Turkish state company’s cut in bullet prices triggers reaction
Eray Görgülü – ANKARA
Turkey’s state-run Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) has reduced the price of pistol bullets in a bid to support a government-initiated anti-inflation campaign, drawing reaction from an anti-violence group.
“Our institution, the apple of the eye of our defense industry, is glad to side with our people in this tough period. We have lowered the price of national and domestic pistol cartridges by 7.5 percent, valid from Jan. 7, to support the Campaign for the Struggle against Inflation, which was launched by Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak,” read the statement by the gun-maker.
It concluded with a sentence reading, “We wish it will be good for our country,” which according to Umut Foundation, a non-governmental organization working against personal gun ownership, advocates the use of guns.
“The fundamental duty of the state is to maintain peace. It is very wrong to promote and advertise for bullets, which break peace,” said Ayhan Akcan, a board member of the NGO and a psychiatrist.
“These bureaucrats think of commercial benefits and forget about the social side of the issue. On the contrary, we think guns should be restricted,” he told Hürriyet, asking officials to withdraw the regulation as “gun violence in the country keeps rising each year.”
“Are we at a war so that such thing is practiced?” he rhetorically asked.
MKEK, for its side, said on reactions that the “wish” part of the statement was in reference to the anti-inflation campaign.
Albayrak had announced in October last year a “full-fledged fight” against inflation, calling on all companies to offer 10 percent discounts on items impacting inflation until the year-end.
Thousands of companies announced they would join the call.
Consumer prices increased 20.3 percent last year, according to official data by the state-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).