Turkey: record inflation

After the inflation rate in Turkey soared to 36 percent in December 2021 the country experienced a surge in energy prices and rents at the turn of the year: electricity became 50 percent more expensive for households with low consumption and for households with higher consumption the increase was even more dramatic. The price of natural gas, petrol, rents and bridge tolls also rose significantly. Protests are gaining momentum.

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Yetkin Report (TR) /

Will Erdoğan admit he made mistakes?

The leader of the main opposition party CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has announced on Twitter that he will not pay his electricity bill until the president revokes the price increases. For that to happen, Erdoğan would first have to admit he made a mistake, comments Yetkin Report:

“Political circles in Ankara discuss that the 210-kilowatt limit may be increased to 250 kilowatts. It may enable the houses at the lowest consumption level to receive bills, still with a 50 percent raise, but not 125 percent. ... Changing the consumption levels in electricity will not benefit either industry or commerce, but the President will have to admit that he made decisions with wrong calculations and had to reverse his decisions.”

Cumhuriyet (TR) /

Call for protest without fear

Opposition politicians should finally drum up effective resistance instead of just complaining, Cumhuriyet demands:

“This constant whining has become really annoying. ... Why don't you call people onto the streets to protest against petrol, gas and electricity prices? Are you afraid that a state of emergency could be declared? My God, we've been living in a state of emergency for years! What could be worse than that? Even little children are arrested for insulting the president, hundreds of members of the HDP and journalists are in jail. What else can happen to us?”

Karar (TR) /

Inflation will smother the economy

The rising prices are just the beginning and the worst is yet to come, warns Karar:

“The artificial lowering of the key interest rate first caused the lira exchange rate to soar then pushed the prices up. The increase in inflation and the risks arising from this uncertainty are reflected in loans, causing lending rates to go up. ... The pace of the rise and fall of the lira exchange rate has destroyed the basis for pricing and is beginning to have a negative impact on trade. And impaired trade will undoubtedly affect production and then investment. The only thing left for us to do now is to wait until this effect is also felt in the economic data.”

Yetkin Report (TR) /

Erdoğan sees rosy future despite crisis

Yetkin Report asks how long the economic crisis can be covered up with negative discourse about other countries:

“President Erdoğan continues to announce bigger targets looking through rose-coloured glasses, while Turkey's place in international standards is gradually receding, from per capita income to uneven income distribution, from women's rights to independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press. ... They are trying to cover up these hikes, financial difficulties and unemployment by producing hostility, saying 'Germany is jealous of us, England is devastated, America is bankrupt.' Is this sustainable? If so, how much longer? Maybe the crisis can be managed for a while, but can the economy be managed like that permanently?”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Inflation has already toppled one Turkish government

Recent Turkish history should be a warning to Erdoğan, points out the Süddeutsche Zeitung's Istanbul correspondent:

“The last time the inflation rate in Turkey was this high was in 2002, and experts are already predicting 40 percent inflation for the spring. This must be far more worrying for Erdoğan than the criticism of the political repression for which he is responsible: in 2002, along with rampant corruption and other signs of decay, monetary devaluation cost the then secular government its office - and brought Erdoğan to power.”