Atm in cappadocia row
Perhaps the biggest minor fears while traveling in a foreign country involve money and document issues. Having my wallet stolen in Rome was a huge hassle and caused much stress as I had to replace credit and debit cards and driver’s license and figure out how to live for a few days without those conveniences. Fortunately, my wife had her cards so we were able to function.

THE WEIRD STORY OF THE ATM IN CAPPADOCIA

I recently had a different kind of problem at an ATM in Cappadocia. I needed cash so went to an ATM in Avanos like I have hundreds of times before. After inserting my debit card and punching in the PIN I requested 1000TL. The machine flashed something on the screen I didn’t see and then returned my card. No money came out. I repeated the process again. Again no money came out. I was a bit flustered but assumed the machine was not working so decided to go to another machine.
Atm in cappadocia single
While I had been using the machine I noticed a man walk up behind me but ignored him since I was trying to see what the machine was saying. I was there at the time of day when the sun was shining directly on the screen making it extremely difficult to read. I kept trying to position myself so that my shadow covered the screen making it readable. I was not very successful.

When I turned around to leave the man was nowhere in sight but positioned behind me was a roller suitcase standing vertical partially unzipped. It was quite a strange sight, and I was confused. I looked all around and glanced in the suitcase but didn’t see anything. My first thought was to wonder if it was a bomb. I wasn’t really concerned so headed to another ATM.

MONEY, NO MONEY?

At the next ATM (different bank) I tried to get 1000TL again and was denied again. I tried to get 500TL and was successful. Normally, given my daily limit, I should be able to get around 1500TL so I was quite miffed. Then the terrifying thought occurred to me that perhaps my bank account was empty. I jumped online to check and to my surprise it showed that I had withdrawn 1500TL (and thankfully wasn’t empty). I started looking around for the Candid Camera people and returned to the first ATM. A bank phone number was written on the ATM so I called it. “Press 9 for English”. I pressed 9. A friendly man came on the line and after I explained my situation, he said I needed to call my American bank, and they would figure it out. I asked if there was a way to check the ATM (like most ATMs in Cappadocia the actual bank was not close to the machine), and he said no. I said I would call my American bank.

The problem was that my American Bank is a Credit Union and doesn’t have a 24-hour call center. Since it is located in California I had to wait until the evening to call and deal with the issue…Fast forward to evening…I connected with a customer service rep from my bank and explained my situation. She said she would fill out a form and notify the proper department. She said I could expect the problem to be fixed by the time I woke up the next morning.

HAPPY ENDING


The next morning I checked my account to find that the money had been refunded thus giving a happy ending to a dramatic story.
Atm in cappaodocia bank

Using an ATM at a bank branch during business hours (mostly in Avanos as in this photo and Ürgüp) means that your problems can immediately be fixed.

WISE PRECAUTIONS

As I mentioned above I have used ATMs in Cappadocia hundreds of times with no problems so this is not something to spend a lot of time worrying about. However, given that it can happen, I recommend the following pre-cautions:
1. Be sure to notify your bank before you travel so they will know where you are when you make withdrawals and/or charges. Also, note the best way and times to contact them from Turkey.

2. With a foreign debit card you can get cash from any ATM in Cappadocia. I recommend getting cash during business hours and from an ATM connected to an actual bank branch so that if you do have problems you can go directly into the branch and work it out.
The problem is that I do not think there are any ATMs in Göreme or Uçhisar connected to a bank branch. However, there are a few easily accessed in Avanos and Ürgüp. I would not make a special trip to Avanos or Ürgüp just for the ATM, but if you are going there anyway, you can plan to get cash.

3. As is the case anywhere protect your pin and don’t forget your card in the machine. I have done this as well which is another reason to use an ATM connected to a bank branch. If you leave your card in a machine not connected to a bank branch, you will not get your card back.

This is another post I pray you never need but being prepared makes travel much better regardless of what crises arise.

Note: Check out this post if you need to exchange money in Cappadocia.

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Duke Dillard moved to Turkey with his wife and 6 children in 2007. He got an MBA at Bilkent University in Ankara, where they had their 7th child. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. We love Cappadocia and Cappadocians and want to help visitors make the most of their time here. You can connect with Duke on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or link circles on Google+. Click here to read more about Duke and his family.