Following the introduction of a regulation imposing a TL 100 fee on cell phones brought from abroad, the number of such devices registered declined by more than half, new data show.

The laws say owners must register a cell phone that is purchased in another country. There is no need to register phones purchased and invoiced in Turkey. Registrations are made with a passport and only one cell phone can be registered per passport in a period of two years. This still causes many inconveniences as people are reluctant to buy phones in Turkey. They can buy a cell phone for half the price in the US, for instance, but are only allowed to buy one telephone every two years.

According to data provided by the Communication Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK), the number of imported cell phones declined by half between June 15 — when the new regulation limiting imports was enacted — and July 30 over the same period of 2011. Turkey saw 102,000 cell phones registered between June 15 and July 30; this number was 212,000 in the same weeks of last year.

The new regulation arrives as part of government efforts to

minimize imports of high value-added products such as cell phones. The government expects to boost local production of such technology products. Officials from the Ministry of Finance say the measures to limit cell phone imports should continue to show the same success in the following months. “We are concerned about keeping hundreds of millions of dollars in the Turkish economy by having people consume locally made products. Similar steps will also help minimize Turkey’s current account deficit [CAD],” an anonymous source from the Ministry of Finance told Today’s Zaman. Many government sources have criticized what they called a “consumption abnormality,” particularly in technological goods, in Turkey. A total of 14.3 million cell phones entered Turkey last year with a value of $1.74 billion.


The number of cell phones brought into Turkey since 1994 has reached 160 million, data from the Mobile Communication Systems and Tools Businessmen Association (MOBİSAD) finds. Around 95 million of these phones were scrapped and are no longer used. Last October the government stepped up new measures to increase the private consumption tax (ÖTV) on cell phones.

Turks, young and old alike, follow the latest developments in technology markets very closely and adopt them very quickly. They tend to replace their cell phones with newer models relatively more often than the residents of many other countries. Turkey remains among the top countries in Europe in the use of mobile communications.

Source Zaman.

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