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I have a Bir milyon Turkish lira banknote. Am I a Millionaire?

- Published on 4th December 2016

Obsolete old Turkish Lira 1970-2004

Many customers have contacted us at Leftover Currency to ask about their old Turkish Lira banknotes and coins. What are they worth, if anything? In this blog post you will learn more about the value of your old currency from Turkey.

The lowest valued currency in the world

Do you have Turkish Lira banknotes with many zeroes, such as a Bir Milyon Türk Lirasi banknote? Then yes, you might be a millionaire! A lira millionaire, but not a pound, dollar or euro millionaire unfortunately.

Sadly, those Turkish millions aren’t worth that much. In 2004, the Turkish Lira was the lowest valued currency in the world. The Turkish national currency had become a symbol of national shame. Following many years of hyperinflation, the value of the Turkish lira was so low that a scoop of ice cream in Antalya costed more than one Million Turkish lira.

Six zeroes dropped: 1,000,000 old lira became 1 new lira

In 2005, the Turkish government decided to introduce a new currency: The New Turkish Lira. Six zeroes were dropped: 1 Million old lira became 1 new lira.

New Turkish lira banknotes were introduced in 2005. The new Turkish lira banknotes had a similar design to the old banknotes, but they had six zeroes fewer. For example, the two banknotes in the pictures below have the same value: 1 new Turkish Lira (dated 2005) is the equivalent of 1 Million old Turkish Lira (dated 1970).

The total  exchange value of 1 Million old Turkish lira is £0.15 pounds. The 1 new Turkish lira bill has the same value: £0.15 pounds. Per 1 Million old Turkish lira you will receive £0.15 pounds.1000000 Turkish Old Lira banknote (7th emission group 1970)1 Turkish Lira banknote (8th emission group 2005)

But says I'm a Millionaire!

We hear you. You used the currency converter to convert a few Million Turkish Lira to your currency, and says it’s worth hundreds of thousand of pounds or more!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re probably using the wrong currency code. Let’s see which currency code you should be using:

If your Turkish lira banknotes have a denomination over 200 and look like these:Obsolete old Turkish Lira 1970-2004These are old Turkish Lira banknotes from the 7th Emission group (E7). They were in use until 2004. The currency code is ‘TRL’. They were replaced by the so-called New Turkish Lira in 2005, at a rate of 1 Million old lira to 1 new lira. Here is a link to the value on XE: your Turkish lira banknotes have a denomination of 100 lira or less and look like these:new Turkish lira 2005-2008They are banknotes from the 8th Emission group (E8), the so-called New Turkish Lira (Yeni Türk Lirasi). The currency code is ‘YTL’. The highest denomination banknote is 100 lira. If you have a banknote with a higher value, it belongs to a different series.If your Turkish lira banknotes have a denomination of 200 lira or less and look like these:Current Turkish Lira banknotes accepted for exchangeThey are current Turkish lira banknotes, part of the 9th Emission group (E9), in use today. They were introduced in 2009. Their currency code is ‘TRY’. The highest denomination is 200 lira.

Great novelty bookmarks

In summary, those Turkish lira Millions are probably not going to make you rich. They are inflation banknotes with many zeroes but a low value. For a second opinion, feel free to read about Turkish lira Millions in this Los Angeles Times article.

We advise that you don’t send your old Turkish lira banknotes to our office for exchange. Their exchange value is likely not going to cover your postage costs. You are free to include your old Turkish lira banknotes for exchange when you send them as part of a larger amount of currency.

If we can give you one great piece of advice: Those old Turkish lira banknotes make for great novelty bookmarks!a bundle of old Turkish lira bir milyon banknotes


Mario Van Poppel

Mario Van Poppel is the founder and director of Leftover Currency. What started as a hobby, collecting world banknotes, evolved into a fulltime job, running a successful online bureau de change. Mario is still a collector of pre-Euro banknotes and a member of the IBNS.