Turkish consumers have flocked to neighboring Georgia to buy phones after the government increased a registering fee for mobile phones that are brought from abroad by 228 percent.
Vehicles formed a 15-kilometer-long line on the Black Sea highway, which lead to the Sarp border crossing at the two countries’ border in the northeastern province of Artvin.Some even crossed the border into Georgina on foot.
The Çıldır-Aktaş border crossing in the province of Iğdır also witnessed similar scenes with people making brief trips to Georgia to buy mobile phones and have them registered at a cheaper cost.
People rushed to the common border on July 8 before the new fee came into effect at midnight on that day.
With a decree published in the Official Gazette, the registering fee for mobile phones was hiked from 6,091 Turkish Liras to 20,000 liras ($767).
Tamer Bağcı, who lives in the northeastern province of Bursa, near Istanbul, said he was on vacation in Iğdır but as soon as he saw the news about the fee hike in the morning, he traveled to the border crossing.
He made three trips to the border gate since early in the morning, carrying customers who wanted to buy mobile phones in Georgia, said Fuat Seçilmiş, a taxi driver from Iğdır. He was waiting more than two hours to return from the other side of the border. “I will drive them back. But they are not here yet.”