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Sep 08 2018

Turks roll out the jokes as toilet paper prices surge

Turks have taken to Twitter following a large price hike in toilet paper amid an ongoing currency crisis triggered by U.S. sanctions and increase in tariffs announced in August.

The Turkish lira lost 40 percent of its value since the beginning of the year, after the United States applied sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel tariffs over Turkey’s ongoing detention of U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson for membership in terrorist organizations.

The price of a 32-roll pack of toilet paper for many popular brands in Turkey is approximately 60 Turkish lira ($10), doubling in price over the past two months. Turkey has been forced to import paper after its only paper mills shut down 10 years ago, leaving businesses vulnerable to currency fluctuation.

The hashtag #TuvaletKağıdı60TLOldu (Toilet paper is 60 TL) is trending in Turkey as users resort to humor in dealing with the price increase.

‘’No problem,’’ one user said, posting an image of U.S. Dollars on a roll.

''In 2013, the government in Venezuela seized toilet paper factories and in the 1980’s people going to Soviet Union were told to take toilet paper and soap with them,'' Cem Toker, former chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party said.

 

''At this point, anyone who has diarrhea is committing treason,'' one user said.

 

‘’Make Yozgat great again,’’ another user posted, featuring images of U.S. President Donald Trump and referring to the country’s lacklustre central province.

One user shared images of golden toilet paper.

‘’I just can’t get myself to use it anymore,’’ another Twitter user said.

A number of publication houses and print media outlets have voiced their concerns about the price hike in paper over the past few months, stating they may be forced to shut down.