According to Daily Sabah:

While all forms of transportation have currently resumed, there are a number of new practices and regulations in place to be aware of. A HES code will now be required for all intercity travel. HES, which is short for Hayat Eve Sığar (Life Fits into Home) is a mobile application pioneered by the Ministry of Health that tracks the contraction of the COVID-19 virus and shares maps of health services and risk areas. While the app is easily downloadable onto a mobile phone, it is also easily obtainable through sending an SMS to the number 2023 by entering the letters HES, followed by your country code, passport number, birth date and the number of days you want to travel plus seven days, all separated with blank spaces. The same method can be applied by foreigners with residence permits as well as Turkish citizens.

It appears that you can either download an app or text a Turkish short phone number. Texting that number wouldn't work outside of Turkey and the app shows an error if you try to use a foreign number:

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Is there another option for people with a foreign phone number to obtain this code? I'm planning a trip to Turkey soon and would like to ensure I can obtain it in advance.

  • What country telephone number do you have? – Xnero Jun 18 '20 at 0:55
  • 1
    Have you tried sending a message to +902023? – Xnero Jun 18 '20 at 0:59
  • Did you try a real phone number? The one in the image is actually invalid. – Michael Hampton Jun 18 '20 at 1:01
  • @MichaelHampton yes, I did – JonathanReez Jun 18 '20 at 1:16
  • @Daniil tried that now, doesn't work from a US number – JonathanReez Jun 18 '20 at 1:19

The HES code is only required for Turkish citizens, it's not required for foreigners with or without residency. This information is available on the Turkish airlines and SunExpress websites, and I verified it by calling Turkish Airlines.

  • 4
    Do you have a source for this info? – Xnero Jun 19 '20 at 11:30

It looks like the app is badly designed, others are also complaining about the same issue:

Totally useless app which only shows that the Turkish government doesn't care about the thousands of tourists who have been stranded in Turkey since the beginning of the corona pandemic. It's only in Turkish, it doesn't accept foreign phone numbers so you can't even start using it. The question remains: How will foreigners travel by trains, domestic flights and bus in Turkey in the coming days if it's IMPOSSIBLE to use the app for foreign visitors and you can't get a ticket without it ?

Hopefully the Turkish government fixes this soon. In the meantime, maybe you could use the number of a friend in Turkey or rent a a Turkish phone number.


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