Can a US citizen open a bank account in Türkiye?

Gabriela Peratello

Turkey — now known as the Republic of Türkiye — is a popular place to visit, work or retire for US citizens. Tourists come for the climate and cuisine — but as a popular hub for global businesses, many expats also choose to settle here long term.

If you’re planning to move to Turkey you could make life easier by opening a Turkish bank account. Here’s everything you need to know about how to open a bank account in Turkey for foreigners.

📑 Table of Contents


Can a US citizen open a bank account in Turkey?

Yes. US citizens can open a bank account in Turkey fairly easily if they’re officially resident in Turkey already. Many of the major banks offer specific expat banking services.

These often include online and mobile banking in English, English speaking customer service at specific branches and the option to open your account with a Foreigner’s Identification Number if you don’t have Turkish tax registration set up yet.

Opening a bank account in Turkey as a non-resident may prove a little tricker if you’re looking for an account with a traditional bank.

However, alternative options like modern digital multi-currency accounts can be a smart choice, allowing you to hold, send and receive payments in Turkish lira (denominated with the currency code TRY), with low costs and no minimum balance requirements. More on that later.

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

Opening a bank account as a non-resident will be more complicated, but it is possible. If you are depositing a large amount of cash, banks will be more inclined to help you.

Similarly, if you want to open a foreign currency account, then residency is not usually required. The advice from expats already in Türkiye is to ask, and be prepared to negotiate if you don’t have the exact documents usually needed.

The main issue is getting the Republic of Türkiye Tax Identification Number, or the Turkish Foreigners Identity Number, which is required by most banks to open an account.

If you’re a resident in Turkey and plan on staying over 6 months, you’ll be able to get an identity number pretty easily. However, as a non-resident it may be harder to have an ID number issued.

If you don’t have a Turkish ID number it’s still worth asking your bank’s advice on the best way to get one as a non-resident. Your chosen bank may be able to help you make your application.

How to open a bank account in Turkey: step by step

Turkey has an established banking system with a good choice of local, regional and international banks to choose from.

If you need to open a Turkish bank account you’ll want to check the specific requirements and process in place at your preferred bank, as there is some variation between different institutions.

However, the broad steps are typically similar — here’s how to open a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner:

Step 1. Check out the banks and account products available and pick the one which suits you best

Step 2. Find the closest branch which offers bilingual service or ask a Turkish friend to accompany you if your Turkish language isn’t up to scratch

Step 3. Visit the bank with the required documents and application

Step 4. Hand over your minimum deposit which can vary based on the account type

Step 5. You’ll be issued your account number and linked cards, and can start transacting from your account

Opening a bank account in Turkey: can you do it from abroad or online?

Your options for opening a bank account from abroad will depend on the type of account you want to open, and whether or not you have a residence permit already for Turkey.

It’s common to be asked to visit a branch in person to present your documents, but if you’re looking for specific expat services you may find your bank allows you to submit paperwork online or have a representative visit a branch on your behalf.

The major banks listed below have banking products for both local residents and international clients, and can explain the options available to you and their processes. All have English speaking staff.

Which documents will you need to open a personal bank account in Turkey?

Each bank will have a slightly different process for account opening, but you can expect to be asked for the following:

  • Valid Passport

  • Republic of Turkey Tax Identification Number or Foreigners Identification Number

  • Proof of address — usually a recent utility bill or rental contract

  • You will also need to complete a proof of signature form

Luckily, the larger retail banks in the Republic of Türkiye have good websites with English translations. Check out your chosen bank’s site, so you're confident of the documents you’ll need to take with you to the branch.

What’s the best bank in Turkey for foreigners?

The largest Turkish retail banks, which are listed below, have specific support and services for international clients.

This includes customer service offered in English and other international languages, and products tailored to the needs of expats.

Alternatively, many international banks operate in Turkey. This may allow you to transfer your existing account to your home bank’s Turkish branch if that’s easier.


As Turkey’s largest bank, you’re sure to find a branch of Isbank nearby. They also have several branches outside of Turkey, in areas such as the Middle East, China, Germany and the UK.

Some branches within Turkey specialize in banking for expat clients¹, and you can open an account with a Foreigners Identity Number if you don’t have a tax number² — handy if you’re not working or considered a resident for tax purposes.

💡 Why choose Isbank?
  • One of the largest branch networks in Turkey

  • Broad range of account products and services

  • Dedicated expat banking services and multi-lingual branches

Garanti Bankası

Garanti Bankası is the second largest private bank in Turkey, and is known for providing English speaking staff in most branches.

There are specific customer relations managers in some branches who specialize in dealing with expat customers, and customer service telephone lines operating in English.

Not all information is available online in English, though, so calling or visiting in person may be the easiest option to learn more about your account choices.

💡 Why choose Garanti Bankası?
  • Huge number of expat banking branches offering English service

  • Services include accounts, loans, cards and pensions

  • Large and reliable banking brand


Akbank is a large Turkish bank with a long history. They offer a full range of accounts and payment cards, and have a broad network of branches and ATMs.

Akbank also has specific expat and multinational banking products, and English language customer services offered via telephone.

💡 Why choose Akbank?
  • Specialists in wealth management services³

  • Tax advisory services available for foreigners

  • Specialist expat card which offers travel rewards

Yapı Kredi

Making up the last of the big four Republic of Türkiye banks by volume, Yapı Kredi are well established and offer a full range of banking products and services.

They offer some specialist accounts and bank cards for international customers.

💡 Why choose Yapı Kredi?
  • Expat services cover payments, cards, investment, insurance and more

  • Large bank with strong branch and ATM network

  • Easy to use English language website

Each bank has its own process for setting up a new account, so check the details online.

Making an appointment with the bank is advisable if you want to work with an English speaking member of staff. Alternatively, some banks can help you with queries and document requirements over the phone.

Are there any American banks in Turkey?

The US government lists a range of American banks which have a presence in or trade within Turkey, including⁴:

  • Citibank

  • Merrill Lynch Investment Bank

  • JP Morgan Chase

  • Wells Fargo Bank

  • Bank of New York Mellon

Not all of these banks will offer a full range of services — some may only work with business or corporate customers, and some may only provide investment products.

However, if you already bank with one of these large US banks it’s worth asking your provider what services are available within Turkey.

Which Turkish banks can you find in the USA?

While the biggest Turkish banks do have an international footprint, this is typically more regional, meaning you’ll find branches across the Middle East and Europe more commonly that in the US.

If you’re interested in a specific Turkish bank do contact them directly to check if they have any local US operations which may be able to help you.

Fees and charges for opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner

Before you open a bank account in Turkey you’ll need to make sure you understand all the likely costs.

Fees can vary widely between banks and may not be structured in the same way as the charges you’re used to from your US bank.

Here’s an overview of a few key costs to consider — be sure to read the account terms and conditions closely before you get started.

Bank/ServiceIsbank⁵Garanti Bankasi⁶Akbank⁷Yapi Kredi⁸
Maintenance feeVaries by accountVaries by accountVaries by accountVaries by account
ATM withdrawals

Fees may apply for high value withdrawals

1.7% for foreign withdrawals

Fees may apply, including charges levied by the ATM operator

2% fee for over limit withdrawals

Out of network fees may apply, including charges levied by the ATM operator

Fees may apply for high value withdrawals

3 USD foreign withdrawal fee

International transfers

Costs vary based on amount being sent and include a markup on the exchange rate

Internet payments are the cheapest option

Costs vary based on amount being sent and include a markup on the exchange rate

Western Union remittances also available

Costs vary based on amount being sent and include a markup on the exchange rate

Costs vary based on amount being sent and include a markup on the exchange rate

Western Union remittances also available

Send money to and from your Turkish bank account with a quick Wise transfer

Wise card

If you need to send a TRY international transfer, you could save significantly if you arrange your payment with Wise instead of your normal bank.

All Wise international transfers use the real mid-market exchange rate, with low transparent fees⁹. You can set up your payment securely online or in the Wise app — and 45%+ of Wise transfers are received instantly¹⁰.

That means you could save both time and money when you need to send money to or from Turkish lira.

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  1. Isbank - Expat banking branches
  2. Isbank - Become our customer
  3. Akbank - Expat banking
  4. Export - Turkey US banks
  5. Isbank - Pricing
  6. Garanti BBVA - Fees
  7. Akbank - Pricing
  8. Yapi Kredi - Pricing
  9. Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: only pay for what you use for the most up to date pricing and fee information
  10. The speed of transaction claim depends on funds availability, approval by Wise’s proprietary verification system and systems availability of our partners’ banking system, and may not be available for all transactions

Sources checked on 08.10.2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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