how to open a bank account in Turkey

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There are several reasons why foreign residents of Turkey need a Turkish bank account. The most important one is that it’s needed for obtaining specific permits.

Additionally, it’s always useful to have a bank account for things like transfers, and direct deposits, and avoid the need to carry large amounts of cash. While the process for opening an account may differ depending on the bank, this guide will help you understand what to expect and provide a breakdown of the options available to you.

Where to open an account?

open an bank account

When deciding which bank to open your account with, it’s best to find one with a location near your home or work. Some banks may have a representative who can communicate in English or another language.

You should also consider whether you want to work with a state-owned bank, such as Ziraat Bankası, Halk Bankası, or Vakıflar Bankası, or with a privately-owned bank like Akbank, Yapı Kredi Bankası, or Garanti Bankası. Alternatively, you could choose a foreign bank like Citibank, HSBC, or ING Bank.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, privately-owned and foreign banks may charge account fees, while state-owned banks may be harder to find in your area.

Your place of work or study may also have a specific bank they’re associated with and prefer you to use.

Documents needed to open a bank account

After deciding which bank to work with, you should ask what documents they require. Generally, you will need your passport, a tax ID number (vergi numarası), and sometimes evidence of residency.

Evidence of residency may not always be necessary, but if it is, you can provide an inked interpretation of your lease agreement, a utility bill in your name and address, an inked agreement of responsibility from someone living at the same address, or any other official document that shows your name and address.

Duty number

To obtain a tax ID number, find the nearest tax office (vergi dairies) online and go there with your passport. Tell them “vergi numarası başvurusu yapmak isterim.”

They will take a photocopy of your passport, give you some paperwork to fill out, and give you a piece of paper with your tax ID number.

Getting an appointment with the bank

With all your documents in hand, visit the bank and request an appointment to open a bank account. They may be able to see you right away, or they may schedule an appointment for later in the week.

Once everything has been approved, they will send you a bank card with your name on it within two weeks. Alternatively, you can ask for a card immediately, but it may not have your name on it.

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