Turkey unveils symbol for national currency

Turkey unveils symbol for national currency

The new symbol of the Turkish lira is reflected on a screen during a meeting at Turkey's Central Bank in Ankara on March 1, 2012. (Photo: AA)

March 01, 2012, Thursday/ 11:08:00

The Central Bank of Turkey unveiled a currency sign for Turkish lira, reflecting the government's ambitions to further strengthen the lira as a global currency and to boost the country's standing as a major international actor.

The symbol is a double-crossed "L," shaped like an anchor. The anchor shape hopes to convey that the currency is a "safe harbor" while the upward facing lines represent its rising prestige, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a ceremony at the Central Bank unveiling the symbol.

“The Turkish lira has a symbol now, just like the US dollar, the euro and the yen,” Erdoğan said, noting that the introduction of a symbol for the lira is not just a technical operation. “It signifies a renewed value and prestige for our national currency, the reawakening of a nation and its re-emergence as a global actor,” he said at the ceremony.

The symbol was endorsed after a contest, which Erdoğan said elicited about 8,000 submissions. The prime minister also said the introduction of the new sign was a new phase in a process of strengthening the lira. In 2005, Turkey created a new currency after removing six zeroes from the lira.

The redenominated lira, called the New Turkish Lira (YTL), was in circulation until Dec. 31, 2008. On Jan. 1, 2009, the word “new” was removed from the name of the second lira.

The lira, ranked by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's least valuable currency in 1995 and 1996 and again from 1999 to 2004, stabilized against the US dollar and the euro over the past several years.

“We did not pay attention to pessimistic and negative comments and completed the process of removing six zeros with almost no problem. Our people and institutions quickly adopted the new lira,” Erdoğan told the news conference.

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