A symbol for Turkish currency, the lira, has been unveiled at a press conference in Ankara.
The Turkish Central Bank unveiled a currency sign for Turkish lira, reflecting the government’s ambitions to further strengthen the national currency.
The symbol is a double-crossed “L,” shaped like an anchor. The anchor shape means that currency is a “safe harbor” while the upward facing lines represent its rising prestige, Central Bank President Erdem Basci said at a ceremony unveiling the symbol.
The symbol was endorsed after a contest, where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said elicited about 8,000 submissions. Speaking at a news conference at the Central Bank, Erdogan said the introduction of the new sign was a new phase in a process of strengthening lira. In 2005, Turkey created a new currency after removing six zeroes from the lira.
The redenominated lira, called the New Turkish Lira , 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 years.
“We did not pay attention to pessimist and negative comments and completed the process of removing 6 zeros with almost no problem. Our people and institutions quickly adapted to the new lira,” Erdogan told the news conference.
The new Turkish Lira symbol has become a key topic in Facebook discussions. Many Turks are discontent with the new symbol as they think it has resemblance with Armenian national currency – dram.
Another controversy about the new symbol of Turkish Lira brought to light by CHP (Republican People’s Party) Vice President Faik Öztrak. He claimed the symbol resembles with the initials of Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan, ‘T’ and ‘E’. Öztrak acussed Erdogan of acting like a ‘sultan’ referring to Ottoman Empire. He said ‘ Tayyip Erdogan tries his best becoming a sultan, he coined his name, i wouldn’t be suprised if has a sultan’s sigil prepared in the near future’ .