The Turkey Gold Rush

ISTANBUL, July 4 (Reuters) – For centuries, Turks have flocked to the jewelry shops of Istanbul’s labyrinthine Grand Bazaar to trade their gold – ornaments handed down through their families over generations, or bars stashed under mattresses as savings. But in recent months the shops have a new and unexpected competitor: banks.

Why Turkey Jumped from 20th to #7

In terms of the data overall, among 163 countries Turkey was ranked seventh-best for expats, after Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and Australia.

The European Union wouldn’t let Turkey in ‘elhamdulillah’ meaning we ruled out Euro Greek Cyprus for the cheap seats in Turkish Lira Antalya. Until 2018 a dollar would buy 7/8ths of a Euro or 3.67 Liras,

Market in the upper town, Paphos, Cyprus Cyprus Tomato (1 lb) 0.84 € = $0.93 Antalya Tomato (1 lb) 2.00 TL = $0.34

Europeans are flocking to Turkey not just for the cheapest tomatoes in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Gold Denominator

Turkey’s 2018 44% currency devaluation has brought investors from Europe, Russia and Mideast to own more than half of the real estate in Antalya. However, the coming financial Apocalypse has encouraged the locals as well as resident expats to open gold bank accounts.

According to Jim Rickards, Turkey is the only country in the world to offer gold deposit accounts. Example: TRY- USD- GBP- EUR and XAU act like your standard bank account, only in multiple currencies, including Gold.

The country’s commercial banks are pouring their technical expertise and marketing resources into offering their customers gold deposit accounts. Customers hand their gold to a bank and can make withdrawals from their accounts in gold bars or the lira currency; the accounts offer interest rates that are substantially lower than those on normal time deposits.

The BIS (Bank for International Settlements) in October 2018 declared XAU Gold an accepted world currency. The BIS, the banks bank, financed both sides in WWII just to be fair.


Gold deposit accounts have been growing around the world, but Turkey’s boom has made it a leader in the trend. 

Global Currency Debasement

The chart is turned upside down because as the price of Gold goes up the purchasing power of the effective currency goes down. The AUD ‘Aussies’lost least while the Rupee and USD folks were the ‘bigly’ biggest losers.

The Expat Conundrum

The AGHOA in Dalaman, Turkey was established at 70 GBP/mth dues but the natives and YB’s (yabanci) residents pay in TRY lira. The brouhaha how to set the lira rate each fiscal year?

Currency Thermometer

We have no problem with Centigrade or Fahrenheit as a measure of the temperature. Real money is calculated in the price of gold in ounces or grams.

The Brits think in GBP, as Yanks we compare TRY purchases in terms of USD, the Turks check the exchange rate of the TRY versus the USD 1st and XAU 2nd.
The Gold temperature in Akkaya Gardens on 23 September 2020 was 473 TRY, 47 GBP, 60 USD, or 52 EUR.