Turkey on Thursday introduced a symbol for its national currency, the Turkish lira, in a move that reflects the country's ambitious aspirations to become a global player.
The symbol, revealed in a ceremony by Turkey's Central Bank chief Erdem Basci, is a double-crossed "t" shaped like an anchor.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the anchor shape means that the currency is a "safe harbor" while the upward facing lines represent its rising prestige.
"The Turkish lira now has a symbol, just like the US dollar, the euro and the yen," Erdogan said, in a speech at the ceremony.
The symbol means "a country is rejuvenating, re-emerging and saying 'I am in' as a global actor," he said.
Turkey's fast growing economy has remained largely unaffected by the financial turmoil that has wrecked European economies, boosting its aspirations to become a regional leader.
The symbol was chosen in a competition among 8,000 designs.
The lira sign was unveiled at a time when Turkey is trying to expand the use of the currency in bilateral trade. Last week Turkey signed a three-year currency swap deal worth $1.6 billion (euro1.2 billion) with China.
The Turkish lira was trading at 1.74 against US dollar on Thursday. Turkey's currency has slid against the dollar over the past year, pleasing exporters who have long complained that the overvalued lira was hurting their chances of competition.
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