Updated on September 24, 2021.

Am I eligible for Covid-19 vaccination in Turkey as an international student? What is the procedure that I need to follow?

After receiving your residence permit, yes, you will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. The residence permit acquisition process may take up to two months. Please consider this waiting time.

After you obtain your permit card, you will have a foreigner ID number. With that number, you can check your eligibility and book an appointment for your vaccination online. To learn the procedure, please visit our website: ico.ku.edu.tr/Covid-19-vaccine/.

You can also check out our Bi-Weekly News, Issue 58, page 3 

Where can I get tested for Covid-19 in Istanbul?

PCR and/or antigen tests are available for foreign citizens in Turkey.

PCR testing for foreigners at public hospitals is limited to those who have symptoms, or those who may have an entry requirement back to their home country. Foreign citizens who would like to have the PCR testing can apply to a private hospital or a laboratory by paying the cost.

The government of Turkey has updated its website with the list of facilities in Turkey that perform Covid-19 tests.

PCR testing is available at Istanbul Airport too. There is no need for an appointment to visit the airport’s testing center, as it is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The testing center is in front of Entrance 14 in Arrivals Hall. The test fee is 250 TL or about $35 for all ages. You must arrive at the airport at least 6 hours prior to your flight with a valid ticket and a valid passport, test results take up to 5 hours. For more details about testing at the Istanbul Airport, please visit https://www.istairport.com/en/announcements/istanbul-airport-test-center-is-at-your-service-24-7.

Where can I find information about the Turkey Student Health Insurance?

For health insurance options, you may visit ICO’s website:


As an international graduate student/postdoc, does my KU health insurance cover the maintenance costs associated with Covid-19?

Yes, it does. KU health insurance (Allianz) covers the maintenance costs associated with pandemics in accordance with the policy limits. Students are highly advised to contact their health insurance provider for specific questions and inquire about information on individual policy limits.

What’s HES Code? How can I obtain it?

HES is the abbreviation of Hayat Eve Sığar (Life Fits into Home in English). It is a mobile application pioneered by the Ministry of Health that tracks the contraction of the Covid-19 virus and shares maps of health services and risk areas.

To learn more about the application and to find out how to obtain a personal HES code, please visit https://hayatevesigar.saglik.gov.tr/hes-eng.html.

The HES code is a must to enter public buildings and to use public transportation. We encourage you to obtain your code immediately after arriving in Turkey.

Please note: If you are planning to use public transportation in Istanbul to leave the airport, you will need an IstanbulKart. See https://ico.ku.edu.tr/resources/arriving-on-campus/.

To use public transportation, you must integrate your HES code into your IstanbulKart. Please visit our website to learn how to do so: https://ico.ku.edu.tr/hes-code-for-istanbulkart/.

How can I register my vaccination status to the HES application?

If you have received Covid-19 vaccines in your home country, you are expected to integrate that data into your HES account within 15 days of receiving your residence permit card. The only way to do it is to write a petition in Turkish and submit it to any District Health Directorate (İlçe Sağlık Müdürlüğü) in Istanbul. Those students who live in Sarıyer can submit their petition to the Sarıyer District Health DirectorateIt may take up to a month for your vaccination status to be seen on your HES application. Therefore, it is very important for you to take necessary action at your earliest convenience after receiving your residence permit card. 


Please follow our instructions below:

  1. Fill out the following petition form with your data: _ Petition to Integrate Vaccination Status to the HES Application_ . The document is in Word format for you to be able to erase our instructions on the document and type your information instead. Once done, you can print it out.
  2. Have your residence permit card and your vaccination card/document photocopied.
  3. Attach those photocopies to your petition and submit them to any District Health Directorate.

Sarıyer District Health Directorate (Sarıyer İlçe Sağlık Müdürlüğü): Ferahevler, Muhtar Cad. No:6, 34457 Sarıyer/İstanbul


Directions from the main campus: 

1. Take bus no 154, dolmuş, or shuttle to Hoacıosman bus stop.

2. Transfer to the bus no: 25C, 29D, 42, 59RH, 41C, 41SF, 29M1, 29M2 and get off at the Sarıyer Kaymakamlık stop.

What is Koç University “Self-Checker”? How can I obtain it?

Self-Checker is a feature within the Koç University Mobile Application for KU affiliates where they submit their current Covid-19 health status for the records. It is created to ensure the continuation of campus activities in a healthy environment and to keep Covid-19 infections under inspection as much as possible.

The Self-Checker is a mobile form where the Covid-19 related symptoms are listed for you to select if you experience any.  All who enter the campus are required to fill in the Self-Checker Application.

If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, you cannot enter the KU campuses. In that case, you can contact the Koç University Health Center for advice and guidance. The forms are checked by the filiation team daily.

To fill in the Self-Checker, you should first download the Koç University Mobile App to your mobile device. Then, you will be asked to log in with your KU NetID and password. You are ready to proceed with the Self-Checker.

To learn more about how to report your health status with the Self-Checker, please visit https://confluence.ku.edu.tr/kuhelp/ithelp/it-services/digital-services/koc-ueniversitesi-mobil/how-to-report-my-health-status-with-the-self-checker.

Please note that you do need to integrate your HES code into your Self-Checker.

To learn how to submit your HES code with the Self-Checker, please visit https://confluence.ku.edu.tr/kuhelp/ithelp/it-services/digital-services/koc-ueniversitesi-mobil/how-to-submit-my-hes-code-with-the-self-checker.

For any technical issues, you can send an email to it@ku.edu.tr.

For questions concerning the content of the form, you can send an email to healthcenter@ku.edu.tr

How can I receive news and updates regarding the Covid-19 situation at Koç University and in Istanbul/Turkey?

The ICO publishes the most up-to-date news and announcements, including Covid-19, through its communication channels for the KU international community.

You can receive the related information through the office’s Bi-Weekly News and Instagram account.

When a new regulation about Covid-19 is announced by the officials, the ICO immediately shares it on its Instagram account as a story and keeps the latest story flow highlighted, named “Covid-19 Update”.


The information in this guideline has been provided in line with the recommendations of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health, Higher Education Board (YÖK) and Koç University Health Board and is subject to change in light of new regulations.