The Turkish Lira is the currency of Turkey and is also used in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (a state only recognised by Turkey). The Lira is subdivided by 100 kuru’s and all observe sides of banknotes and coins bear the image of the nations founder Mustafa Ataturk.
Opening a bank account
Due to currency instability, foreign currency holdings were prized in Turkey for many years. Even today, most Turkish banks will give you the option of opening an account in Turkish lira or a foreign currency. The largest banks in Turkey are Yapı Kredi Bankası-Koçbank, Türikiye İş Bankası (Isbank), Akbank and Garanti Bankası.
To open a bank account in Turkey you must first register for a Tax number and most banks will ask you to provide proof of having a residency permit. Some may however make exceptions if you are planning to invest a large amount. Negotiating is a way of life in Turkey, so don’t be afraid to haggle. If you don´t have a residency permit and can´t charm the bank staff, remember that most banks will be happy to open you an account in Euros, British pounds or US dollars. The disadvantage to foreign currency accounts is that they pay little to no interest. Usually you will have to fill out an application form and present your tax number, at which point you´ll be issued an account.
Most banks operate between 9:00 and 17:00, and during these hours you will have full access to all bank services.