Turkish food prices jump 33 percent, academician says, showing receipts

A Turkish lecturer specialising in banking and insurance produced receipts for a small basket of basic foodstuffs showing prices had risen by 33 percent over the past year.

The items bought by Aysel Gündoğdu who works at Medipol University in istanbul, included eggs, cheese, oil and pasta. She published the receipts for the shopping on Twitter on Tuesday. The cost of the ten products rose to 113.6 liras this month from 85.55 liras in January last year, Gündoğdu said.

Turkey’s consumer price inflation accelerated to 14.6 percent in December from 14 percent the previous month, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Monday. Food prices climbed by an annual 20.6 percent, it said.

"I felt bad when shopping for this stuff - there are 8 million people on the minimum wage, 13 million who are retired and 7 million unemployed," Gündoğdu said.

The Turkish lira as slid against the dollar over the past year as many Turks bought foreign currency to protect their savings from the erosive effects of inflation. Interest rates on lira deposits barely compensate for price increases, banking data shows.

The central bank has hiked its benchmark interest rate to 17 percent from 8.25 percent in September to help curb price increases and to stabilise the lira. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Turks to change their dollars and euros back into liras.

Turkey’s annual inflation rate stood at 36.7 percent in December, according to ENAGrup (ENAG), an independent institution set up by Turkish academics last year to track the country’s inflation rate.

Fifty-one percent of the population say annual price increases exceed 30 percent, according to a December opinion poll published on Monday by research company Metropoll.