The majority of people in Turkey are struggling to pay for food as the rising cost of living has been eating into their incomes, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Thursday, citing the results of a survey conducted by the Yöneylem Social Research Center.
According to the survey, which was conducted between July 28 and Aug. 1 on 2,400 people in 27 provinces, 69.3 percent of participants stated they were struggling to pay for food while 26.5 percent said they weren’t having difficulty doing so.
The Yöneylem survey also showed that 53.8 percent of Turks can’t meet their everyday expenses while 60.5 percent are struggling to pay their utility bills.
The majority of participants also stated that their income had decreased (69.5 percent), debts had increased (64.8 percent) and that they were depressed due to financial difficulties (65 percent).
When they were asked, “When you think about the current state of the Turkish economy, who is responsible for this situation?” 50.5 percent of respondents answered “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” while 15.1 percent replied “finance ministers and economic bureaucracy.”
Regarding the most important problems in Turkey, 66.9 percent of participants said they were “the economic crisis and the lack of production,” while others said they were “[high] inflation, high cost of living and financial difficulties” (28.1 percent), “problems in the education system” (13.1 percent), “injustice, the courts’ unlawful decisions” (11.6 percent) and “Syrian and Afghan refugees” (10.4 percent).
Over the past several years Turkey has been suffering from a deteriorating economy, with high inflation and unemployment as well as a poor human rights record. President Erdoğan is criticized for mishandling the economy, emptying the state’s coffers and establishing one-man rule in the country where dissent is suppressed and opponents are jailed on politically motivated charges.
A staggeringly high cost of living has become the new normal in Turkey, where recent increases in food and utility prices are pushing up inflation, further crippling the purchasing power of citizens.
According to official data, consumer prices accelerated to a 24-year high of 79.6 percent in July, up from 78.6 percent in June.
An increasing number of Turks have complained on social media about rising electricity bills and falling into debt. Many have said even basic foods such as vegetables have become a luxury as prices have risen by nearly 400 percent.