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A Turkish guide to banking

14th August 2013

So you have made the move and now you are pondering how to arrange all those bills and set up your different accounts.

Fear not as setting up a bank account is relatively easy in Turkey. So tell me about! As long as you have a tax number you can apply to open an account. 

This can be obtained thanks to the tax office in your local area. Just submit this tax number together with a passport and just choose your bank.

For certain banks you may require a residence permit which should be checked with the financial provider. This includes the likes of Fortis who may require a permit while other leading banks such as Akbank and Garanti Bankası will just need your tax number and passport document.

In some cases you may have to show a proof of signature form and something that states your address such as a recent utility bill.

Bank accounts in Turkey can be opened on the same day whilst you will be able to access online banking and telephone services in just a matter of days. If you prefer a foreign currency bank account this is also viable. 

However, cheques are slowly disappearing with the majority being utilised for business only. It is imperative that you have a head for figures!

Make sure you can both read and write in Turkish as you should brush on where the correct position of points and commas are situated.

A complete point signifies thousands whilst a comma is used to separate cents known as kurus. For example, two thousand TL is written as 2.000,00TL. How about those commas? 

This is applied if you are using fractions in percentage form. Did you know the percentage symbol always comes before the figure? Hence fifty five point seven per cent translates as %55,7.

By now you should be settled in and ready to use your account. But what happens if you get stuck at the counter or tongue tied? Check out our extensive Turkish glossary below that will certainly help you out of a banking pickle. 


banka - bank  

banka cüzdanı  - bank book

banka havalesi - money order    

banka hesabı - bank account

banka hesabı açmak - to open a bank account     

banka memuru -bank clerk 

banka mevduatı - deposits

banka müdürü - bank manager

banka çeki - bank cheque

bankacı -banker 

bankamatik – ATM

Borc - debt payment


döviz - foreign currency

döviz kuru - exchange rate / rate of exchange


faiz -interest

faiz oranı - interest rate

faizsiz - interest-free


hesap açmak - to open an account


KDV (Katma deger Vergisi) - value added tax.

kredi - credit / loan

kredi kartı - credit card


nakit/para – money or cash


para biriktirmek - to save money

para çekmek - to withdraw money


vadesiz hesap / vadesiz mevduat - current account

Vergi numarasi – this is a Tax identification number specifically for residents


yatırım – an investment

Yurtdisi personel kimlik sayisi – a tax identification number for those who are non-residents

Written by Simon Lazarus

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