Turkish lira

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Turkish lira
Lira coin.png
Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png1 Coin
ISO 4217 code TRY (TRL was used before 2005)
Central bank Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey
 Website www.tcmb.gov.tr
User(s)  Turkey
 Northern Cyprus

7.31% CPI, 1.88% PPI

 Source Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey
Symbol Turkish lira symbol black.svg[1]
 Freq. used 5kr, 10kr, 25kr, 50kr, Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png1
 Rarely used 1kr
Banknotes Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png5, Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png10, Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png20 Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png50 Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png100 Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png200
Printer CBRT Banknote Printer
 Website www.tcmb.gov.tr
Mint Turkish State Mint
 Website www.darphane.gov.tr

The Turkish lira (Currency sign: / Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png; Turkish: Türk lirası)[2] is the currency of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey). The Turkish lira is subdivided into 100 kuruş.

Ottoman lira (1844-1923)[edit]

Main article: Ottoman lira

After the last vestige of the ancient Roman Empire collapsed with the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, today's Turkish State Mint was founded by Mehmed II. The first golden coin was minted in the name of "The Conqueror" in 1467.[3]

The Ottoman lira was introduced as the main unit of currency in 1844, with the former currency, kuruş, remaining as a 1/100 subdivision. The Ottoman lira remained in circulation until the end of 1927.[4]

First Turkish lira (1923-2005)[edit]

Both Livre Turque (French) and تورك لیراسی (Ottoman Turkish) phrases used on first-issue banknotes.

Historical banknotes from the second, third and fourth issues have portraits of İsmet İnönü on the obverse side. This change was done according to the 12 January 1926 issue of the official gazette[5][6] and canceled by the Democrat Party after World War II.

Exchange rates[edit]

After periods of the lira pegged to the British pound and the French franc, a peg of 2.8 Turkish lira = 1 U.S. dollar was adopted in 1946 and maintained until 1960, when the currency was devalued to 9 Turkish lira = 1 dollar. From 1970, a series of hard, then soft pegs to the dollar operated as the value of the Turkish lira began to fall.

  • 1966 – 1 U.S. dollar = 9 Turkish lira
  • 1980 – 1 U.S. dollar = 90 Turkish lira
  • 1988 – 1 U.S. dollar = 1,300 Turkish lira
  • 1995 – 1 U.S. dollar = 45,000 Turkish lira
  • 2001 – 1 U.S. dollar = 1,650,000 Turkish lira

The Guinness Book of Records ranked the Turkish lira as the world's least-valuable currency in 1995 and 1996, and again from 1999 to 2004. The Turkish lira had slid in value so far that one original gold lira coin could be sold for 154,400,000 Turkish lira before the 2005 revaluation.

Second Turkish lira (2005-present)[edit]

In December 2003, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey passed a law that allowed for redenomination by the removal of six zeros from the Turkish lira, and the creation of a new currency. It was introduced on 1 January 2005, replacing the previous Turkish lira (which remained valid in circulation until the end of 2005) at a rate of 1 second Turkish lira (ISO 4217 code "TRY") = 1,000,000 first Turkish lira (ISO 4217 code "TRL"). With the revaluation of the Turkish lira, the Romanian leu (also revalued in July 2005) briefly became the world's least-valued currency unit. At the same time, the Government introduced two new banknotes called TRY100 and TRY50. One EU diplomat has stated that Turkey will adopt the Euro if it joins the European Union.[7]

In the transition period between January 2005 and December 2008, the second Turkish lira was officially called Yeni Türk Lirası (New Turkish lira).[8] It was officially abbreviated "YTL" and subdivided into 100 new kuruş (yeni kuruş). Starting in January 2009, the "new" marking was removed from the second Turkish lira, its official name becoming just "Turkish lira" again, abbreviated "TL".

All obverse sides of current banknotes and reverse sides of current coins have portraits of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Currency sign[edit]

Main article: Turkish lira sign
Turkish lira sign 
Design limits[9] 
Ankyra coin from Roman emperor Gallienus period. Name of Ankara, capital city of Turkey meaning Anchor in Greek (Ἄγκυρα).

The current currency sign of Turkish lira was created by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey in 2012. The new sign was selected after a country-wide contest.[10] The new symbol, created by Tülay Lale, is composed of the letter 'L' shaped like a half anchor, and embedded double-striped letter 'T' angled at 20 degrees.

Supreme Leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the new symbol on 1 March 2012.[11] At its unveiling, Erdoğan explained the design as "the anchor shape hopes to convey that the currency is a 'safe harbor' while the upward-facing lines represent its rising prestige".[12]

In May 2012, the Unicode Technical Committee accepted the encoding of a new character U+20BA turkish lira sign for the currency sign,[13] which was included in Unicode 6.2 released in September 2012.[14]


Main article: Coins of Turkey

From 1 January 2009, the phrase "new" was removed from the second Turkish lira, its official name in Turkey becoming just "Turkish lira" again;[15] new coins without the word "yeni" were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 kuruş and 1 Turkish lira. Also, the center and ring alloys of the 50 kuruş and 1 Turkish lira coins were reversed.

Current Turkish lira coins [1]
Image Value
Technical parameters Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Diameter
Composition Edge Obverse Reverse first minting issue
1kr obverse.png 1kr reverse.png 1 16.5 1.35 2.2 70% Cu, 30% Zn Plain Value, Crescent-star, year of minting Snowdrop "TÜRKİYE CUMHURİYETİ",
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
2008 1 January 2009
5kr obverse.png 5kr reverse.png 5 17.5 1.65 2.9 65% Cu, 18% Ni, 17% Zn Tree of life
10kr obverse.png 10kr reverse.png 10 18.5 3.15 Rumi motif
25kr obverse.png 25kr reverse.png 25 20.5 4 Reeded Kufic calligraphic
50kr obverse.png 50kr reverse.png 50 23.85 1.9 6.8 Ring: 65% Cu, 18% Ni, 17% Zn
Center: 79% Cu, 17% Zn, 4% Ni
Large reeded Bosphorus Bridge and Istanbul silhouette
1TL obverse.png 1TL reverse.png 100
(1 Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png)
26.15 8.2 Ring: 79% Cu, 17% Zn, 4% Ni
Center: 65% Cu, 18% Ni, 17% Zn
inscribed, T.C. letters and tulip figure Rumi motif
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.


Main article: Banknotes of Turkey

A new series of banknotes, the "E-9 Emission Group" entered circulation on 1 January 2009, with the E-8 group ceasing to be valid after 31 December 2009 (although still redeemable at branches of the Central Bank until 31 December 2019). The E-9 banknotes refer to the currency as "Turkish lira" rather than "new Turkish lira" and include a new 200-Turkish-lira denomination.[16] The new banknotes have different sizes to prevent forgery.[17] The main specificity of this new series is that each denomination depicts a famous Turkish personality, rather than geographical sites and architectural features of Turkey.[18] The dominant color of the 5-Turkish-lira banknote has been determined as "purple" on second series of current banknotes.[19]

Current Turkish lira banknotes [2]
Image Value
Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png
Main Colour Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
5 Türk Lirası front.jpg 5 Türk Lirası reverse.jpg 5 130 × 64 Brown Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Aydın Sayılı:
solar system, atom, ancient cave, left-handed Z-DNA helix.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Value 1 January 2009
5-II Türk Lirası front.jpg 5-II Türk Lirası reverse.jpg Purple 8 April 2013
10 Türk Lirası front.jpg 10 Türk Lirası reverse.jpg 10 136 × 64 Red Cahit Arf:
Arf invariant, arithmetic series, abacus, binary sequence
1 January 2009
20 Türk Lirası front.jpg 20 Türk Lirası reverse.jpg 20 142 × 68 Green Architect Kemaleddin:
Gazi University main building, aqueduct, circular motif and cube-globe-cylinder symbolizing architecture
50 Türk Lirası front.jpg 50 Türk Lirası reverse.jpg 50 148 × 68 Orange Fatma Aliye Topuz:
flower and literary figures
100 Türk Lirası front.jpg 100 Türk Lirası reverse.jpg 100 154 × 72 Blue Buhurizade Itri:
musical notes, instruments and Mevlevi figure
200 Türk Lirası front.jpg 200 Türk Lirası reverse.jpg 200 160 × 72 Violet Yunus Emre:
Yunus's mausoleum, rose, pigeon and the line "Sevelim, sevilelim" (Let us love, let us be loved)
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

Exchange rates[edit]

Exchange rate evolution compared to USD, EUR, JPY, GBP and Ottoman lira
  •                      January 2005 : ₺100 = $74 April 2012 : ₺100 = $57
  •                      January 2005 : ₺100 = €55 / April 2012 : ₺100 = €43
  •                      January 2005 : ₺1 = ¥76 / April 2012 : ₺1 = ¥46
  •                      January 2005 : ₺100 = £39 / April 2012 : ₺100 = £35
  •                      January 2005 : ₺1000 = 6.45 Ottoman lira / April 2012 : ₺1000 = 1.55 Ottoman lira

The yearly average exchange rate of the lira was as follows:

  • 2005 – 1 U.S. dollar = 1.29 new Turkish lira (The use of New Turkish lira, which drops 6 zeros from the currency Turkish lira, was implemented in 2005)
  • 2010 – 1 U.S. dollar = 1.55 Turkish lira
  • 2012 – 1 U.S. dollar = 1.80 Turkish lira (average)
  • 2014 – 1 U.S. dollar = 2.09 Turkish lira (average)
Current TRY exchange rates

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Turkish Lira Sign". Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ International Organization for Standardization. "Currency codes – ISO 4217". ISO. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tarihçe". Turkish State Mint. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "History of Paper Money". Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "701 Mevcûd Evrâk-ı Nakdiyyenin Yenileriyle İstibdâline Dâir Kânun". Prime Ministry. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Elyevm mevkii tedavülde bulunan evrakı nakdiye yerine, aynı evsafı kanuniyeyi haiz olmak ve aynı miktarda bulunmak üzere yeni evrakı nakdiye ihracı hakkında (1/750) numaralı kanun lâyihası ve Kavanin ve Muvazenei Maliye Encümenleri mazbataları.". Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-must-adopt-euro-if-accepted-as-eu-member.aspx?pageID=238&nID=40985&NewsCatID=344
  8. ^ Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey. "Law on the Currency of the Republic of Turkey". 
  9. ^ "TLSimge". Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  10. ^ ""TL SİMGE YARIŞMASI" ŞARTNAMESİ" (in Turkish). Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Merkez Bankası. October 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "PM Erdoğan announces symbol for Turkish lira", TodaysZaman.com, 1 March 2012
  12. ^ "Turkey unveils symbol for national currency", TodaysZaman.com, 1 March 2012
  13. ^ "Unicode 6.2 to Support the Turkish Lira Sign from announcements_at_unicode.org on 15 May 2012 (Unicode Mail List Archive)". Unicode.org. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Unicode 6.2.0". The Unicode Consortium. 23 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Public Announcement As to the Removal of the Prefix "New" From The New Turkish Lira". 
  16. ^ Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankasi (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey) (8 May 2007). "Public Announcement As to the Removal of the Prefix "New" From The New Turkish Lira". Official Gazette (26516). TCMB. p. 103. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  17. ^ "TL banknotes to be in circulation in 2009". Turkish Daily News. 15 September 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2006. 
  18. ^ "Türk Lirası’nda yeni yüzler". NTV-MSNBC (in Turkish). Anadolu Agency. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  19. ^ Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankasi (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey) (2 April 2013). "Press Release on the Issue of E-9 Emission Group II. Series Turkish Lira Banknotes". TCMB. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]