Turkish Lira Brief History
It was in 1879 when the British on the island started to use Cyprus Pound (CYP) as an official currency. Later in 1983 it was divided into 100 cents and in the same year the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was established launching its own currency, Turkish Lira. Today it is referred to as old Turkish Lira and it ceased its validity on 31st December 2005. The New Turkish Lira (YTL - Yeni Turk Lirasi) that came out of old Turkish Lira with clearing away the zeros has been the current legal tender of the TRNC and Turkey since its issue on January 1st 2005. The currency suffered mostly in 1994 due to the inflation. At present unit of 1 YTL is equivalent to 1 million of old Turkish Lira. The New Turkish Lira is divisible into 100 new kurus (cents). Since january 1st 2009 the 'Yeni' has been dropped and is now known as just the ' Turkish Lira' New bank notes were introduced at the same time. .
If you feel uncomfortable carrying large amounts of cash, then you can bring euro cheques and traveller cheques. They are accepted and easily exchanged in banks, exchange bureaux and hotels.
Currently there are no strict controls on the quantity of cash or traveller's cheques imported into North Cyprus but it is most advisable to leave with as few New Turkish Liras as possible, since they are worthless outside the TRNC or Turkey. While no restrictions are placed on imports of foreign exchange, large amounts should be declared to customs upon entry. Up to $10,000 may be exported.
Credit Cards and ATMs
Widely acceptable and practical, you can pay with plastics in stores, restaurants, supermarkets or petrol stations. From ATMs (automated teller machines) cash can be withdrawn at any time, although with some bank charges applied. Do not forget your pin number. You will find plenty of ATMs in North Cyprus as they are studded in bigger cities like North Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia