Turkey's bread price dispute continues as bakeries demand price hike

Turkey's Union of Bread Industry Employers had sued Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) over the allegations of the price of bread was not increased as it was planned to be, Artı Gerçek news site reported on Friday. 

Turkey's bakeries and grocery stores in October had to fix the price of a 250-gram-bread to 1.25 Turkish lira as the Ministry of Commerce demanded. However, bakeries want to increase the price of bread, which is controlled by authorities, as the price of flour has risen due to the fall in the value of the lira.

An ITO decision on Oct. 18 said there was no need for a price increase for bread. But the Union of Bread Industry Employers said there was an infringement in the voting process which was held to cancel the previous price-fixing regulation and filed a criminal case against ITO. 

Çetin Keçeli, the head of the Union of Bread Industry Employers, said 80 members of ITO voted in favour of the cancellation of the previous price and demanded a rise on the bread price, while 10 opposed it and 40 did not join the voting. But ITO did not accept the rejection votes and decided the keep the previous bread price in force, that's why they sued ITO, Keçeli said. 

ITO, an economic organisation to ensure economic development and to protect economic rights, did not reply the allegations yet. 

Last month, some bakery owners went on a strike and halted the bread sales, while some others did not recognise the price-fixing decision. The governor of Istanbul on Oct. 3 announced that prices of bread in the city would not be increased and warned that bakeries selling bread at higher prices would have to pay a fine.