking and texting as usual within 24 hours. EE will text you when the service is activated. World Select Talk and Text add-on costs £6 per day, but you’re only charged for days when you make or receive calls or send texts abroad. You don’t have to turn it off once you’re back in the UK, as it only works in the mentioned countries above. You can opt out of the service by texting STOP WORLD to 150.

With this add-on you can make calls and send texts to standard landlines or mobile numbers in all five countries and the UK. Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase either a standard data pass or Travel Data Pass, if you also want to use data. This add-on doesn’t come with data.

EE Travel Data Pass

You can opt in to EE’s Travel Data Pass before you fly to Turkey or while you’re there. This add-on will get you 500MB of data per day to spend and the network will charge you for £6 a day on the days you use data abroad. Travel Data Pass is only available to EE’s pay monthly and SIM only customers.

To activate Travel Data Pass, you should text Travel to 150 and to opt out of it text STOP TRAVEL to 150.

Unlike the World Select Talk and Text add-on, your data will reset at midnight UK time. Be careful to make sure you get your time zones correct, or else you might get charged for additional days.

Since EE Go Further Roaming doesn’t include Turkey, we don’t recommend purchasing it, unless you’ll be travelling to a destination where you can benefit from it. You can learn more about the carrier by reading our extensive EE Review.

EE Turkey Pay As You Go Rates

The following table shows how much making and receiving calls, texting and using data costs in Turkey, if you’re using EE as your network provider.

PAYG Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.80/minute
Receiving Calls£1.80/minute
Text Messages60p/text
Using DataOnly with data Add-Ons
Picture Messages55p/MMS

EE Turkey Pay Monthly Rates

Pay Monthly Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.80/minute
Receiving Calls£1.80/minute
Text Messages60p/text
Using DataOnly with data Add-Ons
Picture Messages65p/MMS

Three

Three Data Passport

three-article-logoWhile we rate Three Go Roam very highly, we are sad to say that this feature doesn’t work in Turkey. You can’t use your UK minutes & texts in Turkey, and there’s no special add-on that allows you to use them either.

On the data side of things, it’s a bit different though. Three’s Data Passport add-on includes Turkey, and it gives you unlimited data for £5 a day until midnight UK time. The add-on resets after that, there’s no data rollover feature.

Three offers a wide range of price plans at competitive prices, including the fastest 5G data speeds in the UK. The network’s 5G coverage isn’t as great though, but it’s improving at a steady pace. Check out our Three Review to discover more about their offers.

Three Turkey Pay As You Go Rates

The table below shows Three’s traditional PAYG and PAYG bundle rates in Turkey & Northern Cyprus.

PAYG Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.40/minute
Receiving Calls£99p/minute
Text Messages35p/text
Using Data£3/MB
Picture Messages-

Three states that these rates may not reflect new pay as you go customers’ charges and asks them to check their specific price guide for more detailed information.

Three Turkey Pay Monthly Rates

Pay Monthly Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.40/minute
Receiving Calls£99p/minute
Text Messages35p/text
Using Data£3/MB
Picture Messages-

O2

o2-article-logoUsing your phone in Europe is easy with O2, but unfortunately using your O2 SIM plan in Turkey will be very costly. The carrier offers two roaming plans (O2 Europe Zone & O2 Travel Inclusive Zone) and Turkey isn’t included in either one of them.

The network’s prime roaming scheme, O2 Travel Inclusive Zone is available with O2’s custom plans of 90GB and above, and SIM only plans of 100GB and above. However, since it’s not valid in Turkey, we won’t be discussing it here.

With no inclusive roaming features or special add-ons, O2 is far from ideal to be used in Turkey. The network charges their pay monthly and pay as you go customers the same, when they’re using their SIMs in Turkey. The carrier will cap your data usage to £51.50 (50 MB) a month in Turkey. Read our O2 Mobile Review to find out everything you need to know about the network.

O2 Turkey Pay As You Go Rates

PAYG Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£2.00/minute
Receiving Calls£2.00/minute
Text Messages50p/text
Using Data£7.20/MB
Picture Messages-

O2 Turkey Pay Monthly Rates

Pay Monthly Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£2.00/minute
Receiving Calls£2.00/minute
Text Messages50p/text
Using Data£7.20/MB
Picture Messages-

BT Mobile

BT Travel Data Pass

bt-mobile-article-logoYou can grab the network’s Travel Data Pass add-on for £6 a day. This will get you a 500MB data allowance automatically every 24 hours in Turkey. Once you get it, the add-on automatically activates in Turkey (and other eligible countries) and turns itself off when you leave or if you stop using data.

This pass can be used in Turkey and Andorra, Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, USA.

Travel Data Pass won’t get you minutes or texts, so when you make and receive a call or send texts you’ll be charged accordingly. BT Mobile doesn’t have a pay as you go service, so you’ll be charged at pay monthly rates. BT Mobile’s free Wi-Fi service isn’t available in Turkey, but you can find free Wi-Fi hotspots in the country in most places. Read our BT Mobile Review for more!

BT Mobile Turkey Pay Monthly Rates

Pay Monthly Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.40/minute
Receiving Calls£1.25/minute
Text Messages40p/text
Using Data£5.00/MB
Picture Messages-

SMARTY

smarty logoFor your SMARTY SIM to work abroad, you might have to make a one-off change to your phone settings. The network explains how you should set up your phone, so make sure to check it out first.

Since Turkey isn’t in the EU free roaming zone, your UK allowances of minutes, texts and data won’t work, unless you purchase SMARTY’s “Out of plan” add-on. The add-on is competitively priced, just like SMARTY’s all SIM only plans. If you don’t use up all your “Out of plan” data you can just put that money towards your next month’s fee and get a discount. Alternatively, you can keep it and use it next time when you’re travelling to Turkey or any other country your SMARTY SIM works.

We think SMARTY is a great choice for roaming in Turkey. You can easily avoid nasty bill shocks with their wallet-friendly, no credit check SIM only plans and their roaming rates in Turkey are also quite cheap.

Make sure to read our SMARTY Review to discover more about the network and have a look at our SMARTY Unlimited Data Plan Review to see if a supercheap unlimited data plan works for you. On top of that, SMARTY offers Wi-Fi Calling as of November 2020, so your coverage will be even better. SMARTY is owned and powered by Three.

SMARTY Turkey Rates

SMARTY Roaming Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls50p/minute
Receiving Calls5p/minute
Text Messages20p/text
Using Data£10p/MB
Picture Messages20p/MMS

VOXI

voxi-article-logoVOXI is owned by Vodafone and the network used to offer free roaming in Turkey, meaning you could use your UK allowances in Turkey, just like you did at home. Sadly, as of 8th of July 2020 Turkey is no longer included in VOXI’s free roaming zone.

To be able to make & receive calls, send SMS and use data in Turkey with a VOXI SIM, you’ll need to top up credit to your account. After that, all charges will come out of your top up credit while you’re in Turkey & Northern Cyprus.

VOXI’s Endless Video and Endless Social Media perks won’t work in Turkey as the carrier will be charging you for all your data usage. You can find out more about the network in our VOXI Review.

VOXI Turkey Rates

VOXI Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls60p/minute
Receiving Calls36p/minute
Text Messages8p/text
Using Data£12p/MB
Picture Messages-

giffgaff

giffgaff logoYou can use giffgaff in Turkey & Northern Cyprus, but the network doesn’t offer free roaming in these two destinations. You’ll need to top up airtime credit on your account in order to use your giffgaff SIM in Turkey. gifgaff’s SIM only plans work on a prepaid basis in the UK, but in Turkey, you can only use giffgaff SIMs for calls, texts and data as a traditional pay as you go service.

Powered by O2, giffgaff offers flexible SIM only plans dubbed as goodybags. You can also use the network as a traditional PAYG service. Read our giffgaff Review to find out more about their coverage, data speeds & price plans. You can also have a look at our giffgaff Unlimited Data Plans Review to find out what the differences between the network’s two unlimited plans are.

giffgaff Turkey Rates

giffgaff Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.00/minute
Receiving Calls£1.00/minute
Text Messages30p/text
Using Data20p/MB
Picture Messages30p/MMS

iD Mobile

id-mobile-article-logoYou can use your iD Mobile SIM in Turkey & Northern Cyprus, but any usage within these two destinations is chargeable and the network doesn’t offer any roaming add-on packages specifically targeting Turkey.

iD Mobile’s pay monthly customers can enjoy both 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling, provided their handsets support these two voice call quality improving features. However, these two features aren’t available when roaming abroad. You can read our iD Mobile Review to discover more about the carrier.

iD Mobile Turkey Rates

iD Mobile Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£2.40/minute
Receiving Calls£2.40/minute
Text Messages60p/text
Using Data£1.50/MB
Picture Messages60p/MMS

Sky Mobile

Sky Roaming Passport Plus

sky-mobile-article-logoAnother network powered by O2, Sky Mobile offers pay monthly SIM only plans to their customers with multiple great features, including one of the best data rollover schemes in the UK. You can access your UK data, minutes & texts in Turkey & Northern Cyprus with Sky Mobile for £6 for 24 hours. This feature is called Roaming Passport Plus and besides Turkey, it also works in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Qatar, Switzerland, Thailand, Hong Kong, Christmas Island and Cocos Islands.

Roaming Passport Plus lasts for 24 hours and Sky will only charge you for the days you use it. It will reset after 24 hours.

Make sure to cast an eye on our Deals and Discounts For Existing Sky Customers if you already have Sky Broadband or Sky TV at home. You can also have a look at our extensive Sky Mobile Review and find out if the network is the right choice for you.

Tesco Mobile

tesco-mobile-article-logoWhether you’re a pay monthly or a pay as you go customer, you are allowed to use your Tesco Mobile SIM in Turkey, but unfortunately the country isn’t listed as one of the Home From Home destinations. This means you can’t use your UK allowances in Turkey, and you’ll be charged for calling, receiving calls, texting and using data while you’re travelling in Turkey.

Tesco Mobile doesn’t offer any special add-ons for roaming in Turkey & Northern Cyprus and their rates are quite expensive, especially for using data. Check out our Tesco Mobile Review to discover what makes the network unique.

The following table shows the cost of calling, texting and using data from Turkey, for both Tesco Mobile PAYG bundles and Tesco Mobile pay monthly SIM only plans.

Tesco Mobile Turkey Rates

Tesco Mobile Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls69p/minute
Receiving Calls69p/minute
Text Messages40p/text
Using Data£5/MB
Picture Messages60p/MMS

Virgin Mobile

virgin-mobile-article-logoThe EE powered mobile network offers a service called Roam Like Home, which lets you use your UK allowance of minutes, texts and data in the EU, but as you can guess Turkey is not included.

Virgin Mobile doesn’t have a pay as you go service, so you can only get a pay monthly contract from them. When you’re travelling in Turkey & Northern Cyprus, you’ll be subject to extra charges as the network doesn’t have a special add-on for roaming in Turkey.

One thing that catches the eye is receiving calls in Turkey is free for Virgin Mobile customers. The network’s rates for data use is also not that bad. Regardless, it’s hard to recommend Virgin Mobile, when you’re visiting Turkey.

You can discover more about the network by reading our detailed Virgin Mobile Review.

Virgin Mobile Turkey Rates

Virgin Mobile Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.00/minute
Receiving CallsFree
Text Messages50p/text
Using Data50p/MB
Picture Messages50p/MMS

Plusnet Mobile

plusnet-mobile-article-logoPlusnet Mobile is using the EE network, offering great 4G coverage & data speeds in the UK, however, Turkey isn’t in their free roaming zone. If you want to use your Plusnet Mobile SIM in Turkey, check out the table below to see how much the network will charge you for making and receiving calls, sending texts and using data. We also recommend having a look at our detailed Plusnet Mobile Review to discover all the benefits you can get, if you join their network.

Plusnet Mobile Turkey Rates

Plusnet Mobile Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£6/minute
Receiving Calls70p
Text Messages40p/text
Using Data50p/MB
Picture Messages70p/MMS

Superdrug Mobile

superdrug-mobile-article-logoWe like Superdrug Mobile’s unlimited data plan, because it is truly unlimited, includes bonus points for your Health & Beauty card and comes with a free roaming scheme. Sadly, there is no free roaming in Turkey for the network’s customers. The country falls into Superdrug Mobile’s Roaming Band 2, which means you’ll be charged for calls and messages while in Turkey.

Make sure to check out Superdrug Mobile Review to see all the extras you get when you join their network.

Superdrug Mobile Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.00/minute
Receiving Calls£1.00/minute
Text Messages50p/text
Using Data50p/MB
Picture Messages10p/MMS

1p Mobile

1p-mobile-article-logoAnother carrier using the EE Network is 1p Mobile, but they don’t offer free roaming in Turkey, however, you can still use your SIM and handset there. 1p Mobile is the best Pay As You Go network in the UK with unbeatable service and prices. If you’re a light data mobile user, looking for fast data speeds we strongly recommend checking their offers and our 1p Mobile Review.

1p Mobile Turkey Rates

1p Mobile Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£1.00/minute
Receiving Calls£1.75/minute
Text Messages25p/text
Using Data20p/MB
Picture Messages50p/MMS

Lycamobile

Lycamobile is using the O2 network and they stand out with their wide range of international calling price plans. It’s a commitment free mobile network. The network is a good choice for making calls from the UK to more than 40 countries, but Turkey isn’t one of them, and we can say the same thing for roaming in Turkey with a Lycamobile SIM.

Lycamobile’s rates differ depending on where you’re calling when you’re in Turkey. Turkey to UK calls are priced at £1.35 and texts are priced at 48p.

Rates within Turkey when roaming in Turkey with a Lycamobile SIM, you’ll be charged for £1.05/minute for making calls to Turkey landlines and mobiles, while receiving calls are priced at 96p/minute. You can send text messages for 48p, but there’s no mention of how much it costs to use data. You can read our Lycamobile Review to learn more about them and their deals.

Lebara Mobile

Lebara Mobile is a great network for making international calls, but we can’t really say the same thing for roaming in Turkey with one of their SIMs though. There are no special deals or add-ons for UK mobile customers when they’re using their SIM in Turkey and Northern Cyprus and their rates are quite expensive.

Turkey falls into Lebara’s Zone 4 and the table below shows how much it costs to make & receive calls, send texts and use data when you’re there. To learn more about Lebara you can also have a look at our Lebara Mobile Review to see if the network is a good fit for you.

Lebara Mobile Turkey Rates

Lebara Mobile Charges in Turkey & N. Cyprus
Making Calls£3.49/minute to Zone 1 - £1.99/minute to Zone 4
Receiving Calls£1.49/minute
Text Messages49p/text
Using Data£14.99/MB
Picture Messages50p/MMS
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get 5G data speeds in Turkey?

No, not at the moment. Turkish mobile network operators are yet to launch their 5G services.

Which networks have free roaming in Turkey?

At the moment, only Vodafone’s Unlimited Max plan gets you free roaming in Turkey. All the other networks either require a roaming add-on or will charge you for making & receiving calls, sending texts and using data.

Does VOXI still have free roaming in Turkey?

Unfortunately, no. Turkey is no longer included in VOXI’s free roaming zone as of 8th of July 2020.

How can I save money when I’m roaming in Turkey?

First things first, if your network allows it, make sure to set a limit on charges. Free Wi-Fi hotspots are widely available in Turkey, especially in major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and coastal towns as well as tourist hotspots. You should connect to free Wi-Fi whenever possible. Don’t forget to turn off roaming and tethering when you’re not using them.

Can I get a local SIM in Turkey?

Turkey isn’t an expensive place to travel in, but staying connected as a tourist can sure be expensive during your stay. Prepaid SIM cards are available from Turkcell, Vodafone and Türk Telekom, but they’re quite expensive. Make sure to buy your SIM at a local store, rather than at the airport. All three operators are charging dramatically higher prices at airports.