Locked-in Istanbul residents go after games, food orders

Locked-in Istanbul residents go after games, food orders

Emre Eser - ISTANBUL
Locked-in Istanbul residents go after games, food orders

The favorite items ordered by Istanbul residents sheltering at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic are board games, frozen vegan foods and traditional Turkish fast-foods, according to data from an online delivery application.

The mobility in the 15.5-million-strong metropolis has declined some 90 percent upon calls from the authorities to stay at home, according to the Interior Ministry.

The calls and measures for social distancing has propped up online shopping, statistical data of İstegelsin showed on March 30.

In the last three weeks, the average basket sum increased 25 percent, while the number of items in an average basket doubled.

As might be expected, the mostly demanded items include hygiene products and protective masks, which can be sold out in the markets and the warehouses of the delivery firms like İstegelsin, Getir and Banabi, a sister application of the online food delivery platform Yemeksepeti bought by Delivery Hero in 2015.

Besides, board game sales via İstegelsin soared 1,033 percent and play card sales increased 943 percent.

Demand for frozen vegan food went up 778 percent, whereas orders for frozen Turkish pita, or pide, and lahmacun - a thin piece of dough topped with minced meat - saw an increase of 600 percent.

The middle- and high-income households, which are concentrated in the districts of Bakırköş, Şişli, Beşiktaş and Sarıyer on the European side and Kadıköy on the Anatolian side, were those who hiked up the usage of delivery applications.

In the capital Ankara, the district of Çankaya, which houses most of the government buildings and embassies, has shown huge interest in online deliveries.

Meanwhile, another delivery application firm has speeded up its efforts to connect local shops with residents in the same neighborhood.

“We will work together to get over these hard times by adding the local shops, such as grocery stores and markets which have sunk in sales, to our network,” said Akakçe co-founder Koray Karataş said.

The application provides a platform to compare goods, prices and shops like grocery stores, pharmacies and pet shops in a neighborhood.

All the shops filling in a form on its website are now being able to receive online orders for free.

Turkey, coronavirus,