In regards to embargoes related issues, the Information Technology and Communications Council (ITCN) have made it compulsory to register your handsets (mobile devices) and SIM cards if they are not purchased in the TRNC. Prior to using your phone for a limited period of 3 months; a fine is levied on non-registered phones and the amount correlates to the value of your phone. For example, an iPhone 7 will be as much as 2,400 TL! We thereby advice you register your phone ASAP when you arrive the island.
The required documents and registration process is as follows:
As a student, you have to take along;
- Your student identification documents (I’D, student letter)
- Your passport
As for the process;
The phone registration is done in the ITCN office better known by its Turkish appellation; BTHK (Biligi Tekndojileri Ve Haberiesme Kuruma). When in the office, you will need to complete the form then join the queue. At the desk, you’ll be demanded 19.50 TL for the registration which has to be paid by Credit Card only as this office does not accept cash.
You’ll then get a copy of the form and receipt to the Customs Office next door, by obtaining a queue number and following the queue. The minimum amount paid here is a 100 TL and floats to about 600 TL. Please, note that this amount is proportionate to the brand and value of your phone. So make findings before leaving your house. This part of the office takes either cash or credit card.
Once you have the receipt, go to your service provider (Turkcell or Telsim) with all the paperwork and they’ll set up the new IMEI number on their system and then your phone is registered for use in the TRNC. Be informed you’ll have to pay 15 TL.
I know right now you are wondering; where is this office is located? Let’s round this off as I answer the question.
The BTHK office is located in Lefkosia (Nicosia). If coming from City Center, get pass the traffic light, then continue straight towards the monument round about. Cross straight ahead and follow the road until you see “Domino pizza” on your left. If you face difficulties locating “Domino pizza”, check across the road for “Hangover café” (a popular snack bar) or better still, ask a passerby.
Once at “Domino pizza”, you will see a sign post for BTHK office at the entrance where the pizza parlour is and just move there. The office’s opening hours are 08:30 AM – 14:00 PM, and operate on Mondays to Fridays.
Best of wishes.
Jude F. Asanji