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The authors present an efficient method to estimate the performance of turbo codes with soft output Viterbi algorithm (SOVA) iterative decoding via importance sampling (IS). The method is based on computing a specific decoding error probability of all relevant error centers. The accuracy and viability of the proposed method are demonstrated by two examples. The method is particularly effective at high signal to noise ratio (SNR), where Monte Carlo (MC) simulation takes too much time to obtain an estimative that is statistically sound.