ISTANBUL (AP) — Market-stand owner Kadriye Dogru makes do with stale, sesame-covered bagels, known as simit, for lunch these days. The widowed mother of two says she goes without lunch so she can put food on the table for her family later in the day.
The money that the 59-year-old earns by selling sweatpants and other garments at Istanbul’s Ortakcilar market no longer lasts, and she is struggling to buy food, let alone anything else.
“I had never experienced such a deplorable life. I go to sleep, I wake up and the prices have gone up. I bought a 5-litre can of (cooking) oil, it was 40 lira. I went back, it was 80 lira,” she said. “We don’t deserve this as a nation.”
Many people in Turkey are facing increased hardship as prices of food and other goods have soared. While rising consumer prices are affecting countries worldwide as they bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, economists say Turkey’s eye-popping inflation has been exacerbated by economic mismanagement, concerns over the country’s financial reserves and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push to cut interest rates.
He claims lower borrowing costs will boost growth, though economists say just the opposite is the way to tame soaring prices. The Turkish lira has been tumbling to record lows against the U.S. dollar as the country’s central bank has slashed interest rates, fueling concerns about its independence.