Credit cards around the world: Turkey

Our series moves to Turkey. This growing nation straddles the line between Europe and Asia and is struggling with astronomically high credit card interest rates. 



Credit report

Credit card penetration grows
Credit card circulation reached 51.7 million in 2011, and debit card circulation grew to 75.9 million. (Euromonitor International)

Debt crisis grips Turkey
According to Today's Zaman, credit card debt in Turkey grew to US$2 billion at the end of April 2009. Also, Hurriyet reports that between October 2008 and February 2009, non-performing credit card loans in Turkey ballooned 26.2 percent to reach US$1.6 billion.

Minimum payments in Turkey
On Dec. 18, 2010, credit card minimum payment amounts in Turkey shot up. Previously equal to 20 percent of the outstanding debt of account period, the minimum payment was increased to a range of rates varying from 25 percent to 40 percent, depending on the card limit. (Banks Association of Turkey) In the U.S., a minimum payment of 3 percent or 4 percent of the balance is typical.

Cards and crime

Major Turkish hacker taken down
In September 2008, Turkish police arrested "Cha0," an infamous hacker accused of marketing a state-of-the-art "skimmer" that could be used at ATMs to steal consumers' credit card and debit card account nformation.

Early chip and PIN adapters
In March 2006, Turkey was the third European nation to introduce the chip and PIN system. A Turkish Daily News report says Turkish officials claim "credit card fraud and forgery have been reduced by 73 percent" since its inception.

Turkey is malware infected
According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, as of the first half of 2011, Turkey was number 5 in the top 10 malware affected countries in the world.

Local voices

Official tourism site
- Tourism Turkey

Financial news sites
- Turkish Daily News & Economic Review
- Dunya Online
- Yeni Safak

Turkish personal financial blogs
- Turksih Digest

Country info

Location: Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria (map)

Population: 71 million (July 2008)

Internet users: 26 million (2008 estimate)(

Area: 301, 383 sq. mi or 780, 580 km. (slightly larger than Texas)

GDP: $853 billion (2007 estimate)

Currency: Turkish lira (RUB)

Key exports: apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment

Key imports: machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment

Famous Turks: Music executive Ahment Ertegun, Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk


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Updated: 02-16-2019