Turkcell İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş.
Anonim Şirket
Traded as BİST: TCELL
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1994
Founder Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, Murat Vargı
Headquarters Istanbul, Turkey
Area served
Key people
Ahmet Akça (Chairman)
Kaan Terzioğlu (CEO)
Products Mobile telephony & Internet services
Revenue 9.370 billion (2011)[1]
1.108 billion (2011)[1]
1.140 billion (2011)[1]
Total assets 17.147 billion (2011)[1]
Total equity 10.793 billion (2011)[1]
Owner Telia Company (51%)
Altimo (13.2%)
Çukurova Holding (0.05%)
Number of employees
12,834 (2011)[2]
Website www.turkcell.com.tr

Turkcell (BİST: TCELL, NYSE: TKC) is the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey,[3] based in Istanbul. The company has 34.4 million subscribers as of September 30, 2011.[4] In 2015, the company's number of subscribers climbed to 68.9 million, in nine countries[5] Largest shareholder is Telia Finland Oyj with 51% ownership. It is one of the worlds biggest companies (Fortune 2000) list published by Fortune.[6]

Company background

In February 1994, Turkcell started Turkey's first GSM network. In Q3 2012, it had a market share of 52,4%. Its competitors were Vodafone with a market share of 27,9% and Avea with a market share of 19,7%.[7]

Turkcell is the first Turkish company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange,[8] where its shares have been traded since July 11, 2000 along with trading on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

Turkcell's shareholder structure is as follows: 51% is held by Turkcell Holding A.Ş., 0.05% by Çukurova Holding A.Ş., 13.07% by Sonera Holding B.V., 1.18% by MV Holding A.Ş., and the free float is 34.7%.[9] As of December 2011, Sonera Holding and Cukurova Group, directly and indirectly, own approximately 37.1% and 13.8%, respectively of Turkcell’s share capital.[1] Çukurova Group agreed to sell a large stake to TeliaSonera in March 2005.[10] They have since then been debating whether this agreement is binding. In August 2009 the International Chamber of Commerce issued an award stating that Çukurova must deliver all the remaining shares in Turkcell Holding to TeliaSonera.[11]

Turkcell also provides GSM services internationally. It has 9.6 million subscribers via Fintur Holdings and its affiliates in partnership with TeliaSonera in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova, as of September 30, 2007. Turkcell's Ukrainian wholly owned[12] business Astelit has 13.6 million subscribers. In 2009 they were the first company to get 3G services for their customers in Turkey.[13]

Coverage area

Turkcell provides coverage of an area that, as of March 31, 2007, includes 100% of the population living in cities of 3,000 or more people, 97.21% of the total population, and 80.44% of Turkey's land area. The company has a few blind spots, especially in mountainous areas in the Eastern region.[14]

Northern Cyprus

Turkcell also operates overseas. Its Northern Cyprus brand is known as Kuzey Kıbrıs Turkcell (North Cyprus Turkcell) which operates in the Northern Cyprus only. KKTcell runs completely separately from Turkey's Turkcell, although the ownership of the network is the same. KKTcell is also the North's largest Network Provider at the moment, in terms of registered users and network coverage. KKTcell numbers can be distinguished from Mainland Turkey Turkcell numbers easily, as KKTcell numbers begin with 90 (533) 8XX-XXXX.


Turkcell has international roaming agreements with 605 operators in 201 countries as of September, 2008. It claims to have more international GPRS roaming agreements than any other operator (356 operators in 143 countries as of August 31, 2008). It also applies discounted roaming costs when calling from a Turkcell mobile to a KKTurkcell number.


Turkcell has been the "Official Communication Sponsor" of the national football and basketball teams since 2002. It also sponsors 14 of the 18 football teams in the Turkish Super League. The "Turkcell Football Awards" project was initiated in 2003 to encourage "fair play" by awarding athletes who show fairness, impartiality, and solidarity.

Turkcell also sponsors the Istanbul International Film Festival and co-sponsors the Istanbul International Jazz Festival. Since 1999, Turkcell has supported the restoration of the ancient city walls in Bodrum. The last phase of the project, the restoration of an ancient theater, was completed in June 2003.

Turkcell has also continued to sponsor the CeBIT Bilişim Eurasia event,[15] one of the major information technology fairs in Europe, for the tenth time in 2007.

Turkcell's main educational project, "Modern Girls of Modern Turkey", which started in 2000, grants scholarships to 5,000 young women in less developed parts of the country. The project received international recognition in June 2001, when it won the UK "Institute of Public Relations Excellence Award" and the "Crystal Obelisk Award" from the Foundation of Women Executives in Public Relations in New York City in 2002.


Turkcell Superonline, one of Turkcell's subsidiaries and a major ISP in Turkey, has been criticized for injecting advertisements. The company has not responded to the questions about the injections. This event was described as the first evidence of traffic monitoring and manipulation in Turkey with deep packet inspection.[16][17]

MTN Group court case

In May 2013, Turkcell dropped its multibillion-dollar US lawsuit against MTN Group, citing a US Supreme Court ruling that hurt its case. The operator filed a $4.2 billion lawsuit in Washington in 2012 alleging the company used bribery to win a mobile license in Iran that was first awarded to Turkcell. The court delayed the case in October 2012 pending a US Supreme Court decision on the Alien Tort Statute, the U.S. human rights law on which Turkcell's suit is based.[18]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "ANNUAL REPORT 2011" (PDF). Turkcell. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  2. "ANNUAL REPORT For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 (FORM 20-F)" (PDF). Turkcell. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  3. "Russia's Alfa Telecom bids $2.8 billion to double stake in Turkcell". 17 March 2017. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017 via Reuters.
  4. "History". Turkcell. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  5. Cinarli, Bilal. "Turkcell Group .:. Annual Report". investor.turkcell.com.tr. Archived from the original on 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  6. "Turkcell on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2017-09-09. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  7. "Market Information". Turkcell. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
  8. Dorsey, James M. (2000-07-11). "Turkcell's IPO Will Put Turkey On the Telecom and U.S. Maps". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  9. "Shareholder Structure". Turkcell. 2012-02-22. Archived from the original on 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  10. "TeliaSonera – press release". Cision Wire. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2005-03-25.
  11. "TeliaSonera – press release". Cision Wire. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  13. "The race is on". Ericsson.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  14. Inc., Tom Brosnahan, Travel Info Exchange,. "Turkish Mobile (Cell) Phone Companies". Archived from the original on 2015-08-31.
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  16. Gözütok, Ahmet. "Turkcell Superonline kullanıcılarını reklam izlemeye mi zorluyor?". donanimhaber.com. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  17. Yagiz. "İddia: Superonline kullanıcılarına izinsiz reklam gösteriyor". medium.com. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  18. Turkcell withdraws U.S. lawsuit against MTN Group, International: Reuters, 2013, archived from the original on 2013-05-05
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