Turkey is probably amongst the most hospitable countries in the world. From foreign students to sun and beach loving summer homeowners, there’s something appealing for everyone. With its popular citizenship by investment program, number of foreigners figuring out how to send money to Turkey is on the rise. There are also many Turkish citizens living abroad. While working and living abroad, they send money to Turkey to support immediate family and relatives. As a result, there is a high volume of transactions made both by foreign and Turkish nationals. We will now walk you through the secure and practical systems in place to send money to Turkey.
The easiest and safest way to send money to Turkey are via banks and digital money transfer services. Cash transfers also provide great timely solutions for emergency fund transfers.
Sending money to Turkey via Bank transfer
It is rather safe and easy to make a bank transfer to an account in Turkey. All you need from the recipient is their full legal name and their IBAN. IBAN numbers in Turkey start with the letters TR and should consist of 26 alphanumeric characters. In other words, 24 digits after the country code which is TR.
Turkish banks assign IBAN codes to each individual account in order to be sure international payments are successful. This makes it error-proof and practical to send money to Turkey. Moreover, banks in Turkey offer highly developed and secure mobile banking apps along with advanced internet banking. You can also use SWIFT codes to transfer funds to a Turkish account. However, SEPA is not acceptable. Because SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area and Turkey is not a part.
On a separate note, you should pay attention to exchange rates, bank fees and transfer time during international transfers. If the person you are transferring funds to doesn’t have a bank account in Turkey, they can easily open one. Please read our detailed article on How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey.
Is the explanation important while sending money to Turkey?
When you transfer funds to a Turkish bank, you don’t have to mention the reason for the transfer. That is to say, you can if you need to but you aren’t obliged to do that. However, Turkish legal system accepts transfers made without an explanation as repayment of debt. In other words, if you are lending money to someone, you won’t have any proof. Moreover, if you send money for a property purchase with no explanation, you might have trouble. In short, unless there’s a clear explanation, it is payment of a debt as a rule.
What is MASAK?
The Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK or Mali Suçlar Araştırma Kurulu in Turkish) is the Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board. It operates under the Ministry of Finance and Treasury. Just know that MASAK can investigate suspicious transfers and holds the right to freeze assets. Banks and exchangers have to track their customers’ transactions, identify names and notify MASAK when necessary. Individuals who live normal lives shouldn’t have any issues related to MASAK. On the other hand, it’s always good to be informed about laws and binding regulations.
Digital money transfers
Cash transfer services such as MoneyGram and Western Union Turkey are available in Turkey. Especially Western Union Turkey offers more than 10,300 agent locations all around the country. Fast and convenient, Western Union in Turkey fills a big gap with funds arriving in minutes, in case of an emergency.
Another easy solution to send money to Turkey is by using a digital money transfer service. Unfortunately, PayPal in Turkey stopped its operations in 2016 due to a licensing issue with Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency. It is therefore no longer possible to send money via PayPal to Turkey. It is unclear if there are any negotiations or efforts to bring it back but now sending funds via Paypal to Turkey is not an option.
On the other hand, using Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) and Remitly are popular options. Remitly offers bank transfers to major banks, cash pickups, and mobile wallets. Wise and Paysend also make it fairly quick and easy to transfer funds to Turkish bank accounts. It is easy to check and compare fees charged by any of these digital money transfer providers online.
Transfers in Cryptocurrency
You can transfer cryptocurrency in Turkey, contrary to the gossips cryptocurrencies are not banned in Turkey. Thus, making a transfer to someone’s crypto wallet or exchange account is an alternative. In other words, you may transfer a crypto asset of mutual preference. In this method, the recipient must have verified their identity with their chosen crypto exchange in Turkey. The recipient in Turkey must use a crypto exchange that is legally operating and regularly audited in Turkey. That way, they can withdraw the funds to their Turkish bank account, which is linked to the crypto exchange.
Do keep in mind that you can not pay for goods and services with crypto in Turkey. The government has taken the idea of crypto being a medium of exchange off the table. Looks like cryptocurrencies are asset rather than a currency in the Turkish law. In short, it is possible to make transfers in crypto. Just make sure you play it by the book of law and use a reputable crypto exchange regulated in Turkey. You can read more about this topic on our comprehensive guide here.
Is there an amount limit to send money to Turkey?
You may be surprised to find out that there isn’t a restriction on the cash amount brought into Turkey. You can bring earnings related to trade or cash obtained from other sources into Turkey via customs. Similarly, individuals can bring any currency to Turkey in their luggage or vehicle without any limitation. Remember that this may be complicated when transiting on your way to Turkey. You should ask about each country’s cash regulations before transiting through any borders on your way to Turkey. Of course, please keep in mind that officers may stop you in case of a suspicious act.
Overall, it is safe, uncomplicated, and fast to send money to Turkey. Most importantly, a vast array of international and digital money transfer services offer extremely competitive rates. Banks in Turkey operate with excellent technology that can process transactions much faster than in other countries. The ease of mobile banking along with cyber security experts employed by Turkish banks make it extra safe and sound.
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