Packages from Abroad

 Do not send large packages, computers, cell phones, medicines, or anything that might be forbidden or considered suspicious.
If your parents or friends would like to surprise you with a gift, they could order something from a Turkish business or online company and have it sent to you within the country. If they would like to send you money, they can send it by Western Union, the nearest office of which is in the Bebek post office.

1. An import tax of 20% may be levied based on the value assessed by the customs officers.

  • Items worth less than 75 Euro and in an envelope or small box generally can make it through customs. Anything bigger than that or of suspicious appearance will be stopped and subject to inspection.

2. Bureaucratic procedures at the Paket Post Customs Office

  • The red tape involved in getting a package out of customs can be daunting, even if you are fluent in Turkish.

Specific Items

Clothing and household items
Do not ship your suitcases from home. One student had to pay about $500 in customs fees. If you can't bear the thought of dealing with your suitcases once you arrive in Istanbul, you might consider hiring a porter at the airport, and a transfer service.

Computer 
All computers are considered business equipment and taxed heavily. It would be better to go to one of the big electronics shops (Check prices here) in one of the big shopping centers and buy something than to have something shipped from home.

Cellphones
Telephones that arrive in the mail are subject to a tax and a lot of red tape. It is possible to bring phones into the country as a personal item in your luggage, but if you are planning to use it, be sure to register it soon after you arrive. If you do not, it will be blocked from service within roughly two months. If you are only staying in Turkey 5 months, it would be better to buy a cheap cell phone.
  
Medications
Importing controlled substances is not allowed. Most over the counter medications are available in Turkey. You may bring in prescription medications for your personal when you come to Turkey, but you may not have it shipped to you. Please bring as much medication as you will need for your entire stay. If you need to have a prescription filled while you are at Boğaziçi University, you can visit the university health center for help.

Miscellaneous
Tofu, gluten free foods, protein powder, cosmetics, tortilla chips, almost all general things are available in Istanbul. They may not have your favorite brand, but there really is almost everything here.