This content is not available in your region

Turkish lira's decline has impact over the border in Syria

Access to the comments Comments
By Yousef Gharibi & Hebaa Shehade
euronews_icons_loading
A Syrian man pays with Turkish lira at a gas station in the town of Sarmada in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, on June 15, 2020.
A Syrian man pays with Turkish lira at a gas station in the town of Sarmada in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, on June 15, 2020.   -   Copyright  AAREF WATAD / AFP

The recent collapse in Turkey's currency is having an impact beyond its borders, affecting some of its neighbouring countries.

Syria's northern region, under rebel control, adopted the Turkish lira in June 2020 as its own currency continued a disastrous downward spiral after a decade of conflict.

It had hoped the move would stabilise the region's ravaged economy.

But the Turkish currency has in turn lost 40% of its value since the start of the year. More than 20% was lost during the last month alone.

The lira hit a record low on 24 November, a day after Turkey's president said policymakers had no appetite to hike interest rates in response to the currency's fall.

"We were optimistic that the Turkish lira was better than the Syrian currency because it was stable, and there were many fluctuations in the Syrian currency. But since the Turkish currency was adopted, it has fluctuated, and we did not benefit from it at all. The Turkish currency is not stable at the moment; this negatively affected livelihood and trade, and now there is vast stagnation in the region," Syrian resident Moustafa Abou-Emad told Euronews.

According to UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) estimates, 97% of the population in the area is living in extreme poverty.

In Idlib, Syrian merchant Abd Alrazik Al-Ali said customers think sellers are taking advantage of the falling currency.

"We are confused; how should we act? How can we sell? You have to bring in a worker specifically to put the price on the goods, adjust and replace it. The Turkish lira is what is causing this," he said.