Mackerel prices trigger debate

Mackerel prices trigger debate

Emre Eser - ISTANBUL
Mackerel prices trigger debate

A sharp difference in fish prices, particularly that of mackerel, at the main fish market in the Gürpınar district of Istanbul and the restaurants in the Beşiktaş district has sparked a debate.

The price of a 300-gram mackerel at the Gürpınar fish market is 3.5 Liras (50 cents) whereas the very same mackerel is sold for 10 liras ($1.4) at Beşiktaş’s fish market and for 110 liras in restaurants located along the Bosphorus. 

“There is injustice in pricing policy. Of course, the price can change due to service those restaurants offer, and their costs, but still there is a huge gap,” said an anonymous fisherman at the Gürpınar market. 

Salih Purut, a fisherman doing business in the main market for 35 years made a different warning regarding the mackerel offered at those venues. 

“We are stunned by the price of the fish offered at restaurants. Also don’t believe any of them if they say they are selling local fish. It is not the season to catch mackerel, customers should be vigilant.”

Another vendor at the Gürpınar market also warned consumers regarding the quality. “The ones sold in the restaurants are farm fish, not the sea fish.,” he said. 

Some restaurant owners agreed with the fishermen. 

“The costs of every business vary. But no one should inflate the price. A fish of 5-6 Liras must be charged 50-60 Liras at the most.”

However, Ramazan Bingöl, the head of Restaurants and Tourism Professionals Association (TÜRES) challenges this view. 

“Restaurants set their prices according to their customers’ income level. Not everyone can go to these fish restaurants and those who can expect other customers to be from their social status. So the prices in Turkey are low and should be more,” he added.