Destination Guide to Turkey
Turkey’s size, combined with the variety of terrain, allows it to be one of the few countries in the world that is self-sufficient in food. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy.
Forty per cent of the land is under cultivation, with crops grown for export as well as for domestic use. Cotton and livestock are the primary exports, contributing more to the economy than tourism. As one travels around, one cannot fail to notice the abundance of sheep – a sign of Turkey’s position as the biggest producer of wool in Europe.
Government-controlled organisations (known as State Economic Enterprises) control some of the major industries such as electricity, petroleum, salt and tobacco production.
The government also plays a part in the coal and steel industries, textiles, transportation, broadcasting and also the marketing of agricultural products. Manufactured goods are becoming an increasingly important part of the export economy. Car manufacture, electrical appliances, consumer goods and engineering projects all contribute to Turkey’s rising export rate.
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira. Until 2005 inflation was very high and the exchange rate rose as high as 4,000,000 TL = £1. At this time the currency was devalued and 1,000,000 TL became 1 YTL (New Turkish Lira). So from time to time people may refer to the ‘old money’ and ask for 2 million; don’t be alarmed they just mean 2 YTL. The old coins and notes are no longer in use.