Turkey raises tea prices by 15 percent after Istanbul election

A massive 15 percent price increase of fresh tea in Turkey was inevitable as labor costs are also increasing.

The increase announcement was made by the country’s General Directorate of Tea Enterprises (CAYKUR). The announcement comes days after the re-run of Istanbul local government elections.

The decision by CAYKUR comes as the representatives of the tea industry in the Eastern Black Sea region have been pushing for a price increase in dry tea due to cost increases.

CAYKUR, the state-run company located in Rize (north-eastern city) said yesterday the price increase is effective immediately, Karar newspaper reported.

Turkey’s main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), claimed last month the annulment of the Istanbul municipal election cost Turkey 206 billion Lira (over 34 billion US dollars) as the Turkish currency weakened and companies lost market value between the 1st and 22nd of April 2019. Even before the loss, Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) had used the government budget, the central bank and government-controlled banks to support Turkish Lira against the U.S. Dollar.

The AKP spend taxpayer’s money to subsidize vegetables through municipal sale points in Istanbul and Ankara, to keep the price down before the election and state-run regulators have delayed price increases on a range of food products this year.

As the CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu clinched election victory with more than 800 000 votes differences compared to AKP’s candidate Binali Yıldırım, Ankara decided to start implementing delayed price hikes to cover the election costs, several Turkish media commented.

The price hike in Turkish tea, which is grown in a northern section of the country (Black sea region) will cause a heavy burden for Turkish households as the tea become an indispensable beverage in the culture and many other food prices soared since the last year.

Food prices in Turkey rose by 32 percent last April compared to the same month of the previous year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) announced earlier.

Nobody should be surprised by the vegetable price hike – Commission Merchant


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