Turkish banking overview
The banking regulation and supervision agency in Turkey monitors the activities of Turkish banks and publishes a complete list of financial institutions in the country.
Turkey’s financial sector is represented by state-owned banks such as Ziraat Bank and VakıfBank and private banks such as Yapı Kredi. You can also open an account in Turkey in branches of international banks — ING Bank, Citibank, HSBC, and Deutsche Bank.
The bank association of Turkey regulates interest rates on deposits, loans and transactions. She also represents the interests of national financial companies abroad.
The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkiye is responsible for monetary policy in the country. In Turkey's EU membership process, the Central Bank has extensive bilateral relations with the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
Residents of Turkey have the right to open any bank account. For non-residents, banking services are also available, but not in full. Applicants can receive a refusal to open an account without explanation.
You can get unlimited access to banking services if you become a country’s citizen. Foreigners get second citizenship by investment in the economy from $400,000. An investor can choose one of five options: purchase real estate, invest in a business, open a deposit in a Turkish bank, or purchase units in an investment fund or government bonds.
Best banks in Turkey
Ziraat is the largest government bank in Turkey with developed subsidiaries and branches, including in Germany, Montenegro, the UK, Greece, and others. Garanti BBVA is the second-largest private bank in Turkey.
Yapi Kredi provides Western Union international money transfer service in all bank branches. Denizbank and VakifBank are popular among foreigners.
VakıfBank Expat Banking is a special service for opening and servicing expat accounts in Turkey. VakifBank specialists promise “the finest special solutions for your needs with our well-experienced and dedicated specialists that will make you feel at home while living in Turkey”.
Best banks in Turkey
|Bank||Digital products||Special services for expats||Fees||Opening account online|
|Ziraat Bankası||Online Banking|
|Türkiye İş Bankası||Online Banking|
|Expat Banking||TRY 60 — entrance fee per card|
TRY 50 — renewal fee
Representative fluent in English
VakıfBank online branch in English
English-speaking Call Centre Agents at 0850 222 0 724 VakıfBank 7/24
Qualified banking services
|Yapı Kredi Bankası||No data||Banking for Foreigners||TRY 200+ annual fee for holding a card|
1.15% — cash withdrawal in other AMT
|Halk Bankası||Online Banking|
|Garanti BBVA||Online Banking|
|1.15% — cash withdrawal in other AMT|
|Akbank||No data||Expat Banking|
Wealth management specialists.
Provide a wide range of products to assist you in meeting your investment goals.
Card, designed for travellers, is perfect for the expat lifestyle, earning
Provide tax advisory services for expats in Turkey.
|QNB Finansbank||Online Banking|
|TRY 20 — renewal debit card|
|Türk Ekonomi Bankası||Online Banking|
|Expat Banking |
Special treatment in Expat branches
Dedicated Expat Banking Line -0850 200 0 666
Online Banking in English
Requirements for opening a bank account in Turkey
For individuals, there are two options for opening an account in Turkey — with and without confirmation of the residence address. You can open a current bank account without a registered address and receive an instant unnamed debit card.
For Turkey residents. When opening a personal bank account, you need a national passport or a Turkish ID, a tax identification number — TIN, a certificate of ownership of an apartment or a lease agreement. To confirm the residence at the address, you must provide a receipt for payment of utility bills.
Receipts can be omitted if there are Numaratas. This document is issued by the state register of Turkey and confirms that a person lives at a specific address.
For non-residents of Turkey. You must apply for a Turkish tax number and buy a local SIM card to obtain a bank card. Some banks require proof of residence address in Turkey, such as a rental agreement or utility bill.
Turkish companies with an address in Turkey open an account before registering to deposit money as a payment for the share capital. It is necessary to provide the company's incorporation documents, a lease agreement or a certificate of property ownership to the specified address.
Foreign companies are required to register a branch in Turkey and obtain a tax number. To get a tax number, incorporation papers and documents proving the address in Turkey are required.
How to open a bank account in Turkey
A foreigner with a work or residence permit in Turkey and a valid foreign national identity number can open a bank account without restrictions by choosing any bank. Opening a bank account in Turkey online via the official websites is also possible.
Here is the standard procedure for non-resident foreigners to open a bank account in Turkey.
The TIN is assigned within a few minutes online. You need to fill out an application for a TIN on the website of the Turkish tax office. You only need a passport. It is better to fill out the form from a laptop in capital letters since the program does not recognise the letter “i”. In the column “Address”, it is enough to indicate the address of any hotel.
Some banks offer bank account opening services remotely. In some branches, this service is available for foreign nationals. In that case, you must have a notary power of attorney.
You can contact any translation agency in Turkey and then certify the documents with a notary.
It is necessary to link a current account to a phone number and receive notifications. It can be such operators as Turkcell and Vodafone.
Turkcell: includes 20 GB + 200 minutes + free WhatsApp — $13
Vodafone: includes 20 GB + 200 minutes + 1,000 SMS — $40
The amount of the deposit varies depending on the bank.
Ziraat Bank’s deposit will be $2,500.
You can pre-select several banks if there is a large queue or non-reception hours in one branch.
The debit card is generally issued within 1—7 business days, depending on the bank’s regulations. The cardholder can immediately start using it when paying for goods and services worldwide, making transactions at ATMs in Turkey.
Turkish banking for investors
Turkey is a great business destination for foreign entrepreneurs. There are benefits like an open market with worldwide connections, a stable economy, developed infrastructure and transport facilities, and a skilled workforce.
When registering a company in Turkey in 2022, one should know that a bank account will be necessary to properly function and start doing transactions. Individuals can also open bank accounts in Turkey for personal purposes if they meet the requirements of the chosen financial institute.
Entrepreneurs can get tax benefits if they open a company in a free Turkey zone. Company incorporation in Turkey is not complicated. Foreign business people can start the activities once the firm is registered quickly.
You can buy real estate property in Turkey and get an annual income. Real estate prices in Turkey rise 10 times faster than in the EU. Turkish sales in the property market grew by 21.7% in 2022 compared to the previous year.
Launching a business in Turkey and buying property is also possible under Turkey's citizenship investment program, and getting second citizenship is possible through an investment program.
You can get a second passport using one of several options:
- Purchase of real estate — $400,000+
- Business investments — $500,000+
- Bank deposit — $500,000+
- Purchase of government bonds — $500,000+
- Purchase of units in an investment fund — $500,000+
Immigrant Invest, as a licensed agent for investment programs, cooperates with the largest banks — Ziraat and Garanti. Albaraka Türk Islamic Bank also provides services to foreigners through the citizenship investment program and promptly opens current accounts for expats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there are no restrictions for tourists. They must prepare a copy of their foreign passport with notary certified translation and buy a SIM card from a local operator.
Turkish tax individual number is also required. The tourist can apply for it online. The TIN will be generated within several minutes.
If a foreigner has Turkish citizenship or a residence permit, they can apply to open a bank account online.
First, you need to choose the bank that opens an online account. Not every bank in Turkey has such a possibility.
For example, to become a customer at Garanti bank, you must verify your identity with an ID card and provide a photo.
Yes, it is. In this case, a non-resident can get a no-name bank card. It’s also better to have the cash to register a new account. The minimum amount depends on the branch.
Turkey has a total of 56 banks: 37 operate as deposit banks, 13 are investment banks, 3 are government, and 9 are private organisations.
For example, Citibank. It is the primary US banking subsidiary of financial services multinational Citigroup. The bank was founded in 1812 and later became the First National City Bank of New York.
To apply for a credit card as a foreigner in Turkey, you will need a credit history or proof of your monthly income. If a Turkish company hires you, the process will be simple as they will be able to provide you with a certificate of your salary, and the banks will give you a loan in proportion to this.