GSM-based mobile communication in Turkey began when Turkcell commenced operations in February 1994.​

A Global Company

GSM-based mobile communication in Turkey began when Turkcell commenced operations in February 1994. Turkcell then signed a 25-year GSM license contract with the Ministry of Transportation on April 27, 1998. Since then, it has continuously increased the variety of its services based on mobile audio and data communication, as well as on its quality levels and as a result, its number of subscribers.

Turkcell is a regional leader by being the market leader in five countries out of nine it operates in. Turkcell's shares have been traded on the Istanbul (IMKB) and New York Stock Exchanges (NYSE) since July 11, 2000, and it is the first and only Turkish company ever to be listed on the NYSE.

Turkcell also has investments abroad. Turkcell conducts its mobile operations in growing markets like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Georgia through its subsidiary Fintur, in which Turkcell holds a 41.45% stake. KKTCell, a 100% owned subsidiary of Turkcell, was established in 1999 and operates within the framework of a revenue-sharing agreement with the Telecommunications Authority of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Astelit, a company in Ukraine in which Turkcell holds a 55% stake, began operating in February 2005 under the brand life:). Turkcell acquired 80% stake of BeST from the State Committee on Property of the Republic of Belarus in 2008.

Meanwhile, Turkcell's wholly owned subsidiary in Germany, Turkcell Europe, commenced its operations in 2011. In the first quarter of 2011, Turkcell expanded its operations into nine countries by initiating MVNO services in Germany through the wholesale traffic purchase agreement signed in 2010.

Turkcell, with its wide coverage area and diverse range of services abroad, is able to provide its subscribers with mobile communication services both in Turkey and around the world.

Turkcell had signed 3G contracts in more than 110 countries, ranking it among the world’s top operators in terms of the provision of international data services. Turkcell also ranks among the top operators in terms of GPRS roaming, where it has signed contracts with operators from more than 165 countries.

Always One Step Ahead

Turkcell has always worked to bring the innovations in the mobile communication world to Turkey. Since its inception it facilitates the lives of its subscribers, helps them save time, provides products and services ensuring easy access to data and keeps on improving its infrastructure even further. In addition to programs that cater to GSM usage habits and life styles of individuals, Turkcell provides products and services designed specially to boost productivity and competence of its corporate subscribers.

In line with the advancements in technology and availability of technologies that enable fast data transfer, Turkcell has offered services like "TurkcellEDGE", "Turkcell BlackBerry", "TurkcellConnect" and "TurkcellE-Postacı" to its customers. Among other services of Turkcell, that aim to make the lives of its customers easier that can be cited as examples are Turkcell Mobil Ödeme which enables the customers to use their credit cards with their mobile phones when using the Turkcell infrastructure, and ‘CepteCevap' which gives answers to questions sent by SMS.

Turkcell has collected all its value added products and services under a single communication and access point called ‘Turkcell-im' and offered this mobile internet to its customers. Since August 2006, Turkcell customers have been benefiting from Turkcell-im which allows Turkcell subscribers to access many value added services ranging from entertainment, music , news and sports, to chat and messaging, from a single point. Turkcell also aims to increase the productivity of the enterprises with its mobile communication solutions and offers innovative products and services to its corporate subscribers using the new design opportunities made possible by its GSM infrastructure. With its leading role in M-state and m-municipality projects, Turkcell leads the way to use of mobile communication technologies in public industry applications and keeps on its activities for these authorities with brand new projects.

On April 1, 2005, Turkcell launched ‘Turkcell's youth club: gnctrkcll', by taking into account the life styles and needs of young people and bringing together the subscribers that have similar lifestyles and needs while providing them with unique GSM and non-GSM benefits. "Gnctrkcll", with more than 15 million subscribers, is not a discount card, but a long-term advantage package which aims to build a ‘club' that incorporates famous brands and generates a world of opportunities.

Social Responsibility

In addition to its contributions to the national economy, Turkcell has also supported many social projects so far that it believes will add value to the society from education, technology and sports to art andculture art. Turkcell aims to contribute to the development of qualified human resources in our country with these activities.

Within the scope of its efforts and in association with the Foundation for Contemporary Life, Turkcell has been conducting ‘Kardelenler (Snowdrops) projects, which is one of the biggest social responsibility projects in the world.. Under the project, every year many school-age girls whose families cannot afford to send them to school, are granted a scholarship. So far, 18.400 students were granted scholarships, 7380 Snowdrops graduated from high school, 1400 of them passed the university exam and 170 of them graduated successfully from university. Furthermore, under the project, 26 Snowdrops have been granted scholarships to attend Istanbul TED College.

The "Snowdrops" project won Turkcell IPR Excellence Awards, Foundation of Women Executives' Public Relations (WEPR) "Crystal Obelisk" and PR News CSR Awards as well as many other international accolades.

Turkcell, started its second social responsibility project, ‘Running Towards the Future,” intended to contribute to ‘train competent human resources' in Turkey in 2007.

“Running Towards the Future” allows any student in the 7-17 age groups to do sports without any preconditions imposed on them. As the sponsor of Free Sports Schools Project, started by the Turkish National Olympics Committee since 2000, Turkcell widened the scope of this project and stepped up its support. The project was renamed as ‘Running Towards the Future' in April 2007 and was widened to cover 38 schools in 23 cities. Turkcell aims to widen the project even more, which has already provided more than 50.000 youngsters with the opportunity to do sports, and ensure that some 15 thousand children can do sports in just one academic year in 2007.

Turkcell's Achievements Are Recognized

With its own staff, and the staff of the companies in its ecosystem, Turkcell today employs 20 thousand people. Its achievements so far have been recognized with numerous international awards and prizes. Turkcell entered the INFO Tech 100 list in 83rd place in 2007, on which it has been listed for four years in a row. Turkcell has left behind some 10 thousand companies to make it to the list, which is compiled based on the financial data obtained from Standard & Poor's.

Turkcell won the first prize in the Best New Service category in World Communication Awards 2002, with its "GPRSLand" service.

Turkcell keeps on investing in humans resources and technology, with its trained and specialized staff and was entitled to receive ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certificate in November 1999. Turkey's first operator with ISO 9001: 2000 certificate, Turkcell, keeps on improving its services in line with the new developments.

The first abutment of the "Bridge of Hearts" was built in Diyarbakır in June 2008. The “Bridge of Hearts” Project prepared jointly by the Ministry of National Education and Turkcell was kicked off with a ceremony in Diyarbakır. The Project is intended to have 100,000 students from all of Turkey's 81 provinces visit provinces other than their own, know Turkey's natural and cultural beauty, and build lasting friendships. Turkcell, being aware of the uniting feature of sports, has carried out many projects and sponsorships in this field. As the main sponsor of the Turkish National Football Team and the official sponsor of Turkish National Basketball Team, Turkcell has also gained the name sponsor rights for the Turkish Super League for 5 seasons starting from 2005-2006.  

Turkcell believes in the importance of support to make the recent achievements of Turkish athletes permanent, and as the sponsor of 12 teams in the Turkish Turkcell Super League, Turkcell keeps on providing its support in Turkish football. Furthermore, in association with Turkish Sports Columnists Association, Turkcell holds ‘TSYD-Turkcell Sports Press Seminars' all around Anatolia with the view of contributing to the professional competence of sports journalists working in Anatolia. An important example of Turkcell's effort in the culture-art area, is the restoration of the Bodrum Antique Castle project in association with Ericsson Turkey. In 1998, the project was started with the aim of developing our social values and preserving our cultural and art heritage, it was launched with the restoration of the Myndos door restoration and continued with the repair of the Ottoman Castle at the port. The third stage of the project, was selected as the restoration of Bodrum Antique Theater in June 2002, and was completed in 2003. 

Since 2003, the antique theatre has been hosting concerts: ‘Starry Turkcell Nights'. Turkcell has been supporting the Istanbul Film Festival held by Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation for the past 6 years and the Jazz Festival for the past 9 years. It has also been the official communication sponsor of IKSV since 2005. In the technology sector, Turkcell has been contributing to the development of the IT and telecommunication industries in our country with the support it provides to CeBIT IT Eurasia fair. This huge organization, which Turkcell has been sponsoring for the past ten years, not only brings together the representatives of the industry on an international platform, but also plays an important role in raising the awareness of technology in the public. Investments Made in the Staff Returns as an Unique Value Turkcell is one of Turkey's top companies in terms of Human Resources thanks to the programs its applies. In 2005, after winning the ‘Investors In People' (IIP) certificate that represents the international human resources standards contributing to the increase of company performance through staff, Turkcell became the first GSM operator in the world with IIP certificate. 

Aiming at the personal development of the employees through several communication and training applications and supporting their active participation in the business processes, Turkcell has reinforced its human resources strategies even further with the use of ‘Investors in People' (IIP) standards. Turkcell, for the purpose of making ‘development of human resources' continuous, which is one of its most important missions, has gathered its development programs under one roof on May 30, 2006 and opened ‘Turkcell Academy' in its historical building in Beyoğlu. Turkcell Academy has carried Turkcell's leading role in the training area even further. Turkcell has offered a brand new approach to the concept of ‘investment in humans' with the Academy. 

Technical and non-technical trainings based on the strategic priorities, web-based training systems, e-learning applications that support in-class trainings, language trainings and many other useful educational activities, act as development solutions that add value both.