All banks in Turkey are asking their customers to prove their identity by 31 December or their accounts could be frozen in the new year.

All banks in Turkey are asking their customers to prove their identity by 31 December or their accounts could be frozen in the new year.

It’s all part of an anti money laundering policy that is being enforced by the Turkish Government.

Money laundering is where money made from illegal activities such as drug sales, prostitution, people trafficking, arms trading and other criminal activities are transferred through bank accounts until the money appears clean and the trail back to the original source is hidden.

Up until now Turkey has been an easy place to open a bank account with minimal ID checks making this a prime location for money laundering.

All that is now changing as Turkey continues its EU reforms and all holders of Turkish bank accounts be they Turkish or foreign must prove who they are by 31 December or face their accounts being frozen in the new year.

Proving ID is straightforward. Visit your branch by the deadline and present an official document proving your address either in Turkey or your home country. The acceptable forms of ID include a telephone bill, electric bill or other government produced document.

It is probably also worth taking your passport and other photo ID with you in case that is asked for as well.

Fethiye Times will be visiting our bank later this week to prove our ID.

We’ll try to bring you more information as to how the massive verification programme will work especially for those of you who are currently in the UK or elsewhere and cannot get back to Turkey in person by the deadline.

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