Roaming is not an option in Turkey because the country is not part of the EU.
Depending on your provider, one minute can cost more than one euro, and a few MB of data can quickly add up to a few euros.
Your mobile phone provider will send you an SMS with the roaming conditions after your arrival in Turkey.
The mobile network works fast all over Turkey, including in Central and East Anatolia.
Mobile internet works well in all cities and tourist areas. There are very few hotels with poor internet connection.
In the hotels on the Turkish Riviera, in Istanbul and in the seaside resorts on the Aegean Sea, you very rarely have a problem with the internet. In my experience, the speed is sufficient for streaming, Youtube and Netflix in 90% of all cases.
I have only had bad experiences with WiFi in an hotel in east Anatolia, for example once in a remote hotel in Van.
Mobile internet works almost everywhere in Turkey with more than 10MB download speed. I tested this from Kusadasi on the Aegean to Diyarbakir in south-east Anatolia.
You sometimes have problems in sparsely populated regions in central and eastern Anatolia where are roads along which there are no houses for 10 to 20 km.
Turkey has twice the land area of Germany with the same number of inhabitants. 40% of the 80 million Turks live in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Gaziantep and Bursa. The network coverage is nevertheless good, with the exception of some sparsely populated regions as mentioned.
Ölüdeniz near Fethiye, for example, can only be reached by boat or via a steep hiking trail. To attract customers, the restaurants there also have free WiFi.
Hotels in Turkey have free internet 99% of the time.
Restaurants, cafes, train stations, ferries and long-distance buses almost always have free internet.
The tourist airports in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Bodrum-Milas and Dalaman have free internet for at least 2 hours. You have to register once for free with your phone number in the WiFi. You can do this with a confirmation SMS.
The smaller local airports usually have the same system for free internet for 2 hours.
A very negative exception is the airport in Antalya. There, only some restaurants, cafes and the paid airport lounge have WiFi. The cafes outside the airport even charge for WiFi.
The problem only exists at the airport in Antalya. Otherwise, in the whole province of Antalya, almost all the hotels, restaurants and cafes have free internet.
You can buy SIM cards at the major tourist airports in Turkey. This is possible in Istanbul, Antalya, Izmir, Ankara, Dalaman and Bodrum-Milas. Small local airports without an international terminal usually do not have shops selling SIM cards.
Here I would like to mention the potential risks associated with using public Wi-Fi networks while travelling. While public Wi-Fi can be convenient and inexpensive, it can also be insecure and leave your friend or family member vulnerable to cyberattacks. By purchasing an internet package, they can ensure they have a secure and reliable connection, minimising the risk of data breaches and other security issues.
Tourist SIM cards bought at the airport work for between a week and a month. A data volume of a few GB and free minutes on the phone are included.
Due to the devaluation of the Turkish lira, SIM cards cost about the same as in Germany. Until 2017, you paid more for a Turkish SIM card than in Germany.
Currently, you can expect to pay between €55 and €65 for a Turkish SIM card at the airport. SIM cards outside the airports are cheaper.
Important: SIM cards work in foreign smartphones without an IMEI number registered in Turkey for a maximum of 120 days. After that, the network provider blocks the phone permanently. Unlocking for more than 120 days is only possible with a residence permit (Ikamet) and costs more than 100€.
The choice of network operator does not matter in Turkish resorts. They all have good reception. This is also true for almost all other parts of the country. There are only real differences in small villages away from the urban centres. The three most important criteria for buying a SIM card are the price, the data credit and the free minutes.
The internet works well in almost all Turkish hotels. Hoteliers realise that the most common question after check-in is the WiFi password.
The mobile network is well developed in Turkey. The download speed is fine almost everywhere except in very remote areas.
Unfortunately, buying SIM cards is still complicated in Turkey. Fortunately, there are now shops with SIM cards at the major airports.
It is still not possible to use foreign phones with a Turkish SIM card on a permanent basis. This is a problem for long-term travelers.
On a normal trip, this does not affect you unless you plan to stay in Turkey for more than 120 days.
If you have your own experiences, tips or a question about the internet in Turkey, write us below in the comments.