Turkish gov’t to sell cheaper products online
Turkey’s government will sell cheaper vegetables and fruits online besides their sales at physical points-of-sale set up in a number of districts by municipalities in the capital Ankara and Istanbul as part of efforts to fight against excessive price hikes which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently described as “food terrorism.”
Cheap products will be sold through the online sale platform run by the country’s postal services company PTT, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan said in a statement yesterday.
Consumers may place orders for the products, which are sold at the same price the municipalities currently charge at the stalls and other outlets set up across Ankara and Istanbul.
“Orders will be delivered to consumers by PTT Cargo and Logistics. We are working together with the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry. This new scheme will prevent people from standing in queues to buy products from the points-of-sale and provide people with products at affordable prices,” Turhan said.
Speaking in Ankara at an event on Feb. 13, Erdoğan said people are very angry with profiteers whose decisions impact the public’s daily lives.
“We are angry too. That is why we decided to sell vegetables and fruit at cheaper prices. The reason behind this move is not to compete with tradesmen and craftsmen,” he said.
“We have warned the profiteers. God willing, we will give economic hitmen an Ottoman slap,” Erdoğan said.
He also suggested that the cheaper vegetables and fruit sale will continue after the March local elections and spread to every corner of the country.
The Istanbul Municipality sold a total of 298 tons of vegetables on the first day of the campaign that was launched to fight inflation.
The government rolled out the program on Feb. 11 in which Ankara and Istanbul municipalities are selling fruits and vegetables to consumers directly at lower prices in trucks, tents and stalls set up in cities’ busy areas.
Facing strong demand from consumers, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which set up 50 points-of-sale in 35 districts across the city, sold some 300 tons of produce at around half the market prices on the first day.
The hottest selling items were tomatoes (118 tons) and onions (73 tons).
The municipality also sold 70 tons of potatoes, 16 tons of spinach, 15 tons of cucumbers, 2.7 tons of eggplants and three tons of pepper.
The price of tomatoes sold at the municipality’s stall was 3 Turkish Liras per kilo whereas the price of this item was between 4 liras and 6 liras at the Istanbul wholesale market as of Feb. 11, according to data from the Istanbul Municipality.
The municipality sells onions for 2 liras per kilo versus 3.5-4.5 liras per kilogram at the wholesale market.
“We, as Tarım Kredi, are in charge of collecting products directly from growers and delivering them to the municipalities in Ankara and Istanbul. We purchased products from the provinces of Ankara, İzmir, Mersin, Antalya and Sakarya,” Fahrettin Poyraz, the general manager of the state-owned Agricultural Credit Cooperatives (Tarım Kredi Kooperatifleri), told state-run Anadolu Agency.