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Money

As of 1st January, 2009, Turkey has new money banknotes. The new banknotes are to transfer the YENİ TURK LIRASI ( YTL) banknotes to TURK LIRASI (TL) banknotes., As you may heard or remember. The currency system in Turkey has changed in 2005 and 6 zeros from the old Lira has been removed. During this time new banknotes were named as Yeni Turk Lirası (YTL) to prevent from confusion. Now after 4 years Turkey is back to its Turkish Lira Currency (TL).

In 2009 both the YTL and TL banknotes will be used in trading, however at the end of 2009, only banks will change the YTL banknotes. The main difference between the YTL and TL banknotes are their sizes. TL banknotes have a smaller footprint and they look more colorful and also TL banknotes have a highest value of 200 TL (~100 Euro), where as YTL banknote have max 100 YTL.

Currently the banknotes and coins that are in use are as follows;
TL Banknotes: 200 TL, 100 TL, 50 TL, 20 TL, 10,TL, 5 TL and 1TL.
YTL Banknotes: 100 YTL, 50 YTL, 20 YTL, 10 YTL, 5 YTL and 1 YTL.
Coins : 1,- YTL, 50,- YKR (0,5 YTL) 25,- YKR, 10,- YKr & 5,- Ykr.

Note: Old

 

An example of a 100,- YTL banknote with darkblue dominant color. It is approx equal to 62 USD or 48 Euro. Another new banknote is the new 50 YTL with orange dominant color. The coins are 1 YTL(100 Ykr), 50 YKr, 25 YKr, 10 YKr, 5 YKr and 1 Ykr.

 
ATM & Credit Cards:
ATMs are everywhere in Istanbul. Using domestic cards on Turkish banks are available everywhere. However, using American, European or other foreign ATM cards, credit cards or debit cards needs more attention. You can get a cash advance on any MasterCard, Visa or any other major international credit card from any bank, but you may not get a cash advance on a debit card. In order to withdraw money from an ATM in Istanbul, youshall use an ATM machine that shows signs for Visa, Mastercard and other credit card logos. Your card must be on one of these systems.
Major credit cards are accepted at almost all hotels, most restaurants, department stores, grocery stores, and big retailers. You can even use your credit card at most of the KFC, McDonald's and Burger Kings as well
 
Banking

Banking hours in Istanbul are from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. On some big shopping malls there are bank branches which are working during weekends also. Banks are always very crowded and busy in Turkiye, due to constantly growing economy. So in most cases you will find yourself standing in line. There are ticket dispensing machines in almost all banks with a number on it showing your position in the queue. Most of the banks have English speaking personnel in the touristy areas.

 
Money Exchange

I suggest to exchange your currencies when you arrive to Istanbul. Many foreign banks do use a quiet lower rate at abroad than its in Turkey. Turkish currency is easily obtainable upon arrival in Istanbul at any exchange office or bank 24 hrs. So in order to loose less due to exchange, it is better to change them in Istanbul. Daily exchange rates for all major currencies can be obtained from the Turkish Central Bank web site at www.tcmb.gov.tr . This site is in both Turkish and English, and gives links to all Turkish Banks. Turkish daily newspapers also publish daily rates.

You can change your currencies at Exchange offices, Banks and Post offices. The easiest way to exchange your currency is to use the change offices. They are almost in every where. They use a slightly higher rate than Officail Central Banks rates but they do not charge commission, so they always offer a better rate than banks. DO NOT ex-change your money on the street. Especially the new banknotes can easily creates confusion, and when you exchange besides exchange offices and banks, you may face with legal problems.

I strongly suggest to have your ATM card and Credit cards with you, instead of carrying banknotes. There are thousands of ATM machines all around Istanbul and Credit cards are very widely accepted by hotels, restaurants and most merchants. Travelers cheque are also accepted but not as frequent as credit cards. In touristy places, in case you need, you can shop with Euro or Dollar, but carrying Turkish banknotes shall always be preferred. You will pay less with the Local Currency.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into Turkey, but not more than $5,000 worth of Turkish currency may be brought into or taken out of the country.

 
 

 

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