New Turkish Lira - New Turkish Lira Predictions (2004/12/21)

Read all about Turkey's new currency at

New Turkish Lira Predictions (2004/12/21)

The introduction of the New Turkish Lira (YTL) and the withdrawal of the old high-denomination lira (TRL) are only days away. The Webmaster’s predictions and generally light-hearted tips for the events following this change are:

1) Greater use of wallets

Prediction: Coins are far more important to the New Turkish Lira than the old lira. In the new lira there will be 6 different coins, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 kurus and 1 YTL , versus 3 in the old, 50,000, 100,000 and 250,000 TRL. Currently many Turkish people, particularly men, carry a loose bundle of notes and don’t use a wallet or purse. The greater number and breadth of coins will prompt people to purchase wallets to carry these coins.

Tip: Invest now in leather companies!

2) Connected people will benefit

Prediction: by late 2005 it will be revealed that certain people close to the government and involved with the new currency will have defrauded the system in an as yet unknown way. The fraud will be magnitudes lower than previous corruption scandals in Turkey but it will be enough to embarrass the government, particularly with respect to the EU accession talks.

Tip for the Turkish Government: catalogue all the controversy and price raising the Euro introduction brought about and use this as ammunition against your critics.

3) Old notes for sale in 2006 and beyond

Prediction: old notes and coins will be sold in Sultanahmet, Bodrum and other touristy places for 4 to 5 times their original value. 6, 7 or 8 digit notes and coins have novelty value for people living in countries with more mundane currency values.

Most people dream of being a millionaire; come to Turkey in 2006 (once the old currency has been withdrawn) and your dream will only cost you 5 YTL for that ‘rare’ 1 million-lira note!

Tip for Turkish people: save your old mint condition notes and coins – they will be a good investment.

4) Perceptions of price movements will vary

Prediction: the change in currency price movement perceptions of locals will vary depending upon the following factors:

a) the weather
b) which football (soccer) team won
c) the 'fal' (fortune) from the coffee grounds
d) the political party they support

*If the weather is pleasant, your football team won, the coffee grounds are good and your political party is in government the change in currency won't change the prices. In fact, with the smaller numbers, the prices will look cheaper.

*If, on the otherhand, the weather is unpleasant, your football team lost, you friend told a bad 'fal' and you support the opposition, the change in currency is the biggest tragedy since the Izmit earthquake of 1999 (an enormous tragedy).

Tip: remain happy and this change in currency should sort itself out without too many dramas.

5) A Skewed Distribution Pattern

Prediction: the new notes and coins will be in common use over most of Turkey by the end of January. However, the currency won’t reach the far-flung villages of Eastern Turkey until March or April.

Tip for the Turkish Government: use weddings to accelerate the new currency distribution in the east. Enact a new law making it compulsory for all money thrown at a Turkish wedding to be of the new type.

6) 50 and 100 YTL note scarcity

Prediction: businessmen, drug dealers and Lincoln Navigator drivers (often all the same person) will be the only people using 50 and 100 YTL notes on a daily basis.

Tip: Don’t even think about paying for that simit (bread ring) with a 100 YTL note, the seller won't accept!

7) Suspicions will arise

Prediction: older, out of touch Turkish people will be suspicious of the new money. Some less than honourable people will try to use these suspicions to their advantage.

Tip for Turkish people: make sure everyone; especially the most vulnerable are educated about the new lira.

8) A new tourist trap created

Prediction: tourists and other foreigners who have not read will be surprised of the 2 different sets of notes and coins in circulation. Certain taxi drivers will hope they pick-up these people in order to collect more of these notes and coins than normal.

Tip for people coming to Turkey: before arriving read all about the New Turkish Lira at!

9) Overall

Prediction: the transition from old to new will be relatively smooth. The comparatively simple nature of the change, removing 6 zeros, will contribute greatly to this smoothness.

Tip: enjoy the novelty of the change whilst you can. Hopefully, Turkey will never have to take zeros off its currency ever again!