Bringing Your Money to Turkey

When you move to Turkey you will have a major decision to make about what to do with your money.

Getting your money to Turkey

First of all, please don’t bring a suitcase of cash with you to Turkey. Those days are long gone. Turkish Customs have imposed a limit of TRY25,000 (around €10,000) for cash taken out of the country. There is no such limit into the country, but it is subject to declaration, and the source of the money might be questioned by the customs authorities. There may also be limits as to the amount you can take out of your own country.

Aside from that, the most important thing to remember is that only a fool (or someone with money to burn) uses their ordinary bank to transfer money to another country. The savings you can make by using a good foreign exchange (FX) dealer can be huge: 1% or more of the amount that you’re transferring.

If you are looking to transfer your money back out of Turkey, please bear in mind that bank transfers of over US$50,000 from Turkey to any other country require the sender to declare the transfer to the Turkish finance authorities. Large amounts of money transferred will also often (depending upon where you live) have to be declared in your own country.

What to do with the money when it arrives

The way in which you should reinvest your funds is, of course, entirely up to you and the best choice depends upon your personal circumstances.

Many reputable and qualified financial advisers in Turkey offer a free initial consultation so that you can explore, at least a little, some of the options that might be available to you. Just as importantly, it gives you the opportunity to decide whether you could work with this person and them the opportunity to decide whether they would like to have you as a client. These meetings are completely without obligation on either side. They will not be detailed enough to allow you to make an investment plan but they will help point you in the right direction.

Turkish sources of such advice are pretty much limited to the investment departments of the major banks. Even they tend not to have a very international perspective on your options.

There are a number of international companies that specialise in providing investment advice for people with a foot in two or more countries. Choose them with care. Some are excellent. Some are crooks. The best way to choose is by personal recommendations. Wherever possible, take references from satisfied clients.

Even if you’ve made the decision not to make any final dispositions of your investments until a year or so after you’ve arrived in Turkey, it’s probably a good idea to get the ball rolling by seeing a financial adviser (in Turkey or back home) as soon as possible after you arrive in the country. Perhaps it is even better to see them before you depart your old home as there are lots of temporary and beneficial opportunities that can arise only at the moment you make the move.


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