Turkey is an unbelievably diverse and rich country with an amazing history. Direct descendants of the Ottoman Empire that once engulfed many nations around the Black and Mediterranean Sea, modern Turkey is world-famous for its trade system, an amazing landscape, and savory food.
For sports enthusiasts, Turkey is the equivalent of burning passion when it comes to football. Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, and Besiktas have millions of supporters. Furthermore, amazing players like Hakan Sukur, Fatih Terim or, more recently, Arda Turan, Nuri Sahin and Hakan Calhanoglu made Turkish football enthusiasts proud for many years and some of them are still at it.
This huge passion for football is, of course, translated into sports betting as well. Despite the Turkish authorities not being so permissive when it comes to online betting or betting sites Turkey – the state-owned IDDAA being the only authorized bookmaker – punters still find ways to enjoy top-quality odds and services. Discover the best betting sites Turkey has to offer and what you should be looking for when joining a new bookmaker in this comprehensive analysis put together by our betting experts.
Being a mostly Islamic country, gambling and betting didn’t enjoy great popularity in Turkey. However, gambling wasn’t officially banned until 2007 when the government passed laws to completely outlaw gambling in all its forms and restrict betting operations to one state-controlled provider. According to the law in 2007, the only entity allowed to deliver online sports betting services is the IDDAA as all other bookmakers are prosecuted. The only other legal gambling activities in the country are the state lottery and land-based horse racing bets placed at the track. So, with no legal Turkey betting sites apart from the IDDAA, Turkish punters quickly started to access international bookmakers to get decent odds and a wider range of services than what they could find at the state-control operator.
However, this tendency of punters to go for online sports betting sites Turkey deemed as illegal, attracted even more attention from the authorities. So, the government took the controversial decision of targeting the punters that access international bookmakers as well. A new law passed in 2013 expanded the powers of the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency to oversee the payments to and from online bookmakers and casinos in an effort to prevent punters to access online betting sites in Turkey functioning without a license.
Besides targeting the players, Turkey also bans bookmakers and 2019 is the year when the government announced the largest crackdown on illegal online gambling. The Cybercrime Division Branch of the Istanbul Security Directorate raided multiple locations connected with online gambling in the biggest such operation. And while the results of this operation were not made public just yet, the case of two Sportingbet employees being arrested while on vacation in 2008 quickly hit the headlines all across Europe. Sportingbet is not one of the betting sites allowed in Turley and it looks like this is a way for the Turkish authorities to discourage any foreign bookmakers to deliver their services into the region.
Since the local authorities are more preoccupied with banning international sports betting sites in Turkey and not on improving the services of the IDDAA, there are many punters out there looking for a decent betting experience. That’s why there’s such interest towards foreign betting sites available in Turkey because these offer high odds on a wide range of sports, fast payouts and flexible deposit options.
Besides that, all bookmakers targeting Turkey should offer TRY currency as standard so that punters won’t have to worry about currency exchange fees. Also, it shows a lot of intent when a big international bookmaker goes the extra mile to translate the website and offer customer support in Turkish. These are the betting sites for Turkey that Turkish players usually search for.
As if it wasn’t enough that there is no diversity when it comes to choosing football betting sites in Tukey, the government also tries everything possible to block foreign bookies as well. Through several laws issued in recent years, Turkey focused its resources on stopping illegal online betting. Recently, the authorities seized over 42 million Turkish lira, $94,000 and €133,000 from raids regarding gambling inside the country. Besides these aggressive movements against anything gambling-related like the non legal betting sites in Turkey, the country also forces ISPs to block foreign betting sites.
However, no matter how hard they try, the Turkish authorities will never be able to police the Internet. So, betting sites that work in Turkey will always find a way to deliver their services to punters. And, equipped with a reliable VPN, Turkish punters can enjoy top-quality betting services.
The ‘total war’ on illegal betting put in place by the Turkish authorities also comes with a lot of restrictions when it comes to payment options. The Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency is allowed to check all payments made towards foreign bookmakers and block them so it’s impossible to use your debit or credit card to top-up your account at soccer betting sites in Turkey. Bank transfers are also out of the question since the same authority will immediately spot the transactions and cancel them on the spot. So, in these conditions, the best bet for remaining anonymous and being able to deposit at Turkish football betting sites remain the pre-paid vouchers such as PaySafe card.
A recent scandal involving offshore betting companies from Cyprus involving Bank Asya lead to the complete shutdown of the bank until a full investigation is conducted. And despite Cardfinans or Paraf being big in the territory and an agreement with Worldpay for eCommerce payment processing was perfected last year, these methods are only valid for the state-owned operator – IDDAA.
Since there are no Turkish betting sites legally available apart from the one authorized by the authorities, the same goes for betting exchanges. Often seen as a step up from regular bookmakers, betting exchanges can’t even dream of hoping to penetrate the Turkish betting landscape for now. So, just like with Turkish sports betting sites, punters can enjoy the services of betting exchanges through a VPN and a reliable ewallet to make deposits and withdrawals.
The Turkish authorities are responsible for the IDDAA so if you’re placing your bets here you have a shot at filling a complaint directly to the section of the Ministry of Finances that oversees betting. Otherwise, the licensing authority of the foreign bookmaker that you’re playing at is the best point of contact for complaints or any other inquiries. Of course, our team is always available to help you get your message towards the bookmakers, especially is there’s someone we recommended.