Internet Service Providers in Turkey: which one to pick?


In just a few years, the internet has become ubiquitous in human life. Today we can no longer imagine our lives without it. We have an opportunity to communicate from thousands of miles away, access information at will, build businesses, and plan our leisure.
Going on a vacation, or permanently moving to another country, one of the first questions we ask is whether the internet connection is good. Is it possible to be always online?
Let's talk about how things are with the Internet in Turkey. In recent years this resort country has become the top destination for foreign citizens who want to relax or settle somewhere for a long time. 

What internet service provider to choose in Turkey - general information

We all know how the Internet is abroad. Coming to Turkey, we look for accommodation, whether it be a hotel or private apartments, with stable access to the network. Sometimes tourists are forced to face some inconveniences. Common issues are:
  • a complete absence of internet connection;
  • Wi-Fi is available, but its distribution area is significantly limited;
  • Wi-Fi regularly disappears due to weak traffic;
  • Internet is available only on the premises, and it is completely lost at the gym or by the pool.
Familiar, isn't it? When offline is hard to navigate around the city. You cant plan your route or use a translator app.
What are the options for Internet communication in Turkey? What is the most suitable for your needs? 
There are several options:
  • Wi-Fi
  • Internet cafes
  • Mobile internet through roaming
  • SIM cards of Turkish mobile broadband service providers
  • Landline internet
Good Wi-Fi is generally available in 4-star and higher hotel complexes. In this case, there should be no problems. Wireless Internet works fine in good hotels. It also may be available at restaurants or cafes.
In almost all resort cities, you can find Internet cafes. The quality of the connection is usually decent there. Prices for such services are different and depend on the proximity to the city center. It costs from 1 to 7 USD per hour. The downside is the noise. Young people often gather there to play video games. 

Roaming is convenient, but it also extremely expensive.

Turkish SIM card is the right choice if you plan to spend more than a week in the country. Almost all offers of Turkish mobile broadband providers will be more cost-efficient than roaming.

Which type of Internet Service Provider to use in Turkey? It depends on the situation. If you plan to settle here for a long time, the most suitable solution would be a landline connection. 
Nevertheless, the Internet in Turkey is worse than you might be used to at home. You might have to pay more for a noticeably slower speed.
There are several major providers in the country. They are TTNet and companies connected to leading mobile broadband providers (Vodafone, Turkcell Superonline, Turk Telekom, Avea). 
High competition between providers influences the market. Thus, their offers are very similar.
The most important thing to consider for the landline connection is whether your residential complex or house has a fiber-optic line. Otherwise, you may have to use a telephone line. 
Without a fiber-optic, line the connection speed in Turkey will not exceed eight megabits per second. In practice, it will be lower than that. To solve this, residents of the house may apply for an installation of a fiber-optic line.
Depending on the provider, prices can range from 50 to 70 Turkish lira per month. Sometimes companies launch promotions and discounts. 
Unlimited data plans usually have a catch. After using 50 gigabytes of data, connection speed might drop until the end of the month. Another common catch is that Turkish Internet providers only sign a contract for a period minimum of two years. Terminating such a contract earlier will result in a fine. It is possible to the address with the provider if you decide to move.
Companies require a passport and a residence permit for at least one year to install a landline connection. 

Mobile Internet in Turkey: which SIM card to buy

The mobile network in the country is developing rapidly. In big cities like Alanya and Antalya, 4.5G is already available.
The list of services from Turkish mobile broadband providers is more or less the same. The main difference is in the prices.
You can order a SIM even before arriving in Turkey. Some companies that sell SIM cards abroad. 
In Turkey, you can buy a SIM card in any mobile store. If you plan to visit a remote province, it is better to buy one in advance. 
Important to know! 
The CEIR system operates in the Republic of Turkey. Only phones linked to an IMEI number will function on the Turkish network. If you come with your mobile phone, you might need to pay a fee. Otherwise, in 120 days the SIM will be blocked, and the phone will no longer work on the Turkish network. You can also avoid the issue by purchasing a phone on the spot.
To buy a starter pack, you need to have your passport with you. 
Let us talk about leading broadband providers in more detail. 
Turkcell is the leader of the Turkish mobile communications market. According to official statistics, it currently serves about 60% of all subscribers in the state. The company covers most of the territory (about 80%) of the state. It is a good indicator considering that most of the country is mountainous.

Choosing a suitable data plan is complicated because of the variety of options. The simplest solution is to focus on promotions for new subscribers. In this case, you can choose a good plan for both calls and the data.
The price range of standard packages is from 40 to 85 TL. The cheapest package you can buy would typically offer 3 gigabytes of data, 500 minutes for calls, and 1000 SMS ("Uçuran 3 GB").
Vodafone is a global company with a presence in many countries around the globe. In 2005, the company entered the Turkish market by acquiring Telsim.

They provide a standard package of services. The cost of the "Redli8" package starts at 49 TL. You can expect to receive about 8 gigabytes of data, 250 SMS, and 1000 minutes of calls.
Türk Telekom 
Türk Telekom was previously known as Avea. In 2016 the company made a rebranding. Despite the experience, the company failed to reach the same heights as Turkcell. The disadvantage of picking Türk Telekom is limited network coverage. However, he managed to cover all the main cities and resorts.

The starting price of the package starts at 19 TL. You will receive 1000 SMS, 500 minutes of calls, and 2 gigabytes of data. It is cost-efficient for short-term trips.
Türk Telekom offers "Alo Dünya" instead of roaming. With this plan, you can call abroad for 0.8 TL per minute. The monthly subscription fee is 10 TL.   
Drimsim is another universal SIM made for active travelers. It can be bought online and used in any country, not only Turkey. If you are looking for a SIM card to buy-in for the data, Drimsim is not the best option. It is more expensive than any of the local broadband providers. The SIM card itself costs only 10 euros with a top-up minimum of 25 euros to activate it. Calls cost about 4 TL per minute, and 1 GB of the data will cost about 65 TL, which is incredibly expensive. 

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