Convictions for usury in Turkey quadrupled over the past decade, CHP report finds
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said the number of convictions for usury in Turkey have quadrupled over the past decade.
“The citizens who despaired of the Turkish state, fell into the hands of usurers,” CHP deputy chair Gamze Akkus Ilgezdi said, sharing the findings of a report compiling the accusations of usury in Turkey and the lawsuits filed regarding these accusations.
In her report titled “The winners of the One-Man Regime: Lenders,” Ilgezdi compared the official Justice Ministry data including the years between 2009 and 2021.
"The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared war against interest. However, Justice Ministry data proves that the winners of this war are the usurers,” Ilgezdi said.
Between the years examined in the report, the number of suspects filed for alleged usury increased by 79 percent, she said.
The number of suspects referred to the courts have increased by 1044 percent, and the number of people convicted increased by 1396 percent, Ilgezdi said.
“What we understand here is that Turkey, where the poverty line has risen to 23,600 liras, hundreds of thousands of people who cannot make a living and cannot pay their debts, have been left at the mercy of usurers,” she said.
Turkish lira lost around 44 percent of its value in 2021, and a quarter more in the first half of this year, after the central bank cut interest rates on the orders of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that says rate hikes are against his Islamic beliefs.
Inflation in the country has surged after the central bank cut interest rates late last year despite soaring prices.
Turkish consumer price inflation accelerated to 83.45 percent in September, extending the highest level in 24 years, according to official data.