The akçe or akça (also spelled akche, akcheh; Ottoman Turkish: آقچه; Turkish pronunciation: [akˈt͡ʃe], [akˈt͡ʃa], in Europe known as asper or aspre) was a silver coin which was the chief monetary unit of the Ottoman Empire. The basic meaning of the word is "silver" or "silver money", deriving from the Turkish word ak ('white') and the diminutive suffix -ça.[1] Three akçes were equal to one para. One-hundred and twenty akçes equalled one kuruş. Later after 1687 the kuruş became the main unit of account, replacing the akçe. In 1843, the silver kuruş was joined by the gold lira in a bimetallic system.[2] Its weight fluctuated; one source estimates it between 1.15 and 1.18 grams.[3] The name akçe originally referred to a silver coin but later the meaning changed and it became a synonym for money.

Akçe issued by Sultan Murad II

The mint in Novo Brdo, a fortified mining town in the Serbian Despotate rich with gold and silver mines, began to strike akçe in 1441 when it was captured by the Ottoman forces for the first time.[4]

The Suleiman Mosque in Istanbul is said to have cost 59 million akçe when it was constructed in the 1550s. This amount is said to have equalled 700,000 ducats in gold (probably Venetian).


Reverse of an akçe of Murad II

Weight of akçe in grams of silver and index.[5]

Year Silver (g) Index
1450–60 0.85 100
1490–1500 0.68 80
1600 0.29 34
1700 0.13 15
1800 0.048 6
Akçe of Orhan

See also



  1. ^ "Akçe".
  2. ^ Sevket Pamuk, A Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire, Cambridge University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-521-44197-8
  3. ^ Ermiş, Fatih (2013). A History of Ottoman Economic Thought. p. 23.
  4. ^ Balkan studies. Édition de lA̕cadémie bulgare des sciences. 1988. p. 111. The mint at Novo brdo (in Turkish "Novar"), was the first to start striking Ottoman akçe — as early as 1441, when Murad Il's military commander, the eunuch Sibab ed-Din pasa captured the town, which had the greatest silver deposits and the ...
  5. ^ Malanima, Paolo (2009). Pre-Modern European Economy: One Thousand Years (10th-19th Centuries). BRILL. p. 198. ISBN 9789004178229. Retrieved 19 June 2014.