Erdoğan vows to decrease food prices – report

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered a decrease in food prices, starting with staple items, Sabah newspaper reported on Monday, as the country grapples with double-digit food inflation.

Turkish consumers should have access to more affordable food and his government would begin by focusing on oil, legumes, vegetables and fruits, the newspaper cited Erdoğan as saying. 

"Prices will not remain as high as they are now,’’ Erdoğan said during a meeting with the T urkey Tradesmen and Artisans Confederation (TESK) ChairmanBendevi Palandöken, stressing that he had given orders to economy officials on the matter.

Erdoğan’s remarks arrive following public complaints about inflation in the prices of basic products, prompting the Ministry of Commerce to conducted a nationwide audit of prices across Turkey earlier this month.

Food prices climbed by an annual 20.6 percent over the past year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

Erdoğan also called on Turkey’s banks to provide low interest loans to citizens, business owners and companies, Sabah said.

Turkey was already battered by a currency crisis that struck in 2018 and double-digit inflation when the coronavirus pandemic swept through the country in March. After a second wave in recent months, a significant portion of the population is overwhelmed with debt.