Lira to U.S. Dollar Conversion

U.S. dollar image
U.S. dollar image (Image: "George is Keeping an Eye On You!" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: peasap (Paul Sapiano) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

The lira is the currency of Turkey, and the dollar is the currency of the United States. The conversion rate for years was more than a million, but after a change by the Turkish government in the mid-2000s, the rate has come down to reasonable levels. As of late 2009, $1 could be converted to 1.47 lira, and one lira could be converted to 68 cents.

About the Lira

The lira is the currency of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It was first introduced in 1844, replacing the kuru. The lira has been pegged to both the British pound and French franc, but it has been tied to the U.S. dollar since 1946.

About the Dollar

The dollar is the currency of the United States and is also the world’s dominant currency. Its fate is tied to the price of gold, oil and more. When the dollar falls, those commodities rise in price. Weakness in the dollar during the late 2000s had some people suggesting that the dollar be replaced as the world’s currency.

Dollar vs. the Lira: the Early Days

Weakness in the Turkish economy during the 1970s through 1990s caused the lira to drop dramatically in value, making the conversion rate between the dollar and lira a national embarrassment to Turks. A dollar could be converted to about nine lira in the late 1960s and about 1.65 million lira in 2001. It was ranked as the world’s least valuable currency on a number of occasions. Changes were needed.

Turkish Government Steps In

On Jan. 1, 2005, the Turkish government dropped six zeros from the lira as a way to make the currency less of a laughingstock. The law actually changed in December 2003, but it took a year to implement. The country started calling it the “new” lira. In 2009, the word “new” was dropped, and it was once again just the lira.

Current Rate

The dropping of the six zeros, a rebound in the Turkish economy and weakness in the U.S. economy now make the lira look better compared with the dollar. As of mid-October 2009, the conversion rate was 1.47 Turkish lira for every $1. So one Turkish lira was worth about 68 cents. Click the link to Yahoo! Finance below to get the most up-to-date conversion rate.

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