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The lowdown on the Turkish lira
The Turkish lira is the currency of both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Back in 1688, the Turkey currency was the kuruş – a large silver coin similar to the Spanish dollar. The kuruş remained until 1844 when the Ottoman lira was introduced, and the kuruş became a worth one hundredth of the lira. The Ottoman lira stayed as Turkey’s currency until the end of 1927, when the Turkish lira was introduced.
The Turkish lira sign (₺) was selected after a nationwide competition to design it in 2012. The half anchor shape of the design represents the currency’s hope that it’s a ‘safe harbour’, with the upward facing lines representing the currency’s rising prestige.
A look back at British pound to Turkish lira rates
The lira was initially pegged to the British pound and the French franc until 1946 when a peg of 2.8 lira to 1 US dollar was introduced. The pound was pegged to the dollar at $4.03 at this time, putting the lira at around ₺11.2 to £1. In 1960, the currency was devalued to 9 Turkish lira to 1 dollar, and $2.40 to £1. This put the lira at around ₺21.60 to £1.
From 1970 the lira began to fall quite rapidly, and was pegged to the US dollar at a number of various rates. By 1980, it had reached 90 lira to 1 dollar, $2.44 to £1, and ₺219.60 to £1. 1998 saw rates of 1,300 lira to the dollar, 1.85 dollars to the pound and therefore 2405 lira to the pound. By 2001, things had escalated to even worse levels, with 1,650,000 Turkish lira being worth just 1 dollar, 1 dollar worth 1.45 pounds and ₺2,392,500 to £1.
By this point, Turkey was ranked as the world’s least valuable currency by the Guinness Book of Records in 1995 and 1996, and from 1999 to 2004.
Second Turkish lira
On 1st January 2005 the second Turkish lira was introduced, replacing the previous Turkish lira by removing six zeros from its value. This put it at a rate of 1 second Turkish lira to 1,000,000 first Turkish lira. The new lira exchanged at a rate of 1.29 lira to 1 US dollar.
Up until December of 2008, the second Turkish lira was officially called Yeni Türk Lirası (New Turkish lira) and abbreviated as YTL. From January 2009 onwards, the ‘new’ was dropped and the name became just Turkish lira again.
Exchange rates last updated Friday, 20 January 2017 08:31:42 GMT.
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