Finance

New icon of Turkish Lira symbolizes safe investment haven

The governor of Turkish Central Bank said on Thursday that the new icon of the Turkish lira (TL) symbolized a safe investment haven. Erdem Basci said economy bureaucrats had given priority to two significant features of the TL and Turkish economy when deciding about the new icon of the lira. "The new icon resembles an anchor, which emphasized that TL has become a safe investment haven," Basci told a press conference in Ankara.

The Central Bank of Turkey unveiled a currency sign for Turkish lira, reflecting the government's ambitions to further strengthen lira as a global currency and 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 lira is not just a technical operation. “It signifies a renewed value and prestige for our national currency, reawakening of a nation and its reemergence as a global actor,” he told 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.

Basci said the parallel lines of the new TL were heading upward, which symbolized the stable rising value of TL and Turkish economy

Moreover, Basci said TL was being more used in international markets in recent years, and gave the outcome of an Bank for International Settlements survey as an example.

Basci said according to the survey, the use of TL had increased by three-folds in 2010 when compared to 2007.

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