On Monday, one day after losing control to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the local elections, the government-run Ankara metropolitan municipality began removing the so-called “tanzim” tents that were established a few weeks before the elections to sell fruit and vegetables at discounted prices, reported T24 news.
The tanzim tents were expected to remain operational until summer, but the temporary lowering of prices of fruit and vegetables has lasted less than two months.
Ahead of the local elections in early February, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the municipalities to set up state-run direct sale bazaars in a bid to force markets to
lower food prices.
Erdogan blamed markets for the rise in food prices and launched an attack on them for what
he called “food terrorism”, saying, “They have begun to play games in Turkey. The prices
have begun to escalate. This is terrorism.”
Food producers and sellers, however, claimed that the higher prices are due to Erdogan’s bad economic rule, as the costs of labor, fertilizer, and fuel have risen.
Similarly, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu harshly criticized Erdogan during the election rallies, claiming that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) hasn’ t been ruling the country properly, and has, instead, always targeted others. “After ruling the country for 17 years,” Kilicdaroglu said, “Erdogan impoverished the public and made poor people queue up to buy cheap fruits and vegetables.”
Turkey has been suffering from soaring inflation rates, notably after the currency crisis in 2018. As the inflation rate has seen double-digits, the rise in food prices has been affected the most compared to other goods.
Turkey’s biggest trade union confederation, Turk-Is, released a report last week declaring that vegetable prices have increased by 40.11 percent in the first three months of this year in Turkey’s capital city, Ankara.