Opposition in Turkey reject official inflation rate

Opposition in Turkey reject official inflation rate
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Economists and journalists lambasted Turkey’s Statistical Institute over the official annual inflation figure which showed a sharp drop that did not reflect the price hikes in daily lives of people.

An announcement from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) about a sharp drop in December sparked harsh reactions from opposition figures and economists especially because the inflation rate is a significant indicator to determine the raise in salaries of millions of public servants and pensioners.

TUIK said annual inflation in Turkey slowed for a second month down to 64.27% while ENAG, a group of independent economists dedicated to inflation research calculated the yearly inflation as 137,55%.

“The Institute which does not upset Tayyip Erdogan,” tweeted Ozgur Ozel, a deputy from the main opposition CHP (Republican People’s Party) making a word play in Turkish language with the initials of TUIK.

“They are announcing data in our face and stealing money from the public servants and pensioners. Who would believe the 1.18% monthly inflation!” Ozel said.

Another CHP deputee Engin Ozkoc also said the inflation rate was “made-up by TUIK.”

“Everyone knows the truth. We all face rising prices and falling purchasing power in our daily lives. So what is the government doing? It is trying to deceive the people,” said Bilge Yilmaz, a senior figure from the Good Party who is responsible for economic policies.

Economists were also stunned by TUIK’s numbers.

Hayri Kozanoglu, economist and columnist in the Birgun Newspaper suggested paying for goods in people’s daily lives by thea rate indicated by TUIK:

“If monthly inflation is 1.18%, let's not accept higher hikes than that! For example? A loaf of bread has increased from 5TL to 6TL.

-Here's 5 liras and 6 kurus.

-A glass of tea increased from 10 TL to 15 TL.

-Okay, take 10 TL and 12 kurus.

Those who object should apply to TUIK!”

Another economist, Mustafa Sonmez, listed the price hikes in several goods: 164.5 in natural gas, 137,6 in home insurance, 135,7 in non-alcoholic drinks, 128.2 in medicines, 113,5 in milk etc..

“Price hikes in the automotive industry were 10% in December, but the inflation is 1.18%. I’m stunned,” said Emre Ozpeynirci, a prominent journalist experienced in the automotive industry.

Journalist Aziz Celik said: “TUIK condemned civil servants and pensioners to poverty!”