Turkey launches probe into firms over ‘abnormal price hikes’

Turkey launches probe into firms over ‘abnormal price hikes’

ANKARA

Turkey’s Ministry of Trade has said it launched probes into companies that hiked their prices “abnormally” amid currency volatility.

According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the ministry stated on Sept. 1 that it inspected companies in all provinces of Turkey after “rumors suggesting that some speculators hiked prices of various products by using the temporary volatility in financial markets as an opportunity.”

Inspections were aimed at detecting the sellers who were not affected by the recent rise in production costs and foreign exchange rates but still increased their prices, the statement said.

The Trade Ministry inspectors, coordinated by Consumer Protection Board General Manager Ahmet Erdal and Domestic Trade Board Deputy General Manager Adem Başar, visited food, home appliance and furniture stores to check price changes in 81 provinces, it added.

According to the statement, the ministry launched "administrative processes" against those that increased their prices “abnormally” or resorted to “disguised price hikes” by decreasing the volume of food products.

Trade Ministry had issued a new regulation on Aug. 31 that enabled authorities to take administrative measures against "prices hikes with no justified reason" by including such actions in the category of "deceptive trading practices" to protect the consumer.

Turkish Lira has lost close around 40 percent of its value this year amid various economic concerns and a diplomatic dispute with the United States.

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