American Dollars in Turkey

Mar 7th, 2008, 03:29 AM
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American Dollars in Turkey

Can anyone tell me if American dollars are easily accepted in Turkey for such things as restaurants, shopping at the Grand Bazaar, tips etc. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
lilypoo is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 03:31 AM
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Not easily, but it might.
Better are Euros - or of course Turkish Lira.
Ida101 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 03:32 AM
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To be blunt about it, I don't think you should even be asking this question.
Padraig is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 03:37 AM
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US$ are widely accepted at any shop in Istanbul. No problems.

Can't tell you about restaurants as I always used my CCs.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 04:01 AM
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The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira and that is what you should be using! I would not count on paying with US dollars anywhere in Turkey. Obviously you can give a tip in any currency or even in cowrie shells!
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 7th, 2008, 04:08 AM
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I easily exchanged money at the airport, at my hotels, and at the Grand Bazaar. My DH got money from ATMs.

You might be able to use them at some places, but it seems like more of a hassle than just getting Turkish lira.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 04:12 AM
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Dollars have no use in Turkey, so the merchant will convert at the rate, after adding bank charges, he thinks he'll get when he goes to the bank -unless he's planning a shopping trip to New York soon.

The dollar fell 22% against the Lira last year, so the merchant will add a bit more to the markup for foreign currency to cover the risk it'll fall further before he actually gets to the bank.

The details of this sum will vary from merchant to merchant. If you're just there for an hour or two, it might be worth living will the markup to avoid hassle. But you'll almost inevitably get a worse deal paying in any foreign currency (even in euros, but a LOT worse in a currency everyone thinks will fall further) than you would by geting Lira from an ATM.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 04:21 AM
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I bought some last minute gifts at the Bazaar last December and I didn't want to get Lira so when I saw the prices marked in Euro, as in 100EU, I bargained the prices to about 50EU and then I just paid $75US. No problems.

The shop owners pretty much have a set exchange rate. 1EU=1.5US.

Not worth the trouble of exchanging money and in most cases even getting Lira out of ATM, as many banks charge for that privilage as well.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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I was there last September and used my card or Turkish lira.
upstate_girl is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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The hookers at the pool at the Ritz-Carlton probably take dollars.

I did use a $20 to buy a scarf at the Grand Bazaar. Rami (the restaurant in Sultanahmet) also took dollars.

Polly Magoo
Proenza_Preschooler is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 03:31 PM
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Do you not think it is just a bit arrogant to expect Turks to accept American money? I ask this as a Canadian who knows that U.S. merchants & hotels do not accept Cdn dollars or any other foreign currency. It is not such a big deal to equip yourself with some of the local money and it shows a good spirit on your part.
Sherbrooke is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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I did pay for my last meal in euros last time I was in Turkey, because I ran short of lira and there was no ATM handy, but in general I consider it only polite to use the currency of the country. Besides, the bank rate at the ATM is almost certainly a better deal than the rate a merchant would give you.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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Official currency being Turkish Lira,
at most touristic places & venues merchants will accepts dollars & euros etc.
a Shopkeepr in Grand Bazzar will accept your dollar but a restaurant owner may not. And ofcourse they will calculate a bit lower rates than bank exchange rates. Same story at hotels....

You can pay travel agency in Dollars but if you are buying a bus ticket usually not.

If you try to use foreign currency at gasoline station or at shopping malls again you may get No as an answer.

If you are in Marmaris you can use currency almost anywhere.
So here is the advice:

Do not change your dollar or euro at home, you get better exchange rate in Turkey.

In Ataturk airport banks are open 7/24

Also in big cities there are exchange offices and they offer good rates without commission. Banks and post offices do change your currency as well.

Have your dollar and always have Turkish Lira with at least about 100 Usd worth to use at restaurants and taxis.....

Travelers cheques are accepted at big stores like carpet & leather and jewellery and some hotels.
Travelers cheques are exchanged at most post office (PTT) or banks.

Last couple of days Euro and Dollar is getting a bit dearer against Turkish Lira.

Despite the fact of weak dollar Turkey is still a good bargain in general.

Happy travelling,

propertravel is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 08:59 PM
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For all of you who gave constructive answers to my question, I thank you. For the rest of you don't bother to reply if you can't give a direct and honest answer. It is not my intention to be ethnocentric or to make a political statement by possibly using USD while in Turkey. I simply want to know what is acceptable in the country that I am going to visit. Of course I will use Turkish lira while in Turkey but it also helps to know if using another currency is an option should I need it. For all of your proselytizing it seems from the majority of the answers that it is, in fact, acceptable to use USD. It doesn't appear to be the grave, ethnocentric, exploitive crime you make it out to be. I was not looking for a lecture. If one wants to spout condescending and judgemental jibberish go find an appropriate forum. This forum is for travelers who are seeking practical information. I have no interest in being lectured by psuedo intellectuals.
lilypoo is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 10:11 PM
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If all you observed from the criticism was that the USD will probably be accepted anyway in most places, clearly the exchange rate does not matter to you, so just blithely spend away.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 10th, 2008, 10:26 PM
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in fairness to everyone lilypoo.....

this statement -
"Can anyone tell me if American dollars are easily accepted in Turkey for such things as restaurants, shopping at the Grand Bazaar, tips etc." different than this statement -
"Of course I will use Turkish lira while in Turkey but it also helps to know if using another currency is an option should I need it."

From your original post, I was under the assumption that you wanted to see if USD were acceptable for regular use in Turkey. However, your last post implies that you just want to know if USD were acceptable if you were in a bind.

Those are 2 completely different situations.

I think if you had worded your original post a little differently - you would not have gotten "condescending and judgemental jibberish."

As has been said - I think using USD is not a huge deal in most of the tourist areas of Istanbul (altho it is certainly easier to use Turkish Lira) but if you are out in other parts of the country, there could be a problem.

Also as has been mentioned - the exchange rate that you will end up with by using USD in shops, etc will strongly favor the merchant.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 12:10 AM
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lilypoo: nobody in this discussion was nasty. Your response was uncalled=for.
Padraig is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 02:22 AM
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The Turks LOVE Euro and American currency - they see it as more stable than the Turkish lira. However I used lira. Believe me - they are better at converting foreign currencies than you! Get used to paying/bartering in their currency.
worldinabag is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:55 AM
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Currency in tipping make a big difference on perception.
Giving 10 Us instead of 15 Lira which is 12 Us. makes the person receiving the tip happier.
Just perception I guess or old habbits of old days stability notion....

propertravel is offline  

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