Emergency situations

  • Published
  • By Mehmet Birbiri
  • 39th Air Base Wing Host Nation Adviser
Question: Mehmet, last weekend when I  was coming back from Castle by the Sea my car stopped running due to an engine failure. I didn't know what to do, but it was obvious that I needed a tow truck. Two Turkish gentlemen came by. With the little English they knew I explained the situation to them.  They made several phone calls with their cell phones and a tow truck came after 45 minutes. I want to ask you if there is a telephone number in Turkey that we can call for police, ambulance or any kind of emergency, like 9-1-1 in the U.S. 

Also, again during one of my weekend trips I saw a traffic accident. Everybody in the area rushed to help and take the accident victims out of the crashed vehicles. Without waiting for the ambulance, the police stopped a car and put an accident victim in the car, and told the driver to get him to the hospital. We don't do this in the States because of lawsuits. Can that driver get sued? 

Response: You sound as if you've witnessed some unusual happenings. I hope you won't need to call for the police, fire or ambulance.

Unfortunately we do not have a centralized emergency telephone number, like 9-1-1,
in Turkey. You should call a different number for every different situation. 

I will give you some telephone numbers below for various situations, but you should
keep in mind, whoever answers your call probably will not be able to speak English. If
you can have a Turkish national make the call for you, you will prevent any misunderstanding. 

If you are desperate to contact Turkish officials, you can ask the help of the Law Enforcement Desk. They have an interpreter on duty 24 hours. From outside Adana
you should dial 0-322-316-3200. 

The telephone number for police throughout Turkey is 155. If you want to report
something or ask for assistance, call this number. Police, at least, will know the telephone numbers that you need to dial, and since you are a foreigner, they might make the phone call for you. For example, in your tow truck incident, I really do not know the number of a tow truck company in Adana, Mersin, or any other city. Police have all the

Jandarma is the law enforcement-security  force in rural areas and villages. There is a
jandarma station in Incirlik Village. Jandarma is a branch of the Turkish Armed Forces and has total authority of the police. The telephone number for jandarma throughout Turkey is 156

The traffic police is a branch of the Turkish National Police and they work city streets
and highways. If you want to report something or complain about something regarding
traffic you should call 154

The answer to your last question; the driver who took the victim to the hospital will
not be sued. More than that, transporting accident victims via personal cars, vans,
dolmuses or even trucks is the immediate responsibility of the people who arrive on the
scene first. 

The telephone number for fire departments throughout Turkey is 110

And the telephone number for the ambulance throughout Turkey is 112

Telephone calls made to those three-digit emergency numbers, even via cell phones,
are free of charge.