Skip to main content

Why are Turks disposing of $1 bills?

The discovery of $1 bills on Turkish soldiers involved in the July 15 putsch suggest the greenback has been used as a secret code of communication.
United States one dollar bills are seen on a light table at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File Photo    GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE – SEARCH “BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD JUNE 13” FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX2FV2B
Read in 

What is $1 worth around the world? An unlimited rice meal in India, a cup of coffee in Portugal and an hour of street parking in some places in the United States. A bottle of cheap wine is what you get in Italy, a lottery ticket in Australia and half an hour of foot massage in the Philippines. In Turkey, you can treat yourself to a simit and tea — and, as it turns out, you can stage a coup.

One-dollar bills have been found on high-ranking officers involved in the July 15 coup attempt, in what is perhaps the most bizarre of the many oddities to emerge from the massive crackdown on the Gulen community, the accused culprit in the putsch. The $1 bills have been found also on policemen, judges, academics, businessmen, teachers and other civilians linked to the Gulen community, the government’s former ally, which it now calls the Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization (FETO).

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.