21 October 2004ANKARA, Oct. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- New Turkish Lira (YTL) to be circulated as of Jan. 1, 2005 will be introduced next week, the semi-official Anatolia News Agency reported Wednesday.
Sources were quoted as saying that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, State Minister Ali Babacan, Treasury UndersecretaryIbrahim Canakci and Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti were expected to attend a meeting, during which the YTL would be introduced.
The sources said the meeting would be held on Oct. 25, and officials and the public would be briefed on new banknotes of 1, 5,10, 20, 50 and 100 YTL, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 kurus, and the coin of 1 YTL.
The New Turkish Lira will wipe out six zeroes from the current multi-zero currency, which has been the source of national shame for many Turks as a symbol of economic failure.
The biggest Turkish banknote at present -- the 20 million lira (about 13 dollars) -- is the biggest banknote in the world. Monthlywages are measured in billions, while the budget, for instance, amounts to quadrillions.
Ankara has decided to introduce a new currency, minus six zeroes, after it pulled inflation down dramatically as part of a tight economic program backed by multi-billion-dollar loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Annual inflation in Turkey exceeded 100 percent in mid-1990s. However, it now stands at about 10 percent.
One New Turkish Lira will be equal to one million Turkish lira -- and, at current rates, the new currency will be worth 65 US centsor 55 euro cents.
Both currencies will be circulated during a transitional period until Dec. 31, 2005, during which labels will list prices in each. Enditem