The Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) announced that the number of branches of Turkish banks located abroad have doubled and reached 81 branches in the course of 12 years.
The number of branches outside Turkey in 2002 was 41 and is currently 81.
According to TBB, one reason for Turkish banks to open branches abroad is due to improved economic relations with the host country and the increase in bilateral trade.
Other factors include having easy access to foreign funds and becoming more competitive with foreign financial institutions.
The majority of the branches of the banks are located in Europe and the Middle East where Turkey enjoys stronger economic relations, but there are also branches open in the US, China and central Asia.
The increasing investment of the Turkish financial sector outside of Turkey also played a role in the number of branches being on the rise. In 2002, one billion dollars of the six billion dollars of direct investments made abroad were in the financial sector while in 2014, the figure was 6 billion dollars out of 30 billion dollars.
Turkish banks were present in 26 different countries in 2002 compared to 29 countries now.
In 2002, 21 percent of the banks had a presence outside of Turkey; this number rose to 38 percent in 2014.
The TBB report shows Ziraat Bank and Is Bank each have 25 branches while Garanti Bank has 8 branches outside of Turkey and Halkbank has five.
The highest increase of the number of branches was seen in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Iraq, Greece and Bulgaria.