Turkey’s alleged plans to buy 50 jeeps for prosecutors mobilises opposition

Turkey's main opposition party demanded that Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül respond to allegations that the government will purchase 50 luxury jeeps for prosecutors while the country was in economic turmoil, news website Diken reported on Friday.

Muharrem Erkek, the Republican People's Party Deputy Chairman, said spending in a special discretionary fund in the budget broke records in April, growing to 403 million liras, and public expenditures were not being reduced.

The government must explain the reason for buying the luxury cars, Erkek said.

The discretionary fund is a confidential budget for the presidency. Presidential expenditure since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took office in 2014 has increased by 550 percent, according to Diken.

Turkey’s economy is in the middle of a severe downturn after the lira dropped by 28 percent against the dollar last year. The currency has lost about 13 percent of its value this year, trading at 6.06 per dollar in early afternoon local time on Friday.

Losses for the lira have led to an acceleration in inflation, which now stands at almost 20 percent, curbing spending power. The unemployment rate is almost 15 percent, the highest level since the global financial crisis a decade ago.