The currency of Turkey is Turkish Lira (TRY or TL in Turkish).
1 TL is almost around 0.50 Euros. The exchange rate changes daily depending on the national and global economic developments.
There are 6 banknotes of TL (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 TL), 6 coins (1 Lira, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 Kuruş which refers to cents) 100 kuruş is equal to 1 TL.
You can change Euros or US Dollars in exchange offices you may find almost everywhere in towns. Banks can also change your money but their rates and commission policies does not make them a real option except emergency cases. Exchange offices are open 6 days a week from around 09:00 till 17:00. Opening hours may differ according to the season and the town. Some jewelry shops also change money. In order to get a realistic and updated rate you better follow the rates time to time.
Still another option for getting your pocket money is ATMs that you will find at almost every corner. ATMs accept most of the international debit and credit cards. The most common ones are Visa and Maestro or Mastercard.
If your family would like to send you money and if you don’t have a bank account, then you can find several Western Union offices that you can get your money quite easily.
You should be aware of the fact that Turkey might not be as cheap as you have been thinking of. Food and some basic things may be cheaper than many other European countries, but you will notice soon that there are many things especially electronics that are more expensive than many other countries.
Figures and prices also changes from town to town. For instance Istanbul is considered to be one of the most expensive towns in Europe, whereas %zmir can be more reasonable for many things. In the same town, as in other countries, you will find different places with different pricing policies. You will have chance to explore from where you should shop or on which days it is cheaper to go to cinema as there may be promotions for students and young people on certain conditions. Staying around where the other students are hanging out might help you at the beginning.
Cost of Living
T-shirts: 7-70 TL 3-30 Eur
Tenis socks: 2-10 TL 1-5 Eur
Jeans: 25-100 TL 12-50 Eur
Shoes: 50-250 TL 25-125 Eur
Sport Shoes: 50-250 TL 25-125 Eur
Movie Theatres: 10-15 TL 5-8 Euros
Local Bus: 1,5 TL (OW) 75 Cents
Pizza: 5-10 TL 2,5-5 Eur
Big Mac Menu: 7-10 TL 3,5-5 Eur
Cola (at Cafe): 3-5 TL 1,5- 2,5 Eur
Entry to disco: 10-25 TL 5-13 Eur
Rock concert: 10-25 TL 5-13 Eur
Shampoo: 5-10 TL 2,5-5 Eur
Tootpaste: 3-7 TL 1,5-3,5 Eur
Deodorant: 4-10 TL 2-5 Eur
Stamps: 0,80-1,5 TL 0,4-0,75 Eur
Bus: 1,5 TL 0,75 Eur
Photo copies: 40-80 Kr 20-40 Cents
Tenis (p/month): 100-150 TL 50 -75 Eur.
Swimming p/m: 60-100 TL 30-50 Eur
Bowling p/game: 10-15 TL 5-8 Eur
Costs for family
1 liter of milk: 1 TL 0.50 Eur
1 loaf of bread: 0,6 TL 0,30 Eur
Heating (p/m): 400 TL 200 Eur/month
Electricity: 70 TL 35 Euros/month