Recently, the online customs clearance option is added. It was not possible before, e.g. you should pay a visit to the UKİM (International Parcel Processing Center) in Başakşehir, Istanbul in able to get your parcel subject to customs by the recipient or third-party whose presents a legal document on behalf of the recipient.
This new procedure is a very convenient way as Istanbul is a big city.
If your parcel held by customs, you will get a result in tracking your shipment as PTT İşyerinde Bekliyor (lit. Waiting at PTT Office). This means your parcel is subject to the customs clearance (due to the lack of invoice, as well as exceeds the amount limit for the exemption from customs), and will not forward to the recipient unless its cleared. Also, a notice paper will be sent by registered mail to the recipient requesting the documents such as the invoice or document of the online payment showing the real amount of the purchase, and the ID of the recipient attached to the email addressed to istav-ukimsantral[at]ptt.gov.tr (As this email address is subject to change, please refer to the notice paper for current one). The subject of the mail should bear the barcode (tracking) no. with the 5-digit following (such as CP123456789CN-12345). Also, the documents attached must include the barcode no. and the recipient’s contact details on them. The deadline to sent the email is 20 days just after the paper received. After that an automatic reply confirming your mail is received is sent by the UKİM. After several days a second mail is sent when your documents are in process (queue). Please be patient! If somehow your documents don’t meet the criteria, they will sent another mail explaining the causes and what to do. If everything is OK, the shipment will be forwarded as usual. If nothing is done on your side the shipment will be sent to the sender after 20 days.
Its also possible to get parcels by visiting the UKİM as in the past.
Reaching them by calling may not be easy, as well as language barrier may be a problem (Thou you may try to have called someone, who speaks Turkish)!