Money is slipping through the fingers of many Turks: Life is becoming more and more expensive, especially food and transport. In December, the inflation rate jumped over 30 percent. In a year-on-year comparison, the statistics office calculated 36.08 percent – the highest value in around two decades. At the same time, the Turkish lira is falling – in 2021 it lost about 44 percent of its value against the dollar.
Experts also see the reason for the currency crisis and high inflation in the unorthodox monetary policy of the Turkish central bank – at the urging of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it has repeatedly lowered its key interest rate, although economists consider an increase to be the appropriate answer.
He doesn’t want to know anything about a U-turn:
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (“Anadolu Agency”):
“Every day the number of countries we do business with in Turkish lira is growing.”
His tip: The Turks should take foreign currencies out from under their pillows and, above all, gold – 5,000 tons of the precious metal are said to be stored there. And exchange them for lira to show their trust in the currency.
Those with spares can at least still buy something to eat – Istanbul (“AP”) consumers report that the price of cooking oil rose two and a half times during one shopping spree.
Kadriye Dogru from Istanbul:
“I’ve never had such a miserable life. I go to sleep, wake up and the prices have gone up. I bought a 5 liter can of (cooking) oil for 40 lira (2.70 euros). I left again back, it was 80 lira. The next time I came back, it was 100 lira.”
A risky vicious circle: The rapid fall in the exchange rate of the Turkish lira, which accompanies inflation, makes imports more expensive. The pharmacists’ association complains that up to a thousand medicines are now hard to come by.
And it goes on: After the latest inflation figures were published, the Turkish lira lost a good two percent against the US dollar and the euro.
see below with dpa, AP