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is it legal to demand payment in euros, in turkey?

although I understand in Istanbul it is widely accepted to take euros-
is it the case that a merchant/hotel can insist on payment in euros

Since the turkish lira value has dropped against other currencies, I have the hotels are trying to peg their prices to the value in euros.
I read in another source that it is illegal in Turkey to refuse payment in turkish lira

So can someone who is familiar with local currency confirm: is it legal for the hotel to set the price in euros, and insist payment by euros?
likewise: if I insist on paying in TL, is it right that they fluctuate the TL price based on the euro/usd change
Will I have to convert USD to TL to euros, if I use a credit card, because the double-conversion would be punishing.

Posted by
6721 posts

If you are paying by credit card, there's really nothing to worry about except to be OK with paying the USD equivalent of whatever EUR rate that is being advertised. You won't need to physically convert anything (use a card that has no foreign exchange fees). As for demanding to pay in cash in Lira, you can certainly do that but you'll be paying whatever Lira equivalent is of the EUR price, in the case of hotel rooms. Another way of saying this is, you won't ever pay what a local pays because you'll be treated as a tourist. I can't go on the US version of booking.com and not be quoted rates in either USD or EUR, so they know you're a tourist and there's no escaping that. Having said all that, just worry about picking hotel rooms and the like that are affordable to you (do the EUR conversion to USD using yahoo currency exchange or whatever). Turkey is really not expensive so it's not worth worrying about getting swindled - like everywhere else, you're a tourist and you'll pay tourist rates (but you can still get value for you money without feeling ripped off). Hopefully this makes sense.

When you're at the ATM, withdraw money in Turkish Liras only. Everywhere you go (tram, local shops, restaurants, etc), you'll be paying for goods in Lira and the prices will be written in Lira (unless you're at super touristy places like the Grand Bazaar). Prices that are marked in Euros will only be for hotels or heavily touristy shops or very expensive goods. It's supposed to be for the "convenience" of the shopper, but yes, it gives a lot of power to manipulate the exchange rates when they're set in Euros or other currency.

Posted by
3533 posts

Insist that the hotel bill you in lira, not euros or dollars. The so-called "dynamic conversion" to euros increases the cost of the transaction (every time you change money, even if it isn't conscious, there is an expense involved, and this one is hidden.)

Posted by
11263 posts

Turkish hotels have posted their prices in euros for a long time. At least when I was there in 2011, all of my hotels took payment in lire cash with no problems.

Posted by
338 posts

I'll second Harold's observation. Many hotels in areas frequented by tourists (e.g. Istanbul) will post costs in Euros but charge in the local currency. I've also seen costs advertised in U.S. dollars, although not recently. Every time I've checked out the clerk has pulled out a calculator to show me the math for the number of lira that I will be charged. In other words they are setting the hotel rate in Euros, but charging in lira at the time of payment. You should only be charged one conversion (e.g. from TL to USD).

Posted by
2206 posts

I believe the reason you see Turkish hotel prices listed in Euro is because other than the US most Turkish tourists come in from Europe, where almost all countries are on the Euro. So they show room prices in Euro on their advertising so as to reach the most customers. Relative to our $, the TL moves with he Euro. All the conversions should be equal. Anyone in Turkey who takes your Euro will charge you a bad exchange rate, as he still has to convert them to TL. You always need your cash to be the local currency of the country you are in, and pay in that form (via cash, or credit card payments calculated in the local currency). This may not be possible using booking companies online, but in most cases, your credit card is being used solely as security against your failure to show, and you should be able to settle with TL on your arrival.

Posted by
16860 posts

When the lira is in frequent flux against other currencies, describing the price in euros adds a point of consistency, allowing prices to be published in guidebooks, etc. Hotels will normally post their exchange rate daily at the reception desk, and will use that rate to convert the euro set-price to the actual lira rate that you pay at check-in or check-out. It is right and normal for that exchange rate to fluctuate, as the bank rate does.