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BillB

Banking

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I have heard many stories about the difficulty of Expat opening and individual banking account in Turkey. NO SO FOR ME!

Went to the tax office. Enter the building, turn left. approach counter, filled out a simple form, gave them a color copy of my passport Identification. 10 minutes the clerk returned with a small white card that had my full name, and my tax identification number. Simple.

Took this to the bank my choice (Garanti - I like green logos). Gave them my passport and the white card with my Tax ID number. Told them I wanted a personal account that I could make deposits from my USA bank. We completed papers - very simple, very helpful. Gave them my mobile Vodafone number, in a few minutes as the clerk completed the information, my phone buzzed with account number, banking by phone ID and a starter passcode. Once again, I found it very uncomplicated and the bank clerk very helpful. It was not necessary to put money in the account at that time. however I chose to enter a couple hundred TL to start the account. If you choose. the same is true if you wish to open a savings account.

As I left, the clerk said, welcome to Turkey.

Bill B.

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Good to hear Bill, same experience as me nine years ago. I sometimes wonder if some people make things hard for themselves but I know there are genuine difficulties sometimes too.

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Great to know that was zero hassle for you, Bill. Obviously people's experience differs from bank to bank and branch to branch but our experience 4 years ago was similar in Akbank. No English spoken but accounts in varying currencies opened having shown no money nor RP. In fact we didn't even go to get the tax number, the bank gofer did. As I remember, our main preoccupation was to avoid being doused in evil-smelling cologne!I have had no problem subsequently opening accounts in Ziraat and Garanti although doing anything at the Garanti branch always takes twice as long. Not sure whether it is the badly-written banking software or the fact that the staff haven't been trained to use it, or a combination of the two ...

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I too had no problem opening a bank account. Mr Aston and I went to the tax office in Alanya he did all the talking , the clerk photocopied my passport, I filled out the form , we sat and a few minutes later we were called to the counter and I was given my card with the tax number. There was a big queue at HSBC bank so we went to Garanti bank where I opened two bank accounts. Simples Posted Image

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A few years ago it was very easy to get a bank account, I got mine over 7 years ago with no problems. These days it can be a problem because most banks won't let you open one unless you have a Residents Permit.

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My banking experience was stressful. I walked out of yapikredi because they kept saying I was German and told me to wait whilst they called a translator, which I would pay for. I must have said 100 times 'ben Alman degilim!' but each new guy that came over started over.Less stressful was at TEB. Although it took me 2 months to get the pin. Turned out when they filled out the form they'd put put my mother's maiden name as 'yabanci'.Turkiye Is Bankasi was straight forward...so no exciting stories there.

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It was straightforward for me too, at the Isbank 9 years ago, going through a similar process as that of BillB (BTW, welcome BillB !) .....I got a Tax file number from the Maliye too, although later on I heard foreigners no longer needed to do that -- their passport was sufficient. :)

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I don't remember having any problems but I opened an account so long ago my bank book was a stone tablet!

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I can't say how easy or otherwise it will be for an American to open a bank account as I believe (?) there are different conditions operation now for US citizens.

For everyone else all you have to do is go to the tax office and get a tax number - tell them that you want it to open a bank account, then take this number to the bank of your choice and they will sort out the rest.

Tell the bank that you want to have a $ account as well as a TL account then use the $ account number to transfer your money over from the US. Some banks give you a slightly better exchange rate if you leave your foreign money in your account for a month before converting it to TL

Could you report back when you have managed to open account so that it can benefit others, please?

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It's pretty easy. You just need to give your bank in the US the details of the bank in Turkey, including the routing number (which I think the call a SWIFT code). The last time I did it I had to call my bank and verify my identity by asking a few questions, then provide the bank details. As Sunny said, you need to have an account in the same denomination as the incoming money.

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Over the past couple of weeks we experienced problems at the bank with foreigners trying to open a bank account despite having a tax card number.

We went to Yapi Kredi and Ziraat Bank but were told a foreigner could only open a bank account once a contract for a flat was signed and the foreigner had a residence permit. We spoke to the directors of the 2 banks but couldn't get them to help us either!

This was in Antalya.

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I've just spoken to my bank manager at ING bank in Cesme and she says that all that is needed to open an account with them is a tax number, so it looks as if different areas or banks are operating different rules.

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If I open a bank account at Garanti, how easy, and what is the process, or transferring money from my US bank?

Ken set you straight on a transfer. Posted Image After you set up your account, if you plan to stay in Turkey for a long while and continue to bank in the US; you should get an ATM card and use it to get your money. Transfers made through the banks are usually more costly per dollar than using an ATM. ATM costs/fees/rates are set by the sending bank and any "intermediaries" according to our branch of Yapı Kredi in Kaş.

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I get paid into my US bank account and withdraw it from ATMs, I've done this for years. If I have a big expense coming I just use the ATM over several days. As I recall, some Turkish banks also have a fee. It has been a while since I used a GarantiBank ATM but I stopped using them because of an extra fee (that might have changed). Ziraat Bank and Halkbank don't have a fee.

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Hello Turkey Central Members

 

I finally found a forum which seems to encompass a wide range of subjects and survival strategies in Turkey. 

 

Actually, when I was in Istanbul this summer, I tried to open a bank account but I could not. My friend's friend (who happened to be a bank manager) said that I need to have a permanent address in Turkey to be able to do so. Both of my friends are Turkish and, as far as I could understand them, the problem arises from the fact that I am a non-resident who does not have a permanent registration address in Turkey.

 

So, it seems to me that now the only way to transfer my money from the U.S. to Turkey is by Western Union. Can I send it on my name and, then, receive it upon my arrival in Istanbul? Or do I need a permanent address for that as well?

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Perhaps this is a policy with that one bank you visited, or they are misinformed. Try some other banks, because you can open a bank account in Turkey with passport and a Turkish tax number only.

I've never sent or received any money by Western Union, but I believe you can just pick up the money at any Western Union office.

 

Please let us know how this goes. It is often personal experiences like yours which provide the best info. smile.png

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