Turkey to open 1,000 markets to counter high inflation: Erdoğan
Turkey has ordered agricultural cooperatives to open about 1,000 new markets across the country to provide “suitable” prices for consumer goods, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 3.
“Markets run by Agricultural Credit Cooperatives are convenient in terms of prices and quality,” Erdoğan told reporters after visiting an agricultural credit cooperative outlet in Istanbul.
“We have ordered for about 1,000 of these businesses to open around Turkey, starting at 500 square meters each,” he said of the commercial outlets.
Construction would quickly begin on shops to provide Turks “cheap and high-quality goods,” he said. “Such a move will help “balance the market.”
The Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey currently operates nearly 500 grocery stores nationwide.
According to the latest data, Turkey’s annual inflation climbed to 19.25 percent in August, up 0.30 percentage points from a month ago.
Turkey sees annual food inflation of nearly 30 percent -- a global jump in commodity prices and depreciation of the Turkish Lira has driven inflation higher throughout the year. Unprocessed food prices rose by around 35 percent year on year. Fresh fruit and vegetable prices increased 40 percent in August from the same month of 2020.
Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Oct. 2 that increasing food production in villages was vital to head off exploitative pricing.
In early 2019, the government opened its own markets to sell cheap vegetables and fruits directly, cutting out retailers it accused at the time of jacking up prices.
Recently authorities have tightened inspections over alleged excessive price increases at supermarkets and marketplaces. “We have taken citizens’ complaints into account. Those will not be short-term inspections and will not be over in a month, as the rationale behind this scrutiny is to improve rule-based commercial activities,” Trade Minister Mehmet Muş earlier said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called on Erdoğan to hold snap elections if he wants the drop in the prices of market goods. The CHP leader was reacting to Erdoğan’s recent remarks that the Agricultural Credit Cooperative was suitable in prices and that their number would be increased.