My broken foot is mending but I am still spending most of my time at home. Boredom has forced me to explore a few corners of the house that I rarely visit and one such expedition proves just what a lousy housekeeper I am. A voyage to the depths of the under-the-stairs box files turned up 3,000 Turkish Lira. A momentary whoop was crushed by the realisation that these notes were long out of circulation. I cursed my carelessness and began to calculate what I could have done with this money back in the last century and I'm sorry to say the answer is 'not much' which is why they were languishing in the murky depths. This was very small change.
In 1980, 1 US dollar bought 90TL; in 1988 - 1,300TL; 1995 - 45,000TL and 2001 1 US dollar got you 1,650,000TL.
The dollar rate today is 3.78 (which equates to 3,780,000TL in pre-2005 Turkish Lira)
Today there is a rumour circulating that foreign currency will no longer be issued from ATM machines in Turkey and banks are offering over 30% a year interest if one agrees to keep lira in their accounts for 3 years. I'm not an economist and could never understand how the enormous inflation rates were stemmed early this century (please explain below if you know). I'll hang to my old Turkish Lira as a reminder that for a brief period 18 years ago I was a multi-billionaire.