The only time I was cheated in Turkey was when I first arrived. It is true that the most safest place could turn to be the most dangerous place. Here is my experience and tips about money exchange in Turkey……
Turkey is not a part of the European Union (EU), although it has applied to join the EU and its membership status is currently a candidate country. So, we’d better exchange the New Turkish Lira (TL, ) which has been adopted since 2009. However, this currency is not able to be exchanged in some countries including Thailand. While the US dollar and the Euro are widely used in Turkey, but it will be definitely more expensive if you spend these currencies directly at any shops. You are recommended to exchange to the local currency first.The banknotes of the New Turkish Lira ranged from 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and also the new 200-Turkish-lira denomination which is rarely found. The Turkish coin lira is subdivided into 100 kuruş (kr) which you can find the frequent used coins in 5kr, 10kr, 25kr, 50kr and 1.
I would say one of my most memorable experiences in this trip once I landed in Turkey was the money exchange mistake . It was a very few bad impressions during my journey in this country. Don’t be trapped by the money exchange counter at the airport with the signboard, “Change Office”.
As I have seen a group of Western tourists exchanging their money there, I did follow them and decided to exchange only half of my budget luckily since there is the minimum amount to exchange at USD 10. Then, I got the money together with the receipt which made it more reliable. After I had got some local money in my pocket, I didn’t hesitate to continue my journey by catching the bus to downtown. While I was riding on the bus, I did spend time checking on the receipt and I was so surprised to find the commission charge and pretty expensive rate comparing with other money changers in town. Although, I was charged higher than it should be about a couple of hundred Baht, it was such a costly experience in my journey life.
Please bear in mind that you’d better exchange only sufficient Turkish Lira to pay for the bus ticket to downtown. Then, I encourage you to exchange for the local currency at money changers with no commission and absolutely reasonable rate in Istanbul where are mainly found near by the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market or even at any post offices which you can notice the yellow sign of PTT (Posta Telgraf Teşkilatı).