The least number of credit cards in Turkey can be found in the eastern province of Tunceli, with 719 items, and the Black Sea province of Bayburt, with 796. Hürriyet photo
As the central government struggles to cut the loan volumes of banks, the number of credit cards used by individuals has more than doubled in the last four years, according to data gathered by the BDDK, the country’s banking regulator.
There are more than 68.1 million valid credit cards across the country, the BDDK data showed. The figure stood at a little under 32 million in September 2008 and around 52.5 million in the same month last year. Not surprisingly, the large provinces top the list of credit cards with 23.65 million alone in Istanbul, followed by Ankara, İzmir, Antalya
This increase was accompanied by a rise in bad credit card loans. The number of cards under a bad loan watch increased to 4.2 million from 2.1 million four years ago. Participation banks, which operate under interest rate-free Islamic code, also played a role in the number of credit cards in use. Such banks used to have 601,445 cards in September 2008 but this figure has jumped to 1.76 million in the same month this year.