Opening a Bank Account in Turkey: A Complete Guide for Expats and Foreigners

Opening a Bank Account in Turkey, General Process, Account Activation, Required Documents, Banks in Turkey, Banking Services in Turkey,Transferring Money

person holding white and red card
person holding white and red card

Whether you're planning a short stay or a permanent move to Turkey, one essential need is a bank account. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the process and requirements for opening a bank account in Turkey, especially for expatriates and foreign nationals.

Opening a Bank Account in Turkey

General Process

  • Physical Presence: In most cases, you'll need to visit a bank in person to sign documents and present your identification.

  • Online and Phone Options: Some banks may offer the option to open an account online or by phone, though this is less common.

Residency Status and Account Types

  • Banker Advice: Your options for bank accounts may vary based on your residency status in Turkey. A banker can guide you through the available choices.

Account Activation

  • Initial Deposit: Most banks require an initial deposit to activate your account.

  • Banking Tools: During your visit, you typically receive checkbooks and ATM cards.

  • Online and Mobile Banking: Many banks offer the option to set up online and mobile banking accounts, minimizing the need for future in-person visits.

Opening an Account as an Expat

  • Turkish Tax Number: Expats must obtain a Turkish tax number to open a bank account.

  • First Step: Acquiring a Turkish tax number should be your initial step, regardless of your intended duration of stay in Turkey.

Required Documents

  • Passport: A valid passport is mandatory.

  • Turkish Tax Number: Obtainable from the Finance and Tax Office.

  • Proof of Address: A lease agreement or a recent bill can serve as proof.

  • Signature Proof: You may need to provide a signature sample.

Remote Account Opening

  • Possibility: Opening a bank account remotely is possible, but options depend on your residency status.

  • Pre-residency Banking: Different banking options may be available if you open an account before moving to Turkey.

Banks in Turkey

Major Turkish Banks

  • Isbank: Known for assisting expats, with branches inside Turkey and internationally.

  • Garanti Bankası: The second-largest bank chain, with English-speaking staff and services for expats.

  • Akbank: Offers modern banking essentials and expat banking specialists.

  • Yapi Kredi: The fourth-largest bank, with some expat-focused services.

International Banks

  • Presence in Major Cities: Banks like Deutsche Bank, Citibank, HSBC, and J.P. Morgan Chase are available but mostly in larger cities.

Banking Services in Turkey

  • Standard Services: Checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and more.

  • ATM Accessibility: Widespread ATMs for easy access to funds.

Transferring Money

  • Methods: Wire transfers, Wise, Western Union, and MoneyGram. Note that PayPal is not operational in Turkey.

Fees and Taxes

  • Variation Across Banks: Each bank has different fees for transactions and account types.

  • Fee Waivers: No-fee accounts might be available, often requiring an upfront monthly payment.

  • Common Fees: Include monthly account fees, ATM transaction fees, transfer fees, and others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Card Usage: Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted in Turkey.

  • Safety: Turkish banks are well-regulated, ensuring the safety of your funds.

  • Banking Hours: Typically from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays.

  • Online Banking: Available, often with English language options.

  • Requirement: Opening a bank account in Turkey is not mandatory but recommended for working or running a business.

  • Account Transfer: Possible with international banks present in Turkey; check with your bank.

Opening a bank account in Turkey is a straightforward process for both expats and foreign nationals. It's essential to gather the required documents, understand the banking services available, and consider the financial implications, such as fees and money transfer options. By choosing the right bank that caters to your needs, you can ensure a smooth banking experience in Turkey. As Gunes Law, we help you with our expert lawyer support in your bank account opening and bank affairs. You can contact us at the number for communication.