Drawing cash from credit cards double in five years in Turkey
ISTANBUL – ANKARA
15 billion liras of cash was withdrawn in the first five months of 2013, the Interbank Card Center’s data show. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELThe rate of drawing cash from credit cards increased by 105 percent in the first five months of 2013, in comparison to the same period of 2008.
While around 19.9 billion liras of cash was withdrawn from credit cards in the whole 2008, over 15.1 billion liras of cash was withdrawn in the first five months of 2013, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from the Interbank Card Center (BKM) in Turkey.
An average of 49.1 million liras of cash was withdrawn from credit card accounts per day in the first five months of 2008, with the amount increasing to 100.6 million liras in the same period of 2013.
The use of credit cards has been at the center of heated discussions among politicians as well as business representatives, particularly after Prime Minister Erdoğan’s recent order for people to stop using credit cards, publicly slamming banks for collecting large sums of money from “the poor.”
“Those credit cards: Don’t have them. If everybody spends as much as they [banks] want, they would not even be able to earn that income. They could never be satiated,” Erdoğan said on July 16.
Credit cards for payment, not loans
Following up on the prime minister’s words, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said on July 19 that credit cards should not be used for loans but rather for payment purposes.
Babacan said credit cards were the most expensive way of borrowing and that the government had been working for the responsible use of credit cards, speaking at a press conference before his departure from Ankara’s Esenboğa International Airport for the G-20 Meeting in Moscow.
“The point is to spread the proper use of credit cards in the country. Many people in Turkey have four or five credit cards now. This is so risky because these people use the money in the credit cards as if the money were not a loan, and they become more and more indebted,” Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK) head Bendevi Palandöken also told Anadolu Agency.
There are more than 56 million credit cards in use in Turkey, which has a population of around 75 million people, according to the latest figures from banks.