Turkey imposes currency switch in northern Syria

IDLIB, Syria (North Press) – The General Directorate of Turkish Post (PTT) started pumping large quantities of the Turkish lira into the opposition-held areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo, hours after the Syrian Interim Government (a Turkish-backed Syrian opposition government associated with the Syrian National Coalition) formally approved the Turkish lira for circulation in its areas.


“The General Directorate of Turkish Post (PTT), whose centers are in opposition-held areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo, started to circulate large quantities of the Turkish lira in a move aimed at officially replacing the Syrian pound with the Turkish currency for the first time in years,” a local source confirmed to North Press.


“The Turkish move came in an effort to secure the increasing demand for Turkish lira after the decisions of the local councils to replace the Syrian pound with Turkish lira," media linked to the opposition said.


The northern countryside of Aleppo, which is under the control of the Turkish-backed armed opposition groups, witnessed the circulation of Turkish currency as a substitute for the Syrian pound on Tuesday after the latest slump in the Syrian pound against the US dollar, just hours after the Syrian Interim Government issued its decision circulate Turkish lira in local markets.


“Most sectors started pricing their fees in Turkish lira, including electricity, internet, gold, and even bread,” the same sources confirmed to North Press. Activists from the region mentioned on social media that most traders have already started pricing their products in Turkish lira, including food, medicine and clothing.


The price of a bread bundle was set in Turkish lira, while sellers and merchants tend to price the other products in the Turkish currency.


Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce of the Local Council in Akhtrin city in the north-eastern countryside of Aleppo issued a circular fixing prices in Turkish lira, including daily workers' wages and crops, on Monday.


The decision to replace the currency came in a statement issued by Syrian Interim Government a few days ago, in which it stated that it would start pumping Turkish currency of five, ten and twenty pounds in the markets in northern Syria during within the coming days in order to maintain the purchasing power of citizens, protect their money and property, and facilitate daily transactions.