The Turkish Central Bank will drop the ‘Yeni’ from the currency as of 1st January 2009 and new bank notes and coins will be issued.

The Turkish Central Bank has just launched a nationwide advertising campaign to inform citizens of a change to the Turkish currency. The New (‘Yeni’ in Turkish) will be dropped and it will revert to its old name of the Turkish Lira.

The bank plans to introduce the changed name along with revised bank notes and coins from 1 January 2009.

The new bank notes will be different sizes to the old notes, will contain new features to guard against forgery and will contain Braille to help blind people to recognise the notes. The bank may also introduce a higher value note, the current highest value note is the 100 YTL, but has yet to make a decision.

Fethiye Times wonders if the bank will also change the size and design of the 1 YTL coin as it is almost identical to the 2 Euro coin. The German authorities complained to the Turkish Central Bank last year because 1 YTL coins were being used in vending machines and the like in Germany.

The current Yeni Turk Lirasi (YTL) notes and coins (Kurus) will continue to be used together with the new notes and coins for 1 year, but banks will be collecting the ‘old’ money to slowly work it out of the system. After 1st January 2010 only the Ziraat Bank and the Central Bank will change the ‘old’ money.
The Central Bank says that around two thirds of the population are unaware of the new changes to the currency and that its advertising campaign will start to ready everyone for the new money.

{mosimage}But here in Fethiye we think that many missed the change over from the old Turkish Lira back in 2005. People in shops and on market stalls still quote prices in millions much to the surprise of holiday makers.

Fethiye Times thinks that the bank needs to go further in its campaign and should also be educating the public in the area of the Kurus, the coins that make up the Lira (100 Kurus = 1 Lira). From national supermarket chains to the smaller local shops the transition in 2005 to the YTL still hasn’t sunk in almost 4 years into the new money. Headline prices may show something is, for example, 2.90 YTL but cashiers will demand 3 YTL and won’t give you the 10 Kurus change. So 10 Kurus isn’t worth that much but that’s not the point, they advertise their prices like that to gain competitive advantage so change should be given. After all it’s better in our pocket than theirs!

Market stalls, Dolmus drivers and bars have also been unable to grasp the transition and they set their prices to the nearest 25, 50 or 75 Kurus when they could be setting a price advantage by charging to the nearest 1 Kurus or 5 Kurus. They then do the same when they increase their prices adding to the already high inflation rate in Turkey.

Maybe it will take a generation to change ‘to change’ but in the meantime expect prices to be approximate and price rises rounded to the nearest 25 Kurus.