What currency to take to Side Turkey

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  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,318 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Chutzpah Haggler
    edited 18 January at 2:57PM
    zagfles said:
    There was a spike in the exchange rate in June last year, but that's obviously not typical - the GBP/TRY rate is now 38.2, a year ago it was 23.06. That's 65% over a year, which is less than 1% change a week on average. If you went in August you could have seen a fall in the exchange rate.
    If a 10% movement in the exchange rate in a week was typical, that would be over 14,000% pa inflation! It might be high in Turkey but it's not that high :D
    So I'd always go with minimising ATM charges over worrying about exchange rate movements for a week or two's holiday. That usually means making fewer withdrawals.

    Remember that the inflation rate refers to prices within Turkey, and this is not the same as the exchange rate. If you talk to any Turkish people they will laugh at the suggestion that the inflation rate is 'only' 65 per cent: that is not what is happening to the prices they pay when they buy groceries and generally get on with life.

    As you point out, a ten per cent weekly change in the exchange rate is unlikely to be sustained in the long term, but that is certainly what I experienced. If ATM charges are zero then waiting to withdraw money might make sense. Otherwise, we can agree that minimising ATM charges is the highest priority (apart from possible security worries about carrying lots of cash).
    People generally don't understand inflation, there are loads of conspiracy theorists here in the UK who think the UK inflation rate is fiddled, based on selective items they've seen move by far more than RPI/CPI, while ignoring stuff that hasn't gone up by much. 
    But the relevant issue from the POV of a British tourist in Turkey isn't the inflation rate per se but the exchange rate movement, it's the exchange rate movement which might benefit you delaying withdrawing/exchanging cash. And that movement was 65% in the last year, less than 1% a week on average, and that is solid fact which can't be disputed like inflation figures.  Some weeks it'll be more and others less, some it will be negative, ie the TRY will improve and you're better off getting it all upfront. But on average it's a bit under 1% decline in a week. Not worth worrying about at all while on holiday. Unless you're there for a month+
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