Istanbulkart offers faculty members discounted transportation fares for each ride across all modes of transit in Istanbul, except for Dolmuş which accepts cash only. To be able to obtain the card, you must receive your work permit card first.

Unfortunately, postdoctoral researchers are not eligible for this discounted public transit card.

You can apply for an Istanbulkart either online or in-person. However, we do recommend you apply in-person since it is faster and easier.

In-Person Application

  1. Request a document which states that you work under YÖK (Higher Education Council) and you are eligible to benefit from discounted transportation fares by creating a Track-IT on HR Track-IT. If you recently started working at the university, you can contact Özgür Serinyel by sending an e-mail to oserinyel@ku.edu.tr.
  2. Visit one of the application centers and inform the personnel that you want to obtain a faculty fare Istanbulkart by simply saying “Istanbulkart” or hand this text: “Öğretmen indirimli İstanbulkart almak istiyorum”. The personnel will receive your application along with the required documents and issue your card on the spot. The closest application center to the university is the Sarıyer Istanbulkart Application Center (Beyaz Masa) next to the Iskele Can Restaurant.

Required documents:

1. A document stating that you work under YÖK (Higher Education Council) and eligible to benefit from discounted transportation fares

2. Work Permit Card

3. 1 headshot photograph

4. Original KU faculty ID card

5. 10 ₺ (subject to change). You can pay the Istanbulkart fee in cash or by credit card on your visit to the Application Center.

General Card Application & Renewal Centers Throughout Istanbul

Online Application

1. Fill the online application form out.
Visit the online application web page and register yourself with accurate information. It is necessary to upload your head-shot photograph to the system. Please have your head-shot photograph in the JPEG version available on your computer.

2. While registering, the system asks for your YKN. It is your Foreign ID number.

3. The only way to pay your card fee (10 ₺- subject to change) is through the online application form. You can pay the fee by your credit card at the last step of your application. Please make sure that your credit card is available for international transactions. Other means of payment are not accepted for online applications.

4. You can check your application status and update your application by logging in to the membership page.

5. After completing the online application form, your card will be issued and delivered to your address via PTT (National Postal Service). You can track the delivery via PTT with your shipment number. The tracking web page is in Turkish. You should write your shipment number in the first box, and the verification code to the second.

***In case of your absence during the delivery, a note is left on your door (either your apartment or building main entrance) and your card is held for one week at the closest PTT branch to your address. If you do not collect your card within one week, your card will be sent to Karaköy İstanbulkart Application Center.

Refilling your Istanbulkart

You can refill your card through the refill machines (Biletmatik) placed almost all over the public transit points, KU main campus Student Center lower 1st floor (next to Yapı Kredi Bank), and newsstands with signs: “ISTANBUL KART BAYİİ” or “ISTANBUL KART DOLUM MERKEZI“.

Besides these options, there is one new and very convenient application that allows you to refill your card online from your phone. If your phone has NFC (Near Field Communication) function*, you can download the Istanbulkart Application to your phone and refill your card easily by your credit card. The application can be used in English as well.

App Store: //apps.apple.com/tr/app/istanbulkart/id1352307391?l=tr
Google Play: //play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.belbim.istanbulkart&hl=en

*You can check whether your phone supports NFC, or not, by following these steps:
Go to “Settings”. Under “Wireless and Networks”, tap on “More”. There you can see an option for NFC if your phone supports it. If the option is not there, your phone does not have NFC capabilities.

Replacement of Your Istanbul Card (In Case of Loss)

First, cancel your lost card by calling 153 help-line

If you lose your Istanbulkart, call 153 from any phone (for other languages, press *) and cancel your Istanbulkart. The customer representative will ask for your Foreigner ID number and a security question and complete the cancellation process.

Second, visit an Istanbul Card Application Center with the required documents and obtain your new card

Required documents:

1. Work Permit Card

2. A document stating that you work under YÖK (Higher Education Council) and eligible to benefit from discounted transportation fares

3. 1 headshot photograph
4. Card renewal fee 10 ₺ (subject to change)

Important Notes

  • If you are renewing your card and you had money in your old card, we advise you to visit one of the below centers as in these places you can both apply for a new card and transfer your old balance to the new card.
  • We strongly advise you to watch the expiration date of your “faculty status” on your card which enables you to benefit from the discounted fares. The expiration date of each card can be seen on the screens of card refill machines and card readers on the public transit (bus, metro turnstile, metrobus, etc.) every time you use your card.
  • You should renew your status accordingly. This process is called vizeleme and costs 5 ₺. Vizeleme means maintaining your faculty discount on your card. Without it, when your status expires (each faculty card is usually good for 1 year) the fares will go back to regular fares. There is a limited time to renew your status at the refill machines or newsstands with signs: “ISTANBUL KART BAYİİ” or “ISTANBUL KART DOLUM MERKEZI“.
  • If you miss this limited time, you can visit one of the application centers given below and renew your status in person with the same application documents. If you are no longer a faculty in Istanbul but will continue to stay, your card is not going to be disabled but will be a regular IstanbulKart with regular fares.

Application centers:

1. Karaköy Istanbulkart Application Center (Karaköy istanbulkart Başvuru Merkezi)

2. Kadiköy Istanbulkart Application Center (Kadıköy istanbulkart Başvuru Merkezi)