What is the TRY (Turkish New Lira)

TRY is the abbreviation for the Turkish currency, the new lira, which is now in the second issue period. This currency sees use in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as well as in Turkey. The Turkish new lira breaks into 100 new kurus coins, and the lira will often have the symbol YTL shown. First introduced in early 2005, the Turkish new lira is equivalent to 1-million of the old Turkish lira. During revaluation in 2005, a law removed the last six zeros from the value of the currency. The TRY printed its ninth issue in 2009.

BREAKING DOWN TRY (Turkish New Lira)

The history of the release of the Turkish lira as a currency splits into two periods. The first Turkish lira is the period between the years 1923 and 2005. After 2005 is the second Turkish lira period. Throughout its history, the currency has been pegged or fixed, to the French franc, British pound, and both hard and soft pegging to the U.S. dollar. A currency peg is an exchange rate policy whereby the central bank's rate of exchange derives its basis from another country's currency. 

The TRY has, at times, ranked as one of the least valuable currencies in the world. After rampant inflation, it saw revaluation in 2005. This revaluation of the TRY began the period of the second Turkish lira.

The eighth printing of the Turkish new lira banknotes includes denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Printing ceased for the eighth series in 2010 and notes will lose their ability for redemption once the 10-year redemption period closes. In 2009, the ninth printing of banknotes gained government authorized for circulation. The ninth notes dropped the name "new" from the currency. Three years later, in 2012, the second series of higher-value banknotes went into circulation. As of April 2016, 1 Turkish new lira is worth approximately 35 cents. Inversely, $1 is around 2.8 lira.

An economic crisis in 2001 led to the devaluation of Turkey's lira, and a wave of economic reforms occurred in 2005. State-owned businesses, such as telecommunications companies and oil refineries, were privatized, and the central bank ran a tight monetary policy to restrict spending and ensure inflation did not destroy economic gains. Before these economic reforms took place, Turkey's economy relied heavily on foreign aid as about 80% of Turkey's GDP was external debt.

On August 10, 2018, the Turkish lira plunged by more than 20% into record low territory against the U.S. dollar due to a combination of economic and geopolitical problems plaguing Turkey. Besides suffering from rapidly rising inflation and political pressure to keep interest rates low, the country faced a looming debt crisis that threatened to place further pressure on the economy and currency. (See also: Why the Collapse of the Turkish Lira Matters)

According to data from the World Bank, inflation in Turkey was running at 10.8% for 2017, the most current year statistics are available. 

Beginnings and Design of the Turkish New Lira

The first currency of the Republic of Turkey came out in December 1927. Shortly after that, the legislature approved the creation of a national bank to oversee currency production. The first issue of banknotes had Arabic script letters. In 1937, the script changed to the Latinized alphabet. The six-zero banknotes came into circulation beginning in 1979. Their use continued until 2002. Following this issue, the Turkish new lira went into circulation. The highest bills created by the Turkish government included denominations of 1 million, 5 million, 10 million and 20 million lire. After the change to Turkish new lira and revaluation, six of the zeros dropped from the newer currency.

Every Turkish TRY banknote has a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of the Republic of Turkey, on the front. The back of each bill shows another significant figure in Turkish history. Back images include architect Mimar Kemaleddin on the 20 lira note, musician Buhurizade Mustafa Efendi on the 100 lira bill, and poet Yunus Emre on the 200 lira note. Colors of the Turkish new lira include violet, blue, red, orange and green. The General Directorate of Banknote Printing Plant, in operation since 1958, creates Turkey's currency.