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Dec 02 2018

Skyrocketing of onion price sparks public criticism in Turkey

Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) announced that the price of onion increased 45.55 % in November, ranking the first in price rise, Turkish news site Artı Gerçek reported on Sunday. The sharp increase of onion price caused public criticism on social media. 

When a kilo of onion became over 5 Turkish liras, the government said it was due to stocking. Last week, Turkish police had started raids to onion stores. Onion producers were taken into custody and onions were confiscated, Turkish news site Diken said.

Some opposition politicians and journalists have been criticising the sharp price increase of onion and potato. 

A former opposition MP Fikri Sağlar said the Turkish president has palaces and 26 % wage increase, while the citizens have high-priced onion.

Temel Karamollaoğlu, the leader of Turkey's Islamist Saadet Party, said the authorities had taken an important decision to fix the economy and embarked to catch onion stockers. "The problem of Turkey is not the onion stockers, but the thieves robbing the country," he tweeted.

The rise in prices turned onion into a social aid item since many people can't afford to buy. Municipalities have started to distribute onion to poor people.

Journalists İsmail Saymaz said a Turkish municipality gave onions to people with low-income. 

Istanbul's Bakırköy mayor Bülent Kerimoğlu said on Twitter his municipality distributed free onions to citizens with low income.

Journalist Bülent Mumay also said on Twitter that the prices of onion and potato are similar to Euro and Dollar prices. 

The sharp increase of onion price also widely criticised by consumers on social media. Thousands of tweets were posted on Twitter. 

ITO also declared that the retail price of the 242 products increased, while the price of 47 products decreased and the price of the 99 products remained unchanged in November which based on consumer’s price index of Istanbul.