The Ottoman dissolution and the Istanbul bourse between war and peace: a foreign exchange market perspective on the Great War

Hanedar A. O., Gencer H. G., Demiralay S., Altay I.

SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, vol.67, no.2, pp.154-170, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier


The participation of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War caused economic disruptions, huge budget deficits, surmounted inflation rates and excessive depreciation of Lira, the Ottoman currency. Based on the value of Lira against the currencies of Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden that were not in the war, we focus on the effects of news about the war on the foreign exchange rates at the Istanbul bourse from 1918 to 1919. Our results signify some dates, which match the announcements of the armistices and peace meetings, heralding continuous depreciation of Lira. Thus, the findings support the presence of an expectation on the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire with the peace, marked by the escalation of the loss in trust for the Lira and the power of the state in foreign exchange interventions.