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How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey as a Foreigner?

How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey as a Foreigner?

If this is what you are wondering, you have come to the right place. Regardless of whether you want to open a bank account as a foreigner or a business account, this article will give you all the information.

Turkey has grown immensely over the past few years. It has become a vibrant, bustling country that attracts people from all over the world for a wide variety of purposes. Expats who wish to work in Turkey, students who wish to study in the country, tourists visiting the wonders of Turkey and business professionals looking to invest or start a business in the country, everyone is flocking here.

With such a variety of people congregating within the country for so many varieties of purposes, they require to open bank accounts in Turkey. So, if you too are looking for information about opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner, here is all you need.

Bank Account in Turkey for Foreigners

YTL or Turkish lira is the official currency of Turkey. In the past, inflation plagued the currency and due to this foreign currency holdings were much prized in Turkey. But the recent economic growth has ensured considerable stability of Turkish lira. However, foreign currency is still accepted in for opening up a bank account in Turkey.

So, if you are looking to open a bank account in Turkey, the steps are as given below:

How Do You Open a Bank Account in Turkey?

The first thing you should know is which bank you want to open your account in. The major banks of Turkey are Isbank (Türikiye İş Bankası), Garanti Bankası, Yapı Kredi Bankası-Koçbank, and Akbank. Regardless of where you are located in Turkey, you will definitely find a branch of one of these banks near you.

If you are wondering can a foreigner open a bank account in Turkey? The answer is yes. All of these banks, especially Garanti Bankası goes out of its way to have English-speaking staff at most of their branches. The other banks are equally accommodating and eager to welcome foreigners to open bank accounts with them.

It’s possible to open “Offshore bank accounts” in Turkey. There are numerous international banks operating within the country, including HSBC Bank, Deutsche Bank and Citibank.

If you are looking for Islamic banks, the two major ones are Türk Arap Bankası and Turkish Bank. These banks regulate their accounts as per the Islamic laws. If you want to open a bank account in Turkey in an Islamic bank, make sure you are aware of the rules and regulations.

What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account in Turkey?

The following are the documents required to open a bank account in Turkey:

  • Tax number
  • Residency permit
  • Passport
  • Proof of your address
  • Proof of signature form

You have to get a tax number before you can open a bank account in Turkey. You can get your Republic of Turkey Tax Identification Number from the Finance and Tax Office of Turkey.

To open a bank account in Turkey for foreigners in Turkish lira, you must also have a resident’s pass. You might want to negotiate opening an account without the pass. But being granted the permission would solely depend on your negotiation skills and the discretion of the bank. However, if the amount you want to deposit into your account is substantial, the banks might overlook the need for a resident’s pass.

Opening bank account in Turkey for foreigners in foreign currency is much easier. But there are rules and guidelines that need to be followed. If you are opening a bank account in Turkey for foreigners and in foreign currency, it might be better to open a current account instead of savings.

You can use the current account to transfer money as well as pay all your bills. Most banks offer online banking services to current accounts. With savings accounts, there is certain tax involved that might not be profitable or beneficial for you as a foreigner in Turkey.

If you still want to open a bank account in Turkey for a savings account, note the following:

  • You would need to maintain your savings account for a minimum of one month.
  • All the interest that you earn in your savings account will be subject to a 15% withholding tax.

You can also choose to open a business bank account in Turkey. In fact, the first step to starting your own business is opening a business account in Turkey. The documents required to open a business bank account in Turkey as a foreigner is mostly similar to what is needed for opening a savings or current account. But there are some more documents needed as well. For business purposes, to open a bank account you need:

  • The Articles of Association related to your business
  • Proof of your business’s registered address
  • Details of all the people who will be managing the account
  • Filled in the application form

You are allowed to open more than one bank account in more than one banks. But make sure you know and follow all the guideline for opening a bank account in Turkey, be it as a tourist, as an offshore investor, as a business professional or as an expat.

Bank Account in Turkey for Foreigners

All the options for opening a bank account in Turkey for foreigners are listed in this article. Hopefully, it will help you to navigate your way to opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner. However, if you still have questions or are unsure of the documents required to open a bank account in Turkey or still have the question as to what do I need to open a bank account in Turkey?’ just walk into any local bank branches, if you are in the country, or call up if you are outside. The ever-friendly and ever helpful Turkish people will surely guide you on opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner.