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Erdoğan blames ‘pandemic, wars,’ for high inflation, vows to reduce it to single digits

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pointed to the COVID pandemic, wars in the world and “global crises” as the causes of inflation in the country, currently over 75 percent, and promised to reduce it to single digits, in a video message to mark the Eid al-Adha holidays on Saturday.

“Turkey will get good results on inflation starting from the second half of the year,” Erdoğan said, adding that inflation will definitely be reduced to single digits.

Eid al-Adha, commonly translated as the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the two main Islamic holidays during which the ritual sacrifice of animals such as cattle or sheep is performed by those who are able to afford it. Some of the meat of the animals sacrificed is distributed to family, friends and charities. Eid al-Adha will be celebrated by Muslims between June 16 and 19.

Rising prices have left both farmers and people who want to sacrifice an animal during Eid al-Adha in a difficult situation. Many farmers in Turkey say they have been able to sell far fewer animals for sacrifice than last year, complaining about the rising cost of raising animals, which affects their prices significantly.

Turks have been suffering from skyrocketing inflation for several years, surging to 85 percent in October 2022.

In May inflation stood at 75.4 percent, according to  Turkey’s statistical authority, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), but calculations of ENAG, an independent group of economists, suggested that it was in fact 120.7 percent, much higher than the official figure.

The high rate of inflation makes it difficult for Turks to meet even their basic needs.

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