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13 August 2022 / Lifestyle

How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey

Any foreigner who wants to open a bank account in Turkey will be pleased to know that the process is easy. Turkish banking accommodates foreign ex-pats with various services and types of accounts. Many nationalities open accounts in private, Islamic, and state-owned banks around Turkey. They use accounts to pay bills, receive money from abroad like pensions, or like most ex-pats, take advantage of excellent rates for savings accounts. Many ex-pats in Turkey put money in time deposit accounts, of which interest rates roughly start at 10%. For those who live in Turkey or own property, having a Turkish bank account also makes it easier to manage day-to-day spending. Opening an account is easy, and while specific rules apply to foreigners, there are also many benefits. At Turkey Homes, we help all our clients open bank accounts in places like Fethiye, Antalya, Didim, Bodrum and Istanbul, but to open an account yourself, here is what to do.

                                               How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey

Documents to open a Bank Account are…

  • Passport of which Turkish banks will take photocopies.
  • Turkish Tax Identification Number. Known in Turkish as a Vergi Numerasi. Property buyers in Turkey will already have one. Otherwise, go to your local Tax office (Vergi Dairesi) and present your passport, of which they will take copies and issue a number straight away.
  • Proof of address like an electric or water bill from the last 90 days.

Money in Turkey

Choose Your Turkish Bank

People choose different banks for various reasons. They might like English-speaking staff or close distance to local cash points with English instructions. Some banks offer English-language websites or smartphone apps. For savings accounts, interest rates differ from bank to bank, so shop around. If you are uncertain, ask around in ex-pat groups because everyone has their favourite for various reasons. Some private banks include Garanti, YapıKredi, Akbank and Denizbank, while others such as Halkbank, Ziraat and Vakıfbank are state-owned.

Yapikredi Bank: YapiKredi has an individual banking section for foreigners on their website, which is also in English. YapiKredi is Turkey's fourth largest private bank with 908 branches. Their Turkish banking for foreigners section includes bill payments, Western Union, credit and debit cards, insurance products, safe deposit boxes, savings, investment accounts, and mortgages.

Is Bank say they are the "Turkish bank for foreigners and ex-pats." Their English website displays an ex-pat banking section, and their designated ex-pat banking branches offer a one-to-one service with English-speaking representatives. Foreign ex-pat banking services include personal loans, mortgages, investment options including mutual funds, gold, term deposits, non-term deposits, secure safety deposit boxes and insurance.

HSBC Bank: HSBC is popular among ex-pats because it is international, but you cannot go into a bank in Turkey to inquire about accounts in another country. Their English website version and English-speaking staff in certain branches win high favour with ex-pats in Turkey. HSBC has also started offering the YUVAM Turkish Lira Time Deposit Account for Non-Resident foreigners, where you invest your foreign currency funds into Turkey and receive the Central Bank protection guarantee against exchange rate volatility and other returns.

Deniz Bank: Private Denizbank is especially popular with foreigners and ex-pats who deposit money in interest savings accounts with excellent rates. An English website, as well as English-speaking staff in individual branches, cement their popularity.

Garanti Bank: Garanti's ex-pat banking focuses on providing English services like internet and telephone banking. Their cash points display English instructions and employ English-speaking staff in selected branches. Garanti is also a Western Union affiliate and offers gold accounts for those who want to invest in that option.

Akbank: Akbank offers ex-pat banking branches in numerous high-profile places in Turkey like Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir. In addition to standard services, they list benefits as tax advisory services and a designated ex-pat travellers' card. Akbank is another service associated with Western Union.

How to open a bank account in Turkey

Mortgages offered by Turkish Banks

Some Turkish banks offer mortgages to foreigners, but the tax is enormous and for wise financial investments, avoid this option. By paying the mortgage, the tax could have bought you another property. Turkish banks will lend 60% of the sale price for 15 years.

How to Transfer Money to Turkey

Many ex-pats ask us which option is best to transfer money from their home country into Turkey. While some have pensions paid directly into their Turkish bank account, others prefer to transfer the money themselves. Online services like Wise or XE offer a convenient, easy way to move money at a low cost. In addition, some people withdraw cash from the ATMs and then swap the currency for lira at change offices. However, few ATMs offer free withdrawals.

More About Living in Turkey

Moving to Turkey: Many foreigners have chosen to make Turkey their home for many good reasons. Apart from a sound banking system and daily lifestyle, there is much to do in the country, from exploring places of natural beauty to indulging in adventure sports or soaking up the delightful sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters. Such is the appeal that hundreds of thousands of foreigners live permanently in Turkey. So, this article outlines what moving to Turkey involves.

Apps for Expats in Turkey: Such is the advance of technology; no matter your device, millions of apps for ex-pats living in Turkey make life easier. Although the transition to moving here may seem stressful, there is an app for everything, including banking, that will help ex-pats settle in quickly. Whether you use Apple or Android or are a hard-core fan of desktop apps, technology allows us to learn languages, stay informed, manage finances, keep in touch, get organised and even start dating. So, with the extensive choice, which is the best to use?

About Us: We are Turkey Homes, and we were founded by Tolga Ertukel, who has more than 20 years of experience in selling Turkish property to a global audience; Turkey Homes has a head office in London and branches in Istanbul, Fethiye, Bodrum and many other regions in Turkey. If you are interested in investing in the Turkish property market, see our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in many areas. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, locations and how to arrange property viewings in Turkey.

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