What to do after arriving in İstanbul

What to do after arriving in İstanbul

If you are bringing a phone from abroad, you must get it registered in Turkey to be able to use it legally.

  • SIM card prices vary between 100-150 TL
  • You must register your phone within approx. 60 days after arrival.
  • The tax fee is 6091 TL (as of early 2023)

  1. Buy a Turkish SIM Card (Three major service providers: Turkcell, Vodafone, Türk Telekom) - SIM cards can be bought from their shops.
  2. Start the registration process with your service provider.
  3. Register your mobile phone at the tax office (please prefer one that is in a touristic area like Taksim or Şişli).
  4. Submit the tax payment receipt to the shop where you took the SIM card from.

If you have a residence permit card, you can register your phone through the e-Devlet system. You can follow our guide here.

Regarding the dormitories, we would like to highlight that Bilgi University does not own its dormitories. However, there are many dorms that are close to our university, in santralistanbul Campus. Click here to check all the dorms that they are located in Eyüp.

Alternatively, the rents here in Istanbul depend on the region that you will chose to live. If you want a room in a flat you may find from 3000 TL to 6000 TL.


  • Please be careful! We advise you to check the room that you want to rent by yourself, sometimes they don't look like in the pictures at all.
  • Also the owners might tell you that you should hurry with the decision, they might want to push you to take a harsh decision and not think about it good.
  • Furthermore, we advise you to tell them that you will stay for a long time period and ask for discounts.
  • Finding an apartment close to a metro station will be helpful for you to move around the city easier.
  • Last but not least, try to avoid areas that they are located "near" or "close" to Taksim, they may be dangerous. We know that they might be good for the nightlife but also keep in mind that you don't want to put yourself in danger.

For your research:


Furthermore there are also plenty of Facebook groups where people offer rooms or search for flatmates. We highly recommend contacting local students.


Recommended neighborhoods in Istanbul in European Side are:

  • Eyüp
  • Şişli
  • Beşiktaş
  • Kabataş
  • Cihangir
  • Nişantaşı
  • Mecidiyeköy


In Asian side the recommended areas would be Kadiköy and Üsküdar – these areas are nice, lively, quite central and quite easy to reach from santralistanbul Campus.

Keep in mind that we provide free transportation for our students from all our University’s campuses to central points of the city. Therefore, if you would like to search for a shared apartment, we would recommend you to choose the areas where the shuttle buses stop. Click here to get further information regarding the shuttle services.

You can obtain a student transportation card by applying on the website or istanbulkart mobile application. Regarding how to get a student transportation card, you may have a look at our video guide.

If it won’t work, you can visit Beyaz Masa office to get help. Please check this website to find the closest Beyaz Masa Office for you. Before going to Beyaz Masa Office, you need to collect:

  • 1 photograph
  • Photocopy of passport page (first page with your photograph on it, bring your original passport as well)
  • Student Certificate (in Turkish)
  • 60 Liras (Card fee)
  • YÖK number (can be found on your student certificate, starting with "98") OR residence permit card

Missing IETT Card

If you lose your transportation card, you must firstly call 153 and tell them that your card is lost. In order to apply for it you need to collect:

  • 1 photograph
  • Photocopy of passport page (first page with your photograph on it, bring your original passport as well)
  • Residence Permit
  • Student Certificate (in Turkish)
  • 65 Liras
  • YÖK number (can be found on your student certificate, starting with "98")

We strongly advise you to have a bank account in Turkey. To open a bank account, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Residence permit
  • Passport
  • Turkish Tax number
  • İkametgah (Address in Turkey)*

* This document can be obtained at the District of Population (Nüfus Müdürlüğü) in the area that you are living in. You need to take your house contract, bills and residence permit card with you.

Do not forget that you need to be over 18 years old to open a bank account in Turkey. An associate at the bank will supply you with all the necessary forms to open a Turkish bank account.

The bank will send your ATM card to your address.

In order to apply for necessary matters (ex. health insurance, bank account), you need to get a tax number first. You can get it in person or online.

You may apply online at this link.

To get one in person, all you need is your passport and a photocopy of the passport page with your photograph on it.

Address of Beyoğlu Vergi Dairesi (Tax Office):

Şahkulu Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Cad. No:125, 34421 Beyoğlu

Phone: (0212) 244 03 83

The e-Devlet service ensures users to have easy access to services they need. With this service implemented, Government services in Turkey will be offered in the easiest and most effective means possible. You can complete many governmental procedures from the e-Devlet portal.

Once you receive your residence permit card, you can visit a PTT Office with your passport and residence permit to purchase the e-Devlet password and log in to get started.

Services include:

  • Getting HES code
  • Booking hospital appointment
  • Getting a student certificate
  • Social security documents
  • Forensic clearance
  • Address documents
  • Traffic bills
  • Mobile telephone number checks

After getting your residence permit, you will need an ikametgah for many official procedures (ex. opening a bank account.) 

This document can be obtained at the Migration Office in the area that you are living in. You need to take your house contractbills and residence permit card with you. 

If the house contract is not in your name, you should go with the person to who the contract is assigned to.

Below, you can find information about which Migration Office center you should go to:


Address of the Migration Office & Coordination Center


İstanbul İl Göç İdaresi Müdürlüğü


Address: Hırka-i Şerif Mahallesi, Adnan Menderes Bulvarı, No: 64 Fatih





Esenyurt İlçe Çalışma Grup Başkanlığı


Address: İstiklal Mahallesi, 2663. Sokak, No: 6 Esenyurt

Arnavutköy                 Çatalca

Avcılar                         Esenyurt

Başakşehir                   Küçükçekmece

Beylikdüzü                   Silivri



Avrupa Yakası Kumkapı Koordinasyon Merkezi


Address: Muhsine Hatun Mahallesi, Büyük Kömürcü Sokak, No: 2 Fatih

Bağcılar                       Eyüpsultan

Bahçelievler                 Güngören

Bakırköy                      Fatih

Beşiktaş                       Kâğıthane

Beyoğlu                       Sarıyer

Esenler                         Şişli


Ümraniye İlçe Çalışma Grup Başkanlığı


Address: Necip Fazıl Mahallesi, Gaffar Okan Caddesi, No: 4 Ümraniye








Pendik İlçe Çalışma Grup Başkanlığı


Address: Doğu Mahallesi, İnce Sokak, No: 12 Pendik







Sultanbeyli Koordinasyon Bürosu


Address: Battalgazi Mahallesi,

Bosna Bulvarı, No: 36 Sultanbeyli