The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Foreign Exchange

Vintage year gives Turkey a grip on inflation

On the first day of next year Turkey will stop being world champion for the number of zeros in its currency. In January the Assembly passed a law authorising the government to redenominate the lira by throwing away six zeros from the currency. The lira became bloated over decades of endemic inflation, which made every Turk a millionaire. The minimum wage is TL303 million ($230). Since 1980 the central bank has been obliged to issue new banknotes every two years.

"Turkey is the only country in the world with a 20,000,000-lira banknote," says Ali Babacan, the minister of state for Treasury, addressing the Assembly. "You will also remember the case of the tourist who got a fine and fainted when he learnt the amount."

The profusion of zeros in Turkish accounts has caused problems in SWIFT, the international credit transfer system between banks. Special calculating machines have had to be manufactured for Turkey, where a quadrillion (one followed by 15 zeros) became familiar to everyone – not just astronomers and mathematicians.

Making the lira more respectable has come within sight because the economy, guided by the IMF since 1999, has been doing remarkably well.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree