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Universal health insurance requirement in Turkey (Istanbul)

We learned last week that according to a regulation that came into force January Protected content residing in Turkey are subject to the universal health insurance regime. In a letter send out by SGK we were asked to register with our local SGK office by 31st of Januar - or face a fine (the deadline has been extended to end of February).

We understand that under some circumstances we would not need to buy a Turkish health insurance e.g. if we have your own private insurance. However, the SGK officials do not seem to have much information themselves and there appears quite some confusion when we called SGK offices in Sisli and Besiktas.

Has anybody had the experience of trying to register with an SGK office in Istanbul and could you please share your experience with registration as well as with trying to get an exemption?

We live in Emirgan, so we would also appreciate some information on the local SGK office (which one should we use, the department in charge, contact, procedure etc).

Thanks for your help!