Although forex trading in Turkey is safe and legal, the government has strict regulations. The regulations seem especially harsh if you plan on using a local Turkish broker. These relatively new regulations were only introduced in 2017 and have substantially curtailed the local forex broker business.
If you decide to trade currencies through a foreign broker from Turkey, then you will want to choose one operating under strict regulatory oversight in their local jurisdiction. Forex brokers don’t all offer the same products and services, so you’ll want to ensure a broker you choose meets your trading requirements before depositing funds with them.
Quick Look: The Best Forex Brokers in Turkey
Overview: Forex Trading in Turkey
Turkey has had an important historical role in linking the Middle East with Europe. It has a highly diverse and young population, with many Turkish investors curious about trading forex as a way to make money online.
Turkey’s national currency is the second or new Turkish lira that was assigned the ISO 4217 code TRY after the first or old Turkish lira (TRL) was redenominated in January 2005 by removing six decimal places from the old lira. The lira is subdivided into 100 lesser units known as kuruş.
In 2016, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) ranked the TRY 16th in terms of its average turnover relative to other currencies and noted it accounted for a 1.4 percent average daily forex market turnover in April 2016 on a net-net basis. This was a slight rise from its 1.3% share observed in April 2013.
Turkey is not currently a part of the EU, although it has a pending EU application. Turkey has therefore committed to conforming to the regulations in the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments DIrective (MiFID) and its revision the MiFIR as part of its efforts to become a permanent EU member.
The regulatory agency that governs financial markets and protects investors in Turkey is called the Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB) or the Sermaye Piyasasi Kurulu (SPK) in Turkish. The CMB was formed in 1982 after the 1981 passage of the Capital Markets Law (CML) in Turkey. The Turkish finance ministry appoints members of the CMB’s board.
Forex trading in Turkey has become very challenging after the Turkish government announced strict new regulations aimed at curtailing the country’s retail forex market that were published in February 2017 in the Turkish Official Gazette or T.C. Resmi Gazete in Turkish.
Effective from the 10th of that month, forex brokers operating in Turkey could only offer a maximum leverage ratio of 10:1. Brokers also had to require a high minimum deposit to open a forex trading account of TRY 50,000, which is currently worth roughly $8,950.
Furthermore, a second publication in the state gazette dated July 2017 stated that trading with leverage or having a leveraged trading account with a foreign broker that did not have a CMB license was illegal for Turkish residents.
This suggests that trading with forex brokers not regulated by the CMB was banned in Turkey, although some brokers situated outside the country do continue to accept Turkish retail clients and provide them with leveraged trading accounts that require low minimum deposits. They may not, however, directly market their trading services within Turkey.
Although CMB-regulated forex brokers are strictly overseen and should, therefore, be trustworthy, the restrictions they are required to impose on traders typically make them unappealing for most individuals who wish to trade currencies from Turkey.
When it comes to local taxation, Turkish residents need to pay income tax on their forex trading gains. Income tax rates start at 15% if you earn 13,000 TRY and then rise to 20 percent for up to 30,000 TRY, 27% for up to 110,000 TRY and 35 beyond 110,000 TRY. Turkish traders should consult with a tax accountant and keep records of their gains and losses.
What to Look for in a Turkish Forex Broker
Choosing the best online brokerage to trade through from Turkey depends mainly on your trading requirements. The following list contains additional key considerations to look for when selecting an online forex broker to trade through.
A key factor when selecting a forex broker is the quality of its regulation. Any worthy online broker needs to operate under the strict oversight of a prominent financial regulator, such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) or the National Futures Association (NFA) that oversee forex brokers based in the U.S.
Most regulators require that a broker keeps client funds segregated from its own, so make sure to look for that safeguard.
Most online forex brokers offer traders the opportunity to trade through either their proprietary trading software or platform, as well as popular third-party software like the MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 (MT4/5) trading platform from MetaQuotes.
A trading platform should have features that include trading from charts, technical analysis capabilities, a news feed and a flexible interface. Some platforms may support creating custom indicators and automating your trading activities.
Maximum Leverage Ratios
A maximum leverage ratio determines how large a position you can control with a given amount of margin. Using leverage increases the risk you can take and can therefore impact both profits and losses.
Forex brokers can offer very different leverage ratios, with some only offering a ratio of 30:1 within the EU or 50:1 within the U.S., while others operating outside of those jurisdictions might provide a leverage ratio of up to 1000:1.
Most brokers let you open a demo account funded with virtual money to practice trading and check out their services with. They usually also offer a micro account for those who prefer to trade in small sizes, a Standard account suitable for medium size traders and a VIP account for those with access to substantial funding.
Many brokers also provide swap-free Islamic accounts that conform to Sharia Law for their Muslim clients. Also, you will most likely want to select a broker that accepts Turkish lira deposits if you do not have access to funds in a major currency like U.S. dollars, euros or pounds sterling.
You should look for a broker that provides quick access to customer support staff in case an error or problem occurs that could result in losses.
Most brokers provide live chat, phone, email and fax access to this service. If you are partial to reading and speaking Turkish or Arabic, then make sure to look for a broker that offers a website and customer service in your preferred language.
Educational Resources and Research
If you are new to currency trading, you might look for educational resources that can include e-books, online courses, webinars, blogs, tutorial videos and informational articles. You might also benefit from reading research of a fundamental or technical nature written by financial experts.
The Best Forex Brokers in Turkey
When looking for the best forex broker to trade through, remember that any broker you select is as important as how you trade, so make sure to pick one that is well-regulated and reputable so you can feel safe making a margin deposit with them.
With respect to client assets, FOREX.com is the top U.S.-based forex broker and is strictly regulated by the CFTC and the NFA.
The broker also submits to financial oversight in Australia, Canada, the U.K., Japan, the Cayman Islands, Singapore and Hong Kong.
FOREX.com requires a minimum deposit of $250 to open an account, and you can trade in micro-lots if you prefer. Note that the broker only lets you use a rather low leverage ratio of 50:1 as a result of U.S. limitations.
FOREX.com has its own trading platform you can use, and you can also trade using the popular third-party MT4/5 and NinjaTrader platforms. Mobile, web-based and desktop trading platform options are available.
Ireland-based forex broker AvaTrade has a large base of clients from around the world, including Turkey. The broker also maintains its international office in Belize where it has oversight from the BVI Financial Services Commission in Belize. The broker is also regulated by the ASIC in Australia, the CBI in Ireland, and the FSCA in South Africa.
AvaTrade follows the EU’s MiFID and MiFIR regulations and is allowed to offer broking services elsewhere in Europe via the EU’s “passport” rules. EU-based clients can use up to 30:1 leverage, but Turkish clients can presently use up to 400:1 leverage.
The broker requires a $100 minimum deposit to start live trading, and it lets customers trade more than 250 financial instruments that include forex pairs, CFDs, stocks, indices, bonds, cryptocurrencies and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
AvaTrade provides traders with its proprietary mobile platform called AvaTradeGO, and also supports automated trading and web-based via the popular MetaTrader4 platform.
Alpari is based in Mauritius and is overseen by the Belize International Financial Services Commission (FSC) and CySEC within the EU. This major broker uses an electronic communications network (ECN) and straight through processing (STP) to provide excellent and fast pricing.
Alparis does take Turkish clients and provides an impressive maximum leverage ratio of 1000:1 without requiring any minimum deposit to open a micro account. Trading platforms supported by the broker include MT4/5, and Alpari also allows PAMM accounts for those who want to manage a pool of money for various investors.
Denmark-based Saxo Bank operates under the EU’s strict MiFID guidelines. It also submits to regulation by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA) and South Africa’s FSCA, in addition to other regulators. Within the EU, the maximum leverage offered is just 30:1 and the bank requires a high initial deposit of $10,000.
Saxo Bank offers access to over 30,000 instruments, including currency pairs, stocks, binary options, CFDs, bonds and futures using its proprietary trading platforms called SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO, although it doesn’t support the popular MT4/5 platforms.
X-Trade Brokers (XTB), a leading online trading broker based in London, offers a physical presence in 11 other countries including Turkey. It was established in 2002 in Poland and is therefore publicly traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. XTB is highly regulated by the largest financial entities such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Well known for its low fees and fast order execution, XTB has won multiple international awards. Its tradable assets include forex pairs, indices, commodities, ETFs, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Its proprietary trading platform is xStation 5 and the broker also supports MetaTrader 4 that provide market access via all devices.
If you live in Turkey, some international brokers will still accept you as a client despite the CMB’s recent regulatory efforts to suppress forex trading within Turkey.
In addition to English, some also provide customer support and a website in Turkish and Arabic, as well as Islamic accounts, if you require those features. Above all else, make sure you select a regulated broker to trade through that keeps its own funds separate from those of its clients.
Interested in learning more about forex trading? Check out Benzinga’s guides on how to start trading forex, the best forex trading courses for all skill levels, and the best forex books.