The Turkish Licence Plate Numbering System

Turkish Cars are licensed locally in the owner's home province. Turkish Licence Plate watching is a an interesting hobby, as you can always tell the stranger or visitor from the locals by the the first two numbers of their licence plate.

Where is that car from?

Arabam - My car

The Turkish Province Code List. The Turkish Car Licence Plate System, and a little about Turkish Traffic Signs. It is easy to see where a Turkish vehicle come from once you know the province codes on the number plate.

But before you read on - this is our own car that you will see in Kawerau, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, and our number plate does tell a story.

Examples licence plates

Halt the Traffic Monster which is inside yourself! Trafik Monster

The text format on Turkish Plates is one of the following:
PPX9999, PPX99999 or
PPXX999, PPXX9999 or
PP - two (three) digit prefix denoting the location, shows the province code number of the main residence of car holder.

X/XX/XXX - one/two or three letters.
9999/999/99 - four/three or two digits suffix depending on the size of letters before, not exceeding than six letters and digits together.
In some provinces, numbering is categorized in groups for tax collecting offices of different districts.
The colouring and alphabetical coding of Car Licence Plates also indicates what type of user the owner may be. These codings are discussed at the end of this web page. There are 81 province codes as listed below:

Turkish Province Codes

A private plate from Ankara
(Province Code 06)

Turkish Province Codes were originally 67 in number and were in alphabetical order - thus Adana was code 01 to Zonguldak code 67. As time went on some towns were re-named and consequently because they kept their own Province Code Number the alphabetical series was broken. For instance Maraş (code 46) became Kahramanmaraş - Hero Maraş (Hover here) renamed to honour its part in the War of Independence, but still followed Manisa (code 45) although the alphabetical series was broken.

Until 1973, Kahranmanmaraş was known as Maraş pronounced Marash. It gained its modern name on October 7, 1973 when the Grand National Assembly of Turkey added "Kahraman" to the name. The addition of "Kahraman" ("hero" in Turkish) was in commemoration of the victory against the French Armenian Legion during the Battle of Maraş in the Turkish War of Independence.
Click below for the whole story.

As time went on the Province Codes (originally totalling 67 from Adana - 01 to Zonguldak - 67) were added to, thus forming a total of 81 codings and these additions are also not in the total alphabetical series. But car plate watching is a fun thing in Turkey.

Thanks to H.O.K. of Antalya for corrections to the list. Jan 2006
The Battle of Maraş - click here to see the true story
The Battle of Maraş - Click me to exit

The Battle of Maraş (pronounced Marash), a part as well as a cornerstone in several respects of the Turkish War of Independence, is the comprehensive term used for the three-weeks of wholescale conflict, principally on urban ground, between Turkish National Forces and French occupation forces in and around the city of Maraş in southern Turkey. On the basis of general tension rising in the city since the start of the French occupation two months before, the battle proper lasted from 20 January to 10 February 1920, and ended with victory for the Turkish forces and the definite departure of French troops from Maraş.

Turkish forces were organized around Maraş branch of the Association for the Defence of National Rights (Maraş Müdafaa-i Hukuk Cemiyeti), commanded by career officers from the largely disbanded Ottoman Army. French forces united under a single command three distinct bodies, namely the French Foreign Legion, the French Colonial Forces and, of particular role, the auxiliaries of the French Armenian Legion.

Maraş was initially occupied by British forces from India as of 23 February 1919. During the eight month British occupation Maraş remained, by and large, calm, although the British were not well received by the local Armenian minority, which had aspirations of its own. According to the British-French agreement during the World War I (Sykes-Picot Agreement) British forces were replaced by the French Armenian Legion on 29 October 1919. Local Armenians, gathered around the leadership of the former (1914–1918) deputy of the Ottoman Parliament, the rich Catholic Armenian Agop Hirlakyan, welcomed the French Armenian Legion.

On 1 November 1919, two days after the French take-over of the city, Sütçü İmam Incident, termed after the defender of three Turkish women who were being harassed and molested in the street by French Armenian Legion auxiliaries, sowed the seeds of tension in the city. Sütçü İmam shot one of the molesters in the skirmish and had to go into hiding. The incident triggered a series of events that led the Turkish majority of Maraş to rise against the occupation forces and culminated in the wholescale urban warfare two months after the incident.

After twenty-two days of urban battle, on 11 February 1920, the French occupation troops found themselves forced to evacuate Maraş faced to the resistance and assaults of the Turkish Revolutionaries, with the local Armenian community following them. Maraş militia forces pursued the war effort by taking part in the re-capture of other centers of the region, forcing the French forces to retreat gradually and town by town, until the dispatch to Ankara of Franklin Boullion, special representative of the Prime Minister of France, Aristide Briand, and the consequent signing of the Accord of Ankara, putting an end to the Cilicia War.

After the Turkish War of Independence, Maraş became one of the two cities in Turkey to receive a Turkish Medal of Independence (the other city is İnebolu), which was given to the city as a whole.

Until 1973, Kahranmanmaraş was known as Maraş pronounced Marash. It gained its modern name on October 7, 1973 when the Grand National Assembly of Turkey added "Kahraman" to the name. The addition of "Kahraman" ("hero" in Turkish) was in commemoration of the victory against the French Armenian Legion during the Battle of Maraş in the Turkish War of Independence.

The Battle of Maraş - Click me to exit

Thanks to

Turkish Province Codes

The Turkish Province Codes used on car licence Plates
#01 - Adana#21 - Diyarbakır#41 - Kocaeli (İzmit)#61 - Trabzon
#02 - Adıyaman#22 - Edirne#42 - Konya#62 - Tunceli
#03 - Afyon#23 - Elazığ#43 - Kütahya#63 - Urfa (Şanlıurfa)
#04 - Ağrı#24 - Erzincan#44 - Malatya#64 - Uşak
#05 - Amasya#25 - Erzurum#45 - Manisa#65 - Van
#06 - Ankara#26 - Eskişehir#46 - Maraş (Kahramanmaraş)#66 - Yozgat
#07 - Antalya#27 - Gaziantep (Antep)#47 - Mardin#67 - Zonguldak
#08 - Artvin#28 - Giresun#48 - Muğla#68 - Aksaray
#09 - Aydın#29 - Gümüşhane#49 - Muş#69 - Bayburt
#10 - Balıkesir#30 - Hakkari#50 - Nevşehir#70 - Karaman
#11 - Bilecik#31 - Hatay#51 - Niğde#71 - Kırıkkale
#12 - Bingöl#32 - Isparta#52 - Ordu#72 - Batman
#13 - Bitlis#33 - İçel (Mersin)#53 - Rize#73 - Şırnak
#14 - Bolu#34 - İstanbul#54 - Sakarya (Adapazarı)#74 - Bartın
#15 - Burdur#35 - İzmiri#55 - Samsun#75 - Artdahan
#16 - Bursa#36 - Kars#56 - Siirt#76 - Iğdır
#17 - Çanakkale#37 - Kastamonu#57 - Sinop#77 - Yalova
#18 - Çankırı#38 - Kayseri#58 - Sivas#78 - Karabük
#19 - Çorum#39 - Kırklareli#59 - Tekirdağ#79 - Kilis
#20 - Denizli#40 - Kırşehir#60 - Tokat#80 - Osmaniye
   #81 - Düzce

See Detailed Map of All Turkeyexternal link (External Link in Turkish)

Car Licence Plate Coding

Private Vehicles - Turkish

A private vehicle plate from Istanbul (Province Code 34)
TR34 ZD 8866

PP X 99999 to PP XXX 999 (Black characters on white background) - where PP equates to the Province Number and X or XX or XXX is alphabetic.


Official Vehicles - Turkish

An official Zabita vehicle plate from Manisa (Province Code 45)
Official Car Plate
TR45 M 3767

PP X 99999 to PP XXX 999 (White characters on black background) - where PP equates to the Province Number and X or XX or XXX is alphabetic. Used by Town Corporations and Officials on business. The Zabita are local corporation uniformed officers for control of prices etc.


Province Government Vehicles

A Province Government vehicle plate from Aydin (Province Code 09)
Zabita Car Plate
TR09 AA 115

PP A 9999 (Red characters on white background - with single or double letter "A" in red as identifier for Provincial Official Car Licence)
This car a Province Government Vehicle for Aydin (Province Code 09). It is parked in the Provincial Government Office car park.

Police Vehicles

A Police vehicle plate from Aydin (Province Code 09)
Police Car Plate
TR09 A 8953


PP A 9999 or PP AA 9999 or PP AAA 999 (White characters on Blue background - with single letter "A" or double letter "AA" or triple letter "AAA" as alphabetic Identifier for police vehicles.)
This vehicle is parked outside a local police station in the Province of Aydin.

Special Licence Plates

Members of International OrganizationsTR09 B 446PP B 999 or 99 B 9999 (Blue characters on White background with single letter B as alphabetic identifier for International organizations such as UNESCO etc..)
Diplomatic CorpsTR06 CF 057PP CA 999 to PP CZ 999 (White characters on green background with "CA" to "CZ" as alphabetic identifier)
Consular VehiclesTR01 CP 445PP CA 999 to PP CZ 999 (Green characters on white background - with letters "CA" to "CZ" alphabetic identifier)
Temporary (One Month) VehiclesTR34 G 1757PP G 9999 (Black characters on Yellow background - with single letter "G" as alphabetic identifier)
Temporary Customs VehiclesTR35 GMR 86PP GMR 999 (Red characters on Green background - with letter group "GMR" - gümrük - customs - as alphabetic identifier.)
Foreign Temporary ResidentsTR16 MB 226PP MA 999 to PP MZ 999 (Black characters on white background - with "MA" to "MZ" as alphabetic identifier for foreigners with temporary residence permit)
Test VehiclesTR26 T 2167PP T 9999 (red characters on white background - with single letter "T" as Test Vehicle Identifier)
Taxis (optional)TR67 TRF 834PP TXX 999 (black characters on white background - with Letter "T" in first position as alphabetic identifier)
A Taxi vehicle plate from Aydin (Code 09)
Taksi Car Plate

Special Official State License Plates

State PresidentCB 001Yellow on red background in CB ### format.
Members of ParliamentTBMM 081Yellow on red background in TBMM ### format.
Prime Minister and Civil Servants0063Yellow on red background in #### format.
Province Governor45 0026Yellow on red background in PP 9999 format
 where PP is the Province Code No. in this case 45 for Manisa Province

Military Vehicles

An official Jandarma vehicle plate.
Jandarma Official Car Plate
709 133

Black characters on white background in 999 999 format.
Jandarma (the French Gendarme): Military based civil policing body.


Turkish Personalized Plates - Özel Kişisel Plâkalar

Here are some examples of Turkish Personalized car plates. They are more expensive then normal issue.

Bursa Spor (1963) Football Club
Bursa Spor FC Private Car Plate

The Turkish shown above the number translates as: The Mad Crocodiles


Antalya Youth Spor (1966) Football Club
Bursa Spor FC Private Car Plate

The Turkish shown above the number translates as: 07 Youth


Beşiktaş JK (1903) Football Club
Bursa Spor FC Private Car Plate

Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü (commonly Beşiktaş JK - Beşiktaş Gymnastics Club) is a professional sports club founded in 1903 and based in Beşiktaş district in Istanbul, Turkey. Their nickname is the "Black Eagles" and their playing strip is Black and White stripes. The Turkish written above the number says The Eagle's Nest

Some Signs on the Road

Signs on the Road
tek yonTek yönOne way
tasit giremezGirilmezNo entry (in general)
tasit giremezTaşıt GiremezNo vehicle entry
Trans. SpacerGirişEntrance
Trans. SpacerÇıkışExit
Trans. SpacerPark yapılmaz/edilmezNo parking
parkyasak.gifPark etmek yasaktırNo parking
Trans. SpacerŞehir merkeziCity center
Trans. SpacerAraç çıkabilirVehicles exiting
Trans. SpacerAskeri bölgeMilitary Zone
Yaya GecidiYaya geçidiPedestrian Crossing
Trans. SpacerTırmanma şeridiClimbing Lane
Trans. SpacerYol çalışmasıRoad work
Trans. SpacerYol tamiriRoad repair
Road WorksYol yapımıRoad construction
Trans. SpacerServis YoluService Road
Trans. SpacerAğır Taşıtlar Sağdan gidinizTrucks use right lane
Rest AreaDinlenme AlanıRest area
Trans. SpacerServis AlanıService area
Trans. SpacerUzun araçLong vehicle
Trans. SpacerTırmanma sağdanSlower vehicles use right lane
Trans. SpacerTEM "Tem Oto Yolu"Transit European Motorway
Trans. SpacerAS. İZ.Military Police (Askeri İnzibat)
Give WayYol VerGive Way

A Motoring Vocabulary

A Motoring Vocabulary
KurşunsuzLead free gas
Tehlikeli MaddeDangerous materials. (propane, gas, etc.)
LastikçiTyre repair
Sanayi bölgesiRepair shop zone
OtogarBus station
Kaza raporuAccident Report
Allah korusunMay God protect me. (sign on many trucks)
See All Turkish Trafik Signs