I'm a foreigner who is going to live in Turkey for 9 months. After two weeks here I bought a SIM card and I received the usual messages about the registration. If I remove the SIM and put it in a phone I purchased here, will my previous phone get blocked or will I still be able to use it with no card?

  • Could you clarify what you mean by "use it with no card"? Are you asking if you can still make phone calls (for example) from your old phone even when it has no SIM?
    – Chris H
    Dec 9, 2020 at 13:11
  • No, I clearly do not intend to use it for calls if I remove the SIM. If I transfer it to a phone I buy in Turkey (I plan to use it as a router most of the time anyway), would my old phone somehow stop working? Since they seem to collect IMEIs and whatnot. I have read several articles about this but I'm still rather confused.
    – Jojo
    Dec 9, 2020 at 13:29
  • asserting that you "clearly" don't mean using it as a phone is all well and good, but to me it still seems the most straightforward interpretation of what you wrote. Perhaps instead of getting huffy about what you don't mean, you could tell us what you do mean: when you ask if you'll still be able to use it, what use do you have in mind?
    – Chris H
    Dec 9, 2020 at 14:01
  • Who is/was your network provider for your old phone? Is your old phone locked to that network? It may help you get better answers if you edit your question to include what research you’ve done
    – Traveller
    Dec 10, 2020 at 10:13

2 Answers 2


SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module. It identifies the phone it is in to the cellular network. When removed from the previous phone, that phone will no longer register itself to that network and so will not be able to receive calls, text or data for the number with the SIM.

The phone itself will still work and you are free to put back your old SIM in it which will connect in roaming mode so that you can communicate on the old number which is generally costly due to roaming fees but those depend on the plan of the old SIM.

Not inserting any SIM in the old phone still leaves it as a functional device which will be able to connect to WiFi, use Apps that don't require the SIM, watch videos, play music, etc. You can even install some apps that allow to make and receive VOIP calls and text while you are connected to a WiFi network.

All modern phones should work without a SIM card. A very long time ago, over 10 years, some models refused to access any functions until a SIM was placed. Even so, it was a simple task to edit the firmware to disable the check since I wanted to give the phone to my young daughter to play with.


If you used a turkish SIM card in your phone, the phone's IMEI will be blocked in Turkey after a certain time unless it is registered.

In this thread on tripadvisor https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k11432822-I_used_my_mobile_in_2017_in_Turkey_will_it_be_blocked_2018-Istanbul.html A user claims, that using the phone in your home country with a local SIM will reset the IMEI ban in Turkey. But I haven't found any other information to confirm this.

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