Turkey’s Currency – the Turkish lira

The current currency of Turkey is the second Turkish Lira (TRY, commonly seen as TL). The first Turkish lira (TRL) was introduced in 1923, and replaced the Ottoman lira.

The lira’s present incarnation replaced the first Turkish lira in 2005, after a period of devastating devaluation.

The first lira was brought down by excessive inflation, recessions and a banking crisis (in 2001). In 1966, a US dollar could buy 9 Turkish lira. In 2001 it could buy 1,650,000. The first lira was ranked as the world’s least valuable currency in 1995 and 1996 – and then again from 1999-2004.

So, in 2003, the Turkish government passed a law for redenomination: six zeros would be removed from the Turkish lira, and a new currency would be created. The new Turkish lira was duly introduced on 1 January 2005, with a value of 1 TRY = 1,000,000 TRL.

Inflation has remained a problem for Turkey. In 2014, Turkey sharply increased interest rates in order to slow inflation. This had limited success: inflation stood at 8.9% in 2012 and 8% in 2016.

The basics

Name: Turkish lira (Türk lirası)

Symbol:

Currency code: TRY/ usually seen as TL

Divisions: 1 lira = 100 kuruş

Inflation: 8%

 

Turkish lira – historical exchange rates

TRY per unit.

Rates taken from 1 January of each year.

Year1 USD = TRY1 EUR = TRY1 GDP = TRY
20061.3511.5962.325
20071.4141.8662.77
20081.171.7072.324
20091.5412.1532.234
20101.52.1492.425
20111.5372.0592.4
20121.8922.4522.937
20131.7842.3552.901
20142.1492.9533.559
20152.3352.8243.637
20162.9163.1664.299
20173.5263.7094.351
20183.7944.5525.12

Source: XE.com

As you can see from the graph, the second Turkish lira did quite well for the first few years after it replaced the first Turkish lira.

Unfortunately, due largely to the unrest in Syria, and the government’s controversial internal policies, the shiny new lira has been steadily devaluing for several years now.

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