Saturday 24 January 2009

Out with the 'New'

As of the 1st January 2009, Turkey introduced a new currency. Before January 2005, the official money of Turkey was the Turkish Lira (TL). The inflation was so bonkers it became embarrassing, the lowest denomination being the 100,000 TL note.

Bread cost a few thousand and cigarettes cost a couple of million a pack. It was very confusing, especially when discussing something costing millions or billions of Sterling. Turkey had words for numbers I'd never heard of.

Then they decided to take action and knock 6 zeros off the currency. Suddenly the nation went from talking in millions of Turkish Lira, to single units of the New Turkish Lira (YTL). Of course, it didn't completely work. People still talk in millions. This gets very confusing when you're actually trying to talk in millions of YTL and people are thinking old money.

This is something I saw in France with the introduction of the Euro. The nation takes time to adjust to the new currency and continues to make the conversion in their heads.

Well, it's deemed that enough time has passed and the Turkish currency is no longer new. So, as of this January, a new banknote has been introduced and, with it, the new name... No more New Turkish Lira, it's plain old Turkish Lira again.

How is this going to affect people's lives? Minimally. See ya!

Apparently the new 50 Lira note is causing some controversy and is being boycotted by Kemalists (supporters of Ataturk). The reverse of the note displays the picture of Fatma Aliye, a writer at the time of Ataturk. She was against revolution and her writings are published in a magazine backed by the ruling AKP Party.

Kemalists are refusing to accept this note and will ask for any other denominations wherever they're offered it.


John McClane said...

That French habit went back to 1945 or whenever and the currency reform. They were always quoting prices in millions. I would say, I can't afford that! Then they would say no, no, anciens francs.

I was happy when the Turks had millions and hundred thousands, you just had to know 1 to 10 and the rest was small change. Then they went to YTL and I had to learn (and still don't really know) 20, 30, 40 etc.

I got my first new notes out of the ATM last Thursday. They're small! Destined for inflation, I would say.

word verification nummet. That must be Turkish for something.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to cause an incident but why is Kevin Kline featured on those old banknotes?