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Currency & Customs

Currency Regulations:

There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into Turkey.  However, not more than $ 5,000 worth of Turkish currency may be brought into or taken out of the country.

Exchange slips: You may be required to show your exchange slip when reconverting your Turkish lira back into foreign currency or when taking souvenirs out of the county to prove that they have been purchased with legally exchanged foreign currency.  Therefore, it is a good idea to keep your exchange slips until you return home.

Should I exchange money before I go to Turkey?

The highly favorable exchange rate makes travel to Turkey extremely affordable. Most banks in the U.S. do not have Turkish Lira. However, Turkish currency is easily obtainable upon arrival in Turkey at any exchange office or bank. Daily exchange rates may be obtained from the Turkish Central Bank web site at www.tcmb.gov.tr. This site is in both Turkish and English and gives links to all Turkish Banks. Turkish daily newspapers also publish daily exchange rates.
There are ATM machines throughout Turkey, particularly in larger cities and tourist centers. Credit cards are accepted by hotels and most merchants.

Tax Refund:

You Can Receive a Tax Refund for the Goods You Purchased In Turkey!

  • Refunds will be made to travelers who do not reside in Turkey.
    All goods (including food and drinks) are included in the refunds with the exclusion of services rendered.
    The minimum amount of purchase that qualifies for a refund is 5.000.000 TL.

Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be "authorized for refund." These retailers must display a permit received from their respective tax office.
The retailer will make four copies of the receipt for your refund, three of which will be received by the purchaser. If photocopies of the receipt are received the retailer must sign and stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund to be made by check, a Tax-free Shopping Check for the amount to be refunded to the customer must be given along with the receipt.

For the purchaser to benefit from this exemption, he/she must leave the country within three months with the goods purchased and show the goods to Turkish customs officials along with the appropriate receipts or check.

There are four ways to receive your refund:

  1. If the retailer gives you a check it can he cashed at a bank in the customs area at the airport. If it is not possible to cash the check upon departure or if you do not wish to cash it then, the customer must, within one month, send a copy of the receipt showing that the goods have left the country to the retailer.  The retailer, will then, within ten days upon receiving the receipt, send a bank transfer to the purchaser's bank or address.
  2. If the certified receipt and check are brought back to the retailer on a subsequent visit within one-month of the date of customs certification, the refund can be made directly to the purchaser.

Retailers may directly refund the amount to trustworthy customers upon purchase.

The refund may be made by the organization of those companies that are authorized to make tax refunds.

Custom Regulations:

On Entry

The following items may be brought into the country duty free

  • Personal effects of the tourist.
    One TV, one color pocket TV (maximum 16 cm screen), one TV-tape-radio combination, one video recording camera and 5 video cassettes (blank); 5 records, 5 tape cassettes or compact discs.
    One video player, cine-projector (8 mm) and 10 rolls of film (blank), one slide projector.
    One pocket computer (maximum main memory capacity Ram 128k. Byte), electronic playing devices (without cassette - keyboard).
    One transistor radio and portable radio - tape player (its specification to be determined by the Ministry of Finance and Customs), one Walkman or pocket tape recorder, one portable compact disc player.
    Binoculars (one pair, except night binoculars).
    Harmonica, mandolin, flute, guitar, and accordion (only one of each type, maximum 3 musical instruments).
    Personal sports equipment.
    Necessary medical items.
    Bicycle, baby buggy, toys.
    200 cigarettes and 50 cigars.
    200 grams of tobacco and 200 cigarette papers, or 50 grams of chewing tobacco or 200 grams of pipe tobacco, or 200 grams of snuff. 
    (In addition to the above allowances, it is possible to purchase 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars, and 500 grams of pipe tobacco from the Turkish Duty Free Shops upon entering the country).
    1.5kg. Coffee, 1.5kg. Instant coffee, 500 grams of tea.
    1-kilo chocolate and 1-kilo sweets.
    5 (100 cc) or 7 (70 cc) bottles of wines and/or spirits.
    Five bottles of perfume (120 ml max. each).
    One portable typewriter.
    One camera with 5 rolls of film.
    First aid, and spare parts for the car.
    Other items necessary during the journey.
    Valuable items and all items with a value of over $ 15,000 must be registered in the owner's passport upon entering Turkey, for control upon exit.
    Antiques brought into the country must be registered in the owner's passport to avoid difficulties on exit.
    Sharp instruments (including camping knives) and weapons may not be brought into the country without special permission.
    The bringing into the country, trade, and consumption of marijuana and all other narcotics is strictly forbidden and subject to heavy punishment.
    Gifts, not exceeding 500 DM in value and not for trading purposes, may be brought into the country duty free. In addition, gifts not exceeding 500 OM in value may be posted to Turkey duty free, if the date stamped by the sending post office falls one month before, or one month after the following holidays: Seker Bayram, Kurban Bayram, Christmas, and New Year's.

On Exit:

  • Gifts and souvenirs: for a new carpet, a proof of purchase; for old items, a certificate from a directorate of a museum is necessary.
    Exporting antiques from Turkey is forbidden.
    Valuable personal items can only be taken out of the country providing they have been registered in the owner's passport upon entry, or providing they can show they have been purchased with legally exchanged currency.
    Minerals may only be exported from the country with a special document obtained from the MTA (General Directorate of Mining Exploration and Research). Etüdler Dairesi 06520, Ankara Phone: +9 (312) 287 3430 /1622, Fax: +9 (312) 285 42 71