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World Wallet Wiki: Turkish Lira

Published: 14 Nov 2019

Name: Turkish Lira

Also known as: TRY

Currency Symbol:

Denominations: ₺1 = 100 Kuruş


Where is it used?

The Turkish Lira is used in Turkey, as well as in the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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What does it look like?

Turkish Lira comes in both coins and notes.


All Turkish coins feature the head of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of Turkey on one side.

  • 1 Kuruş

Small (16.5mm diameter) copper-coloured coin with ‘1’ and a snowdrop flower featured on it. Plain edged.

  • 5 Kuruş

Small (17.5mm diameter) bronze-coloured coin with ‘5’ and the tree of life depicted on it. Plain edged. 

  • 10 Kuruş

Small (18.5mm diameter) bronze-coloured coin with a ‘10’ featured, surrounded by a Rumi design. Plain edged.

  • 25 Kuruş

Medium (20.5mm diameter) bronze-coloured coin with ‘25’ featured, surrounded by Kufic Arabic script. Scored edge.

  • 50 Kuruş

Medium (23.85mm diameter) bi-coloured coin (silver ring, golden centre) with a ‘50’ over an image of the Bosphorus Bridge and a silhouette of Istanbul. Wide-scored edge.

  • 1 Lira

Large (26.15mm diameter) bi-coloured coin (golden ring, silver centre) featuring a ‘1’ over a Rumi design. Inscribed edge.

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Turkish Lira banknotes go up in size the more they are worth, just like our banknotes. Same as the coins, each banknote features Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on one side.

  • 5 Lira

Features Aydın Sayılı – a Turkish historian of science – as well as the solar system, an atom and a DNA helix.

Colour: Brown or Purple

  • 10 Lira

Features Cahit Arf – a Turkish mathematician – as well as Arf’s equations, the binary sequence and an abacus.

Colour: Red

  • 20 Lira

Features Ahmet Kemaleddin – a Turkish architect – as well as an aqueduct, Gazi University main building, and a cube-globe-cylinder motif.

Colour: Green

  • 50 Lira

Features Fatma Aliye – a Turkish novelist and women’s rights activist – as well as flowers, books and writing materials.

Colour: Orange

  • 100 Lira

Features Mustafa Itri – a Turkish musician, singer and poet – as well as musical notes, instruments and a symbol of the Mevlevi Order.

Colour: Blue

  • 200 Lira

Features Yunus Emre – a Turkish poet and Sufi mystic – as well as a rose, his mausoleum, a pigeon and the line ‘Sevelim sevilelim’, which means, ‘Let us love, let us be loved’.

Colour: Violet

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How much should I expect to spend?

Turkey’s capital, Istanbul and tourist destinations will be more expensive. Average prices at the time of writing are: (11th October 2019)

  • Double-occupancy hotel room - ₺204 (roughly £29 - £30)
  • Meals for one person, for one day - ₺31 (roughly £4-£5)
  • Bus/taxi fares average cost - ₺12 (roughly £1 - £2)
  • Bottled water - ₺2 (roughly £0.30)
  • Entry fee for a Turkish Bath - ₺70 (roughly £10 - £11)

Is it customary to barter and tip?


Haggling or bartering is a widespread tradition in Turkey, and you will be expected to negotiate the price in many shops. It is even customary to barter the cost of your hotel room, should you wish to pay less.

A few things to remember:

  • Never be the first to suggest a price
  • Try not to show too much interest in what you want
  • Even if you have been haggling for ages, don’t feel pressured to buy
  • Always pay cash – you may be charged extra for card transactions


It is customary to tip between 5% and 10% in Turkey as a general rule, but more can be given for exemplary service. If you receive bad service, then it is acceptable not to tip at all. Hotel staff and waiting staff will expect a tip for a good job done. Tipping your taxi driver is not a must, but it’s common practice to round up the fare.

Other customs to be aware of:

  • Putting your hand on your heart is a sign that you are declining an offer.
  • Pointing at another person is considered rude.

A raised chin accompanied by a ‘tut’ sound means ‘no’