Turkish Money Talk

January 11, 2009
"That'll be one million seven hundred thousand" said the man in the shop, charging me an amount which, if calculated literally, would come out to a little more than one million US dollars. I was purchasing a small box of band-aids.

On January 1st of this year, the government of Turkey replaced the currency, which previously had been called the New Turkish Lira. The new currency is just called the Turkish Lira, minus the 'new.'

So: the old currency is called the New Lira, and the new currency is just called the Lira. This is because, in the bad old days of 100% annual inflation the (old) Turkish Lira (not the old New Turkish Lira) was devalued so much against the dollar that it had to be replaced by the New Turkish Lira, which is now old. Now, they're dropping the 'New' and going back to the old. This of course is not the old Lira, but a new Lira entirely. But not, mind you, the New Lira.