How to open a bank account in Turkey

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How to open a bank account in Turkey

Turkey is the bridge between the east and the west, the place in the world where many cultures are united. Its capital city, Istanbul, was Constantinople. Talk about a place filled with history. No wonder it attracts and fascinates people so much so that it is home of a large number of expats looking to live and work in this extraordinary environment.

If you just landed in Turkey to work, study, live or invest, you will need to establish your financial life in the country. Here is our guide on how to open a bank account in Turkey.

Documents needed to open a bank account in Turkey

All banks in Turkey will have slightly different procedures and requirements for opening a bank account. Here are some of the basic documents that you can expect to have to provide:

  • Passport
  • Tax ID from Turkey which you can get from the Finance and Tax Office
  • Proof of address such as a lease contract or utility bill
  • Proof of signature form

A good thing about the larger banks in Turkey is that their websites are in English. It is important to look up for the exact list of documents which will be available on their websites and avoid surprises.

Can I open a bank account in Turkey as a non-resident?

It is possible to open a bank account in Turkey as a non-resident but the process will be a bit more difficult. If you are depositing a large amount the bank will be more prone on helping you. If what you are opening is a foreign currency account then there would be any problems since a residency is not usually required. Be prepared to negotiate if you cannot provide all the documents required.

The core component of opening a bank account in Turkey is the Turkey Tax Identification Numbers, which will be almost certainly a requirement. You can acquire one of these as a non-resident and your bank may even help you out with the process.

Best banks in Turkey

The four biggest banks in Turkey, which are listed below, have English help lines for foreigners. They also have products and services custom made for international clients and expats in general.

There are also many other international banks in Turkey which means you may also open a bank account with your bank if it has a banking presence in Turkey.

  • Isbank: This is Turkey"s largest bank with a large network which makes it likely it will be a convenient option. They also have branches in other countries all over the Middle East, China and the UK. Some of their branches are specialized in working with foreigners which could make the process of setting up your account a bit easier.
  • Garanti Bankası: This is Turkey's second largest bank and they have English speaking service specialists in their branches, phone service in English and their website is in English as well. Their service and product offers are also tailored to expats including multi-currency accounts and international cards.
  • Akbank: this is a large and well established bank with a full set of products, accounts and card offers with some bundles especially designed for foreigners and international customers. It has a good phone app, phone banking and SMS services. Their ATM and branch networks are well established too.
  • Yapı Kredi: A large bank by all means, Yapi Kredi is well established and has a good sized selection of branches and plenty of ATMs. They have a full set of products and services including insurance and loans, savings and current accounts, debit and credit cards and special accounts tailored to international clients and foreign residents.

All of these banks w ill have individual processes for opening accounts so please check details on their websites. We recommend you setup an appointment with a relationship manager that speaks English. There are some banks that will help out over the phone.

Read the fine print before signing the dotted line. You may find a series of fees that you had no idea existed such as monthly maintenance fees, account closing fees and fees to have a debit or credit card. You may also find that there are large fees for transferring money between banks and of course minimum currency conversion fees for using a debit card abroad.

The virtual bank account alternative

Transferring money abroad from Turkey is expensive when you use a bank

If you send money abroad from Turkey, chances are you are paying too much on currency conversion fees and not even knowing about it. For example, if you send 10 thousand euros to India, you only get about 9000 euros worth of rupees back home. The bank will say you only paid a 50 euro fee (sometimes less) but that is not the whole story.

With a virtual bank account by B2B Pay, you get 9900 euros worth of rupees in India. You save 900 euros on every transaction. Plus you get your own IBAN in Europe that works just like a normal European bank account and you can use it to send and receive money within the EU for free and send money anywhere in the world in 33 currencies for a small 1% flat fee.

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.

How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.

  • Barclays
  • Techstars
  • Nestholma
  • Nordea
  • Tekes
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