Turkey CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

Economic Information

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Cash Issued




Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


Turkey is in the pilot phase. The Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye reported that it will “continue to run the limited, closed-circuit pilot tests” of its CBDC (referred to as the digital lira). After the pilot tests are completed, the Central Bank of Türkiye reportedly plans to release an evaluation report and further “unveil advanced phases of pilot studies to widen participation.” The additional phases are expected to include testing with banks, fintechs, and other financial institutions in an experimental environment.

CBDC History and Development

In 2020, the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye began proof-of-concept studies to better understand how a CBDC might work. Following these studies, the Central Bank Digital Turkish Lira Research and Development Project was launched.

In 2021, the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye announced that it had established the “Digital Turkish Lira Collaboration Platform” for experimentation within a closed environment that could be accessed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye, the arms manufacturer ASELSAN, and tech company HAVELSAN. Furthermore, it was said that “After capacity measurements of different technological alternatives are completed and the architectural setups are finalized, it will be decided whether the existing technologies can meet the economic, legal and financial requirements of the digital Turkish lira.”

In 2022, the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye launched the first phase of its CBDC pilot and executed its first transaction on the digital Turkish lira network.

In 2023, the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye completed the first phase of its pilot program. The pilot included testing transactions, identification, supervision, and security. The central bank reported that it would expand the pilot into wider testing during the next phase.

In 2024, Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye executive directors Zeynel Abidin Avcı and Bilgehan Kürsad Öz said in an interview that “Phase Two [of the Digital Turkish Lira Project] has started at full steam. The CBRT believes the digital Turkish lira will be the future of payments.” They went on to say, “When the digital Turkish lira becomes fully operational, we expect various enhancements to our payment ecosystem, such as the development of a complementary payment channel, increased financial inclusion, uniformity in payments, and a bedrock for further innovation.”

Human Rights and Civil Liberties Concerns

Turkey earned a 32 out of 100 in Freedom House’s 2023 Freedom in the World report. As it relates to the issuance and use of a CBDC, the key concerns to focus on are the misuse of financial crime enforcement tools as well as government corruption.

According to Amnesty International, Turkey used “recommendations on combating money laundering and financing terrorism as a smokescreen to facilitate harassment of [non-governmental organizations (NGO), and] intensified the use of intrusive NGO audits under the Law on the Prevention of the Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Freedom House reported similar concerns, “In 2021, the government froze the assets of 770 NGOs on the spurious grounds of terrorism financing.” Unfortunately, a CBDC could be used as another tool in this effort. Across the world, governments have often turned to freezing and seizing the money of activists, political rivals, and protestors to undermine the opposition. A CBDC would make such initiatives easier by allowing governments to take direct control of each citizen’s finances.

“Corruption remains a major problem, including at the highest levels of government,” according to Freedom House. “Enforcement of anticorruption laws is inconsistent, and anticorruption agencies are ineffective, creating a culture of impunity. The existence of pervasive corruption is a major concern with CBDCs because it calls into question any promises that might be made by the government to limit surveillance, control, or other risks of CBDCs. Furthermore, the existence of corruption calls into question whether CBDC policies might be designed to exert political favoritism through subsidies, price controls, or other targeted restrictions.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.