People living in regions under the control of Syrian opposition in Aleppo have decided to use Turkish lira (TL) alongside the Syrian pound (SYP). Opposition said in a meeting held in Aleppo that people living in the north of the city would start to use the SYP and TL simultaneously. Both currencies will continue to be used in the regions under the control of the government's opponents until the government has no authority there, according to the announcement made in the name of the Local Council of Aleppo.
The self-authorized Local Council of Aleppo is an independent council formed by the people of Aleppo to manage the city after President Bashar Assad's forces retreated from parts of the city due to the country's five-year long civil war. The lira will be used since the SYP doesn't exist in many of the opponents' regions and the aim is to cause the government's economy to collapse.
Rashid Tahvali, an artisan in Aleppo, told AA that using Turkish lira in the north of the city was a popular move. Emphasizing that the dollar is very expensive in the region, Tahvali said that, "In the Iraq War, people used their own currencies not the dollar. They changed hundreds of dinars to buy one dollar. When the regime is overthrown here, the dollar will rise. Thankfully the tradesmen here accepted the use of the TL instead of the Syrian pound. Using the lira seemed appropriate since Turkey is near to the oppositions' regions."
Stressing that it is easy to sell TL in the domestic market since tradesmen carry out their business in TL, Tahvali said that people living in those regions have started to buy oil, food and other goods via the lira.
A copy of the document, on which the decision was written, justifies the choice by highlighting the crisis the Syrian pound is facing. The Syrian currency began losing its value after the Syrian regime started printing bank notes without real balance to support it. Yesterday, the dollar was being traded at SYP 188.822, while Turkish lira was being traded at SYP 68.3430. Five years ago, in August 2010, $1 corresponded to around SYP 46.700, meaning that the SYP has lost 75.3 percent of its value in years.