History of the Turkish Lira

The History of the Turkish Lira and New Turkish Lira

Discover the rich history of the Turkish Lira that’s brimming with memoir and adventure.
Like many banknotes around the world, the Turkish currency overflows with extensive history and antiquity.

Old Turkish Lira

The Ottoman Empire issued currency between 1844 and 29 October 1923 but was eventually withdrawn from circulation in 1927.
After the currency of the Ottoman Empire was withdrawn, the first Turkish currency was introduced after replacing the Ottoman Lira on the 5th of December 1927.

1 Livre Turkey's Banknote P-119a, 1927

1 Livre Turkey’s Banknote P-119a, 1927

Citadel of Ankara

The first Turkish Lira features one of Turkish capital’s oldest sights and some may say Turkeys most significant piece of history, the Citadel of Ankara. Overlooking the city at its perch, the castle is shrouded with mystery as the exact date of its early construction is unknown. There is much debate over weather the Hittites (an ancient empire that ruled Anatolia in 1600) truly built the immense architecture or if it was one of the many other different civilizations that occupied the great city such as the Byzantine, Ottoman, Phrygia, Arab, and Persian. Either way, the great structure has been able to stand perched over the historical city for many decades.

Ankara Castle, Ankara capital city of Turkey/Muratart

Ankara Castle, Ankara capital city of Turkey/Muratart

1,000,000 Turkish Lira

In 1995, the beautiful 1,000,000 Turkish Lira was circulated featuring Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, also known as Mustafa Kemal Pasa. Born in 1881, Atatürk was a reformer, author and revolutionary statesman who became the first president of the Republic of Turkey. Atatürk’s first order of business as president was to modernize the country by establishing a policy of state secularism, giving women the right to vote, and a multitude of other new laws to advance the country. His bravery and progressiveness helped reform the Republic of Turkey to what it is today.

Turkey 1,000,000 - 1000000 Million, 1995, P-209, UNC, Prefix-M

Turkey 1,000,000 – 1000000 Million, 1995, P-209, UNC, Prefix-M

New Turkish Lira

One of the most popular and fascinating notes today is the 1 Turkish Lira from 2005. Because the first Lira was eliminated by excessive inflation, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey passed a law that allowed the redenomination by the removal of six zeros from the Turkish currency. This created the new Turkish Lira (Yeni Türk lirası). In 2005, banknotes were launched in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 new Turkish currency. Like the 1995 1,000,000 Lira, the 2005 1 currency features Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as well. Highlighting claret red and blue hues, the back of the note accents the Atatürk Barajı (Atatürk dam) in Şanlıurfa. Originally Karababa Dam, it was renamed in honor after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and is depicted on the reverse of the 1995 1,000,000 Turkish Lira and the new 2005 1 Turkish Lira.

Turkey 1 Lira Banknote, 2005, P-216, UNC

Turkey 1 Lira Banknote, 2005, P-216, UNC

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