According to the testimonies of tourists and specialists from Turkish receiving travel companies, starting from last weekend, in Turkey the number of both stores accepting Mir cards and ATMs dispensing cash with these cards is decreasing. A number of Turkish banks are now restricting work with the payment system. The Mir payment system also officially commented on the situation.
Recall that in the face of difficulties with servicing Mir cards of sanctioned banks in Turkey, tourists hoped for cards of banking institutions of the Russian Federation that were not included in the SDN lists. But it looks like the problem is bigger.
WHICH BANKS ACCEPT WORLD CARDS MORE STABLY AND WHICH DO NOT
“Since Sunday, only one ATM has remained in the Antalya airport terminal, issuing lira using Mir cards, this is a Halkbank ATM. There are long queues for him. Due to the search by tourists for an ATM that dispenses money and standing in lines, transfers are delayed. In the terminal itself, a number of stores stopped accepting cards even from non-sanctioned banks, including Tinkoff. At the same time, there is still no system in this yet – for example, everything is still working in terminal 1 of the airport – Mr. Sunay Sertel, Turkey.
According to him, since this week, strange refusals on Tinkoff cards have begun to happen quite often at retail outlets in Antalya itself, which previously served Mir cards. Among ATMs, the most stable issuing lira on Mir cards of banks that have not fallen under sanctions, so far the devices are Ziraat Bankası and Halkbank – at least the number of refusals from these banks is small, and they are mainly on Sberbank cards.
The words of Mr. Sertel are also confirmed by tourists on specialized forums: according to them, in the Denizbank and Iş Bankası terminal networks, card denials occur very often, practically these are only denials. They also confirm the more or less stable operation of Ziraat Bankası devices.
All this can, of course, be attributed to failures associated with reconfiguring systems. This is also likely – editorial sources in banking circles close to the Central Bank say that so far there has been no mass outflow of transactions in Turkey using cards of non-sanctioned banks.
OFFICIAL COMMENTARY OF THE MIR PAYMENT SYSTEM
< p>The editors also received an official comment from the Mir payment system. It also focuses on the cards of banks that fell under the sanctions.
“Foreign partners themselves decide to open the infrastructure for accepting Mir cards, their acceptance and service in a particular country will depend on the position of the credit institutions themselves. As previously reported, some Turkish acquiring banks that accept Mir cards in the country may reject transactions on cards of Russian banks under blocking sanctions in their devices,” the press service of the Mir payment system reports on the evening of September 19.
STRANGE BLOOMBERG AND IŞ BANKASI
Today we also received a message with a link to Bloomberg that Iş Bankası completely stops working with the Mir payment system. However, there is no official statement from the bank, and the source of this information is not the official website bloomberg.com at all, but some of its “clone” of an obscure nature – the bloomberght.com website (and even “according to” some bank employees).
We note, however, that in the Iş Bankası network, our correspondent encountered widespread persistent failures on Mir cards of Tinkoff Bank back in May 2022, that is, the problem with Russian cards is not new for this bank, but now, according to tourists, ATMs of this bank began to refuse service (which was not the case before).
TOURISTS SHOULD TAKE CASH RESERVES OR CHANGE ROUBLES
Be that as it may, the observed failures and outages look suspicious – in connection with the recent statements by the US Department of the Treasury about possible sanctions against banks outside of Russia that accept Mir cards.
And just in this regard, “failures” in the systems of primarily private banks – Denizbank (owned by a holding company based in the UAE) and Iş Bankası (Turkish private capital) look very similar to the very application of sanctions. Moreover, the termination of servicing Russian cards in Iş Bankası and Denizbank was confirmed today by RIA Novosti (though in support services, there is no official statement from the second bank either).
At the same time, state-owned banks in Turkey (eg Ziraat, Halk) are probably more resistant to sanctions pressure, but these three also fail (Vakıfbank is an example of this). In any case, one thing is clear – there are fewer points where Mir is received in Turkey. And ATMs that dispense money using these cards, too.
In the current conditions of unstable service of Mir cards, ATOR experts strongly recommend that tourists take with them not only cards of “non-sanctioned” banks (it is better to get such a card before the trip) . The list of sanctioned banks is here.
It is recommended to stock up before flying to Turkey or in cash (dollars, euros) for necessary expenses outside the hotel, or change rubles to lira upon arrival in Turkey (a good exchange rate at Antalya airport, but rubles can be changed in city, although the rate is unlikely to be close to the rate of the Central Bank). It is also recommended to book hotels in Antalya on an all-inclusive basis, or, in the case of Istanbul, at least with breakfast.