Do you want to send a letter, document, postcard in Turkey? Doesn’t matter if you want to send it locally or abroad, you can accomplish your goal using PTT (Posta ve Telgraf Teskilati in Turkish, meaning “post and telegraph directorate”). You can easily recognize post offices in Istanbul by their yellow and dark colored PTT signs, which are all around in Istanbul. If you want to learn about PTT in Istanbul, how they operate and how you can use it, without further ado, let’s get into the details.
As the national post and telegraph directorate of the country, PTT was founded in 1840. It was originally called the Ministry of Posts. After telegraph started being used in the Ottoman Empire in 1854, Directorate of Telegraph was also founded. These two were merged in 1871 and got the name “Ministry of Post and Telegraph”. In 1909, telephones came to the country, so the ministry’s name was changed to Posta Telgraf Telefon (Meaning "Posts, Telegraph and Telephone").
After the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923, PTT became the property of Turkish government and kept operating. But in 1995, PTT’s telephone services were transferred to Turk Telecom, so its name was, again, changed to Posta Telgraf Teskilati, so its abbreviation was not changed.
In 2008, PTT Kargo (Cargo) was founded, which is a cargo transportation company owned by PTT. Their services are available in all of Turkey, and they are one of the cheapest options in the market, so they are preferred by a good portion of the population. They also have options like PTT VIP Cargo and cash-on delivery parcel. With these services, consumers can track their cargos with various methods such as the Internet, e-mail or SMS. In 2012, PTT launched its Kargomatik option which provides unmanned mail delivery service.
PTT aims to provide an affordable, quality, fast and reliable option in postal and mail delivery services. They carry a TS EN ISO 9001 Quality Certificate. Their international mail delivery system makes sure that your mail or post arrives the post office of the receiver country’s PTT center in 3 day at most. Most of these mails are transported abroad by the famous Turkish Airlines.
Domestic Services of PTT
International Services of PTT
Useful Phrases in PTT Post Offices
While post office personnel in Istanbul are helpful and understanding to tourists, very few of them speak fluent English, so you can use some of these Turkish phrases to communicate a bit better with the Turkish personnel.
I need to send this mail to X: Bu postayı X adresine göndermek istiyorum.
I want a parcel: Bir paket istiyorum.
I want an envelope: Bir zarf istiyorum.
I want a telephone card: Bir telefon kartı istiyorum.
How long does the mail take to get there?: Postanın ulaşması kaç gün sürer?
Does the mail have a tracking number?: Postanın takip numarası var mı?
What is the tracking number of the mail?: Postanın takip numarası nedir?
Is there a faster delivery option available?: Daha hızlı bir gönderim yolu var mı?
Post offices opening hours in Istanbul are the same for every single PTT office in Turkey. All PTT branches are open from 8.30 AM to 12.30 PM in the morning. After a 1-hour lunch break, it reopens at 1.30 PM and closes at 5.30 PM. PTT offices working days are also the same for every branch. They work from Monday to Friday, and except for the central PTT branches, all PTTs are closed on Saturday. On Saturday, central PTT branches in certain regions serve until 1.30 PM. The central PTT office in Istanbul is the Grand Post Office near the Sirkeci station.
There are around 600 PTT offices in Istanbul, so you never have to worry about being unable to find one if you have an urgent package to send or receive. However, bigger offices that are in the tourist regions of Istanbul will be more experienced in working with tourists, so going to one of these may make your experience a little easier. Here are the major PTT offices in Istanbul:
How to Deliver Letters and Packages Using PTT
If you want to mail a postcard, letter, or package in Turkey, you have to go to a PTT branch office. PTT delivery prices are not affected by the distance the cargo needs to travel, but it is affected by the package’s size and weight. To mail more than a couple of postcards, you can get stamps from various points in Istanbul. You can also buy them from PTT. Then, all you have to do is put the postcards in the mailbox outside of the PTT office.