Currency in Istanbul
The new Turkish lira is the current currency of Turkey and of the de facto state Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Introduced on 1 January 2005, it is equivalent to 1,000,000 Turkish old lira (which remained valid in circulation until the end of 2005) and divided into 100 new kuruş.
Same banknote and coin designs are shared with the Turkish old lira, to prevent any confusion.
All notes and coins show portraits of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from different points of his life, and images of various historical and otherwise important buildings and places in Turkey.
The design of the 50 kurus and 1 lira coins, to the dismay of the European Central Bank, clearly resembles that of the €1 and €2 coins respectively. This could cause confusion in the eurozone. Also, it caused trouble to businesses using vending machines (particularly at airports) in the eurozone since a number of vending machines at the time accepted the 1 lira coin as a €2 coin. Since €2 is worth roughly four times more, vending machines affected had to be upgraded at the expense of their owners.
The official name of the currency is "New Turkish Lira". According to the Central Bank, the word "new" (yeni) is only a "temporary" measure . A news agency reported that "new" will be removed on January 1, 2009. The same source also indicated that the banknotes will have "different shapes and sizes to prevent forgery". The issuance of a new highest denomination, 200 lira, is contemplated at the same time.
Insider Note :
Never exchange your money at the bank offices, otels or in shops. Instead use exchange offices where the rates are much better. You can find them almost everywhere in the city... Look for "Döviz" word on signs.
All exchange offices announce their exchange rates on their windows. Make your calculation before you go.