The Currency (Lira) in Turkey

This guide was written by Francine Carrel, Assistant Editor of Guides.Global (office@guides.global).

It was written on 2 February 2017. The law and practice in Turkey change all the time. Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.

Our guides are prepared by professionals from many countries. They are, of necessity, both brief and general and can take no account of your personal circumstances. They are intended to be a good introduction to the subject BUT ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE, which our contributors will usually be happy to provide upon request.

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The scope of this guide

This guide is about the Turkish lira - its history and its value.


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 basicsturkish lire

Name: Turkish lira (Türk lirası)


Currency code: TRY/ usually seen as TL

Divisions: 1 lira = 100 kuruş

Inflation: 8%

Turkish lira - historical exchange rates graph

TRY per unit.

Rates taken from 1 January of each year.

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.

Other guides of interest

 Description Link 
Turkey Country Guide
Essential facts and figures about Turkey
Click to see this guide

You may also want to read:

 Description Link 
Revaluation of the Turkish Lira
Wikipedia history article
Revaluation of the Turkish Lira

Readers' Comments


Further information?

I hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact me.

Francine Carrel

2 February 2017


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