Rising prices in Turkey: supermarkets as scapegoats

Turkey is struggling with high inflation: consumer prices have risen by 19.25 percent in the past year and food prices by as much as 29 percent. President Erdoğan has accused five major supermarket chains of causing the extreme increase in prices and declared war on them. Commentators say his risky financial policy is to blame.

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Habertürk (TR) /

So many reasons

The causes for the inflation lie elsewhere, Habertürk stresses:

“If little is produced, things get expensive. If the effectiveness is low, things get expensive. If your dependence on foreign countries is high, things get expensive. If your budget is in the red, things get expensive. If your exports do not match your imports, things get expensive. If your judiciary is not trustworthy, there will be no foreign investment, and if there is no domestic investment either, things get expensive. Supermarket chains are probably not responsible for all these things. ... Yet the government is blaming them for the inflation. Is that surprising? Of course not. If you want to stay in government you always need a bogeyman, an enemy.”

Karar (TR) /

It's not the stores that create inflation

Yet again Erdoğan rejects any responsibility for the decline of the lira, Karar comments with annoyance:

“Is the country's mental derangement confined to the supermarket sector? Who caused the dollar to go up from 8.3 to 9 lira by hastily implementing the interest rate cut that everyone had expected for the end of the year? Whose misguided policy pushed the dollar exchange rate, which should be between 3.5 and 4 liras in comparison with other countries, up to 9 liras? Who will foot the bill for these enormous increases in costs? And who will foot the bill for the coming price hikes? The Turkish people, of course. But the leadership remains flawless and it's just the others who are to blame, right?”