The Turkish lira (TRY)

The Turkish lira is the legal tender in Turkey (also in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). Its ISO 4217 code is TRY and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (TCMB) has been its issuer since June 1930. One lira is divided into 100 kurus.

As of September 2022, the currency of the Turkish lira (in Turkish: Türk lirası) with respect to the euro is 1 euro = 18.28 TRY, which makes Turkey a very interesting tourist destination, as we will see below. when we talk about the euro-lira exchange rate.

History of the turkish lira

Before 1844, the currency used in the current territory of Turkey of the Ottoman Empire was the kuruş (here we called it “piastre“) and its fractions of paras.

In the period 1844-2005, the lira replaced the kurus. And the kurus became the subdivision of the new Turkish currency. Until the 1930s, the inscriptions on the coins were in Arabic and later Turkish inscriptions were added.

Between 1970 and 1990, the country’s chronic inflation (an average of 30% per year), caused severe depreciation of its currency. After a few years of stability, the country’s political problems and growing terrorism with coup attempts have affected the Turkish economy in general and the Turkish lira in particular.

Since 2005, after strong depreciations, the Turkish lira has been renamed the new Turkish lira, although in January 2009 the surname “new” was dropped and it became known as the “Turkish lira”.

Currently, the lira is very “cheap” compared to the euro, so a trip to Istanbul, Izmir or Pamukkale can be a good option because for the same euros you get many more lira.

Turkish falf in a Ferry in the Bosphorus Istanbul
Turkish falf in a Ferry in the Bosphorus Istanbul

Turkish lira coins

The Turkish Mint and Stamp House is in charge of minting Turkish lira coins. Between 2005 and 2008 the Turkish lira was renamed “new Turkish lira”, introducing new denominations of 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 new kurus and a new lira.

But since January 2009, the words “new and new” have been removed, introducing new designs to the new series of coins, as well as some changes to the alloys of the 1 lira and 50 kurus coins.

Currently the Turkish lira coins in circulation are 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 kurus and the 1 lira.

Its equivalent value in euros is really low. To give you an idea, the largest denomination coin, that of a Turkish lira, would be sold today in France for about 0.14 euro cents in competitive currency suppliers.

Below you can see what these Turkish coins called “kurus” look like.

One kurus coin

Pièce de 1 kurus de Turquie
1 turkish kuru coin

Five kurus coin

Pièce de 5 kurus de Turquie
5 turkish kurus coin

Ten kurus coin

Pièce de 10 kurus de Turquie
10 turkish kurus coin

Twenty-five kurus coin

Pièce de 25 kurus de Turquie
25 turkish kurus coin

Fifty kurus coin

Pièce de 50 kurus de Turquie
50 turkish kurus coin

One turkish lira coin

Pièce d'une lire turque 1 TRY
1 turkish lira coin

Turkish lira banknotes

After 8 series of banknotes put into circulation since 1862, in January 2009 the Central Bank of Turkey (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey) issued the ninth, and until now definitive, series of paper money (Law No. 5083 on the unity currency of the Republic of Turkey).

Of the banknotes of this ninth, updates have been issued in recent years. The last one, dated March 2, 2020, affected the 5 Turkish lira banknote, in March of the same year the 50 lira banknote and in May the 10 and 100 lira banknotes.

As with coins, with this Law the words “new” and “new” were removed from the names of Turkish lira banknotes and a new 200 lira denomination note was issued for the first time.

All 9th ​​edition Turkish lira banknotes bear the effigy of Mustafa Kamel Ataturk (1881-1938), President of Turkey between 1923 and 1938, on the obverse and in the watermark. And other illustrious personalities of Turkey can be seen on its reverse.

These are the Turkish lira banknotes currently in circulation (2021):

  • 5 TRY
  • 10 TRY
  • 20 TRY
  • 50 TRY
  • 100 TRY
  • 200 TRY

Here is its size (width x height) in millimeters (mm):

Taille des billets en lire turque
Sizes of the turkish lira banknotes in mm

To give you an idea, our 10 euro note (2014 issue), measures 67 x 127, so it is quite similar to the 5 lire note, or the 10 lire note in size, but not in value.

5 Turkish lira banknote

Brown and purple, the 2019 5 Turkish Lira note features a portrait of Atatürk from Ethem Tem’s 1927 photograph of him.

The reverse shows the portrait of Doctor Aydın Sayılı (1913-1993), the first doctor from Harvard University and an expert in the field of the history of science. A composition of motifs such as the systematic solar system, the structure of the atom, DNA, and ancient cave paintings are also displayed on the back.

Billet de 5 lires turques 2020 (5 TRY)
5 turkish lira banknote (5 TRY)

The counter value in euros of this 5 Turkish lira banknote today in France would be 70 euro cents.

Turkish 10 lira banknote

Pinkish red in color, the 2020 10 Turkish Lira note features a portrait of Atatürk from Ethem Tem’s 1927 photograph of him.

The reverse shows the portrait of Doctor Cahit Arf (1910-1997), one of the most relevant Turkish mathematicians, recognized throughout the world for his mathematical theorems.

In addition, a cross section of Arfit Arf’s “Invariable Mathematics” is shown, and mathematical motifs such as arithmetic sequences, abacus, numbers and numbers that represent the binary system, the basis of computer technology.

Billet de 10 lires turques (10 TRY)
10 turkish lira banknote (10 TRY)

The counter value in euros of this 10 Turkish lira note today in France would be 1.40 euros.

Turkish 20 lira banknote

Green in color, the 20 Turkish Lira 2020 note features a portrait of Atatürk photographed by Cemal Işıksel at Gazi Farm in 1931.

The reverse shows the portrait of the architect Kemaleddin (1870-1927), considered one of the pioneers of the national architectural movement with his architectural works and style.

In addition, the reverse shows his work on the “Gazi University Rectorate Building”, and shapes such as “arches, circular motifs, cube, sphere, üzere cylinder” that were used in the entire design to symbolize the three-dimensional structure of the architecture.

Billet de 20 lires turques (20 TRY)
20 turkish lira banknote (20 TRY)

The equivalent value in euros of this 20 Turkish lira banknote today in France would be 2.80 euros.

Turkish 50 lira banknote

With an orange color, the 2019 50 Turkish Lira Banknote features a portrait of Atatürk photographed by Cemal Işıksel at Gazi Farm in 1931.

The reverse shows the portrait of Fatma Aliye (1862-1936), one of the first novelists and the first woman philosopher in Turkish literature. In 1934, she took the surname “Topuz”.

In addition, the reverse includes figures such as edebiyat ink, pencil and paper kitap to emphasize Fatma Aliye’s literary personality and floral motifs that symbolize feminine elegance.

Billet de 50 lires turques (50 TRY)
50 turkish lira banknote (50 TRY)

The equivalent value in euros of this 50 Turkish lira banknote today in France would be 7 euros.

Turkish 100 lira banknote

Blue in color, the 100 Turkish Lira 2020 banknote features a portrait of Atatürk photographed by Cemal Işıksel at the Presidential Palace in Çankaya (central metropolitan district of Ankara city, the capital of Turkey) in 1934.

The reverse shows the portrait of Buhurizade Mustafa Efendi, also known as Itri (1640-1712), the founder of Turkish classical music. In addition to the portrait of Itri, there is a composition composed of “musical instruments such as sheet music, kudum and ud” and the figure of the dervish Mev Mevlevi.

Billet de 100 lires turques (100 TRY)
100 turkish lira banknote (100 TRY)

The equivalent value in euros of this 100 Turkish lira banknote today in France would be 14 euros.

200 Turkish lira banknote

Purple in color, the 200 Turkish Lira (200 TRY) note features the portrait of Atatürk photographed at the Presidential Palace in Çankaya (central metropolitan district of the city of Ankara, the capital of Turkey) in 1934 on its obverse.

The reverse shows a portrait of Yunus Emre (1238-1320), a Turkish folk poet who pioneered Turkish poetry in Anatolia.

The reverse design also includes the “Sevelim, Sevilelim” string, emphasizing Yunus Emre’s tomb, the rose motif on its strings, and the dove motif, symbolizing peace and brotherhood.

Billet de 200 lires turques (200 TRY)
200 turkish lira banknote (200 TRY)

The equivalent value in euros of this 200 Turkish lira note today in France would be 28 euros.

Euro to Turkish lira currency exchange

If you search Google for “euro Turkish lira exchange” you will find dozens of websites (“currency converters”) that offer a “price” of the day. You will also see this in a currency converter like XE.

Euro to Turkish lira exchange rate 25 Feb 2023
Euro to Turkish lira exchange rate 25 Feb 2023

As you can see, the EUR to TRY exchange rate today is 19,94 liras per euro.

This means that if you have euros and you travel to Turkey with Turkish liras, which are very weak against the euro, you will have a lot of purchasing power. In other words, for the same euros, now you get almost four times as many liras as you did 4 or 5 years ago.

Now, keep in mind that this rate represents the value of the Turkish lira “currency” against the euro, and not that of the real currency tourists use (the “banknotes”), which is lower.

In fact, in the currency suppliers in Portugal today (Feb. 2022) you can buy lire at an exchange rate of around 13.41 lire from one of our currency suppliers to a much lower rate at the Portuguese airports and banks (they charge you a commission).

As you can see, more than 3 lira per euro has nothing to do with the euro-lira currency exchange of 15,59 lira per euro.

So, when you see these values ​​in Google and other currency converters with your mobile, you should keep in mind the following:

  • This is an unofficial rate, and therefore not reliable. That is, if you click on the “Disclaimer” link, you get this warning from Google Finance:“Google cannot guarantee the accuracy of the exchange rates displayed. Please confirm the current rates before making a transaction that may be affected by changes in exchange rates.”
  • This price can only be obtained by banks among themselves, that is, it is impossible to obtain it as an individual.

If you need lire in banknotes you will have to go through the banknote retail market (bank or currency supplier). This market means that the TRY have had to be “carried” by someone for you to enjoy them (or bought from travelers from Turkey passing through France previously). In other words, moving banknotes from one place to another has logistical costs that will make its sale price more expensive (the exchange rate that whoever sells it will apply to you).

The lira is not a very abundant coin/currency in France. As a result of its scarcity, its price is more expensive in France than in Turkey. If you decide to buy Turkish liras in France, it is good to anticipate the purchase and book them online to get a better price.

Where to exchange Turkish liras for euros in France

In France, the lira can be exchanged at banks, currency suppliers and airports. Here’s what you need to know about the three options before you buy or sell your TRYs:

  • The airport is by far the worst option because of the high price at which Turkish liras are bought and sold. The currency suppliers that operate at the airport (Global Exchange) do not charge you a commission, but they charge more than that with the high exchange margins that apply to you. The profits from this lucrative business are shared between ADP and the currency supplier that operates at the airport.
  • For their part, banks have the ugly habit of charging commissions for practically everything, as you well know. In currency exchange, in addition to applying a margin on the purchase or sale of liras, they apply a commission of between 2.5 and 3% on the volume exchanged, with a minimum of between 6 and 10 euros. This means that the currency exchange is not usually interesting in your bank, although that is what Comparer Devise is for, to show you the price at which foreign currency is sold and bought daily also in banks.
  • Finally, currency suppliers that do not operate at the airport or train stations do not usually charge you a commission if you order your Turkish lira online (home delivery or online booking with collection at one of their offices in the city center). Beware that there are some that charge you a 20% commission, and in offices at street level. That is why we recommend you check the prices of the currency suppliers that collaborate with Comparer Devise, since they are quite competitive, and vary every day .

Where to exchange Turkish liras for euros in Turkey

The main gateway to Turkey is Istanbul. The city has several open airports (coronavirus through). In the eastern area (Asian side) you have the Sabiha Gokcen airport (the world’s first female fighter pilot).

This airport is further from the central area, about 50 kilometers from the center. For this reason, it is the one used by low-cost airlines, which pay less docking and handling fees. Every year, almost 30 million passengers pass through its corridors and terminals.

In the western part of Istanbul we have the newly opened Istanbul International Airport, built to relieve the old Atatürk airport.

The new airport will move in 2022 (coronavirus through) about 90 million passengers. And it is expected to move up to 200 million passengers per year in the coming years through its 6 runways. Many of these passengers will go in transit to Asian countries, in addition to the tourism that arrives in Turkey.

In both cases, you have ATMs to withdraw Turkish liras with a card, bank offices and currency suppliers. In the new international airport of Istanbul you have multiple offices of the Spanish Global Exchange, but you know, the prices to pay for your change at the airport will be very uncompetitive.

Outside the airports, the least recommended is the currency exchange in the hotels of Istanbul since they will make terrible roundings against you. Then you have the ATMs, which more or less will charge a 3% commission on your card.

And finally, you can find more or less competitive euro to lira exchanges in the currency suppliers that you will find in the center of Istanbul, especially in busy areas such as Sultanahmet, Sirkeci, the Grand Bazaar or Taksim. But be careful that they do not charge you a commission on top of the exchange margin. And be careful with your wallet and several “pickpocketers” around you.

Euro to Turkish lira exchange rate today

To exchange your euros for Turkish liras, we recommend you use our currency comparator, Comparer Devise:

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