Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group deputy chair Muhammet Emin Akbaşoğlu on Feb. 20 claimed on a live broadcast in Habertürk TV that the current economic crisis is not unique to Turkey, and that “a shopping cart that used to cost 150 Euros in France and Germany now costs 750-800 Euros."
Akbaşoğlu's calculation perplexed the viewers as he said that there was an inflation of 6-7% in France and Germany, but that prices had gone up by 6-7 times.
"We need to compare what is happening in Turkey with Europe and America. This is not a crisis that is affecting only Turkey, only Turkish people...There is an inflation rate of 6-7% [in France and Germany], which increased prices by 6-7 times," he said.
After the program's presenter Kübra Par warned him about the miscalculation, Akbaşoğlu continued to defend his claim and said that he was informed about the prices from his friends living in France.
The AKP deputy's comments became a hot topic on social media, with people saying how people with such knowledge can be in charge of the government.
France reported an annual inflation rate of 2.9 percent in January, while Germany reported an annual inflation rate of 4.9 percent. Turkey, on the other hand, reported an annual inflation rate of 48.69 percent in January, the highest in two decades.
Akbaşoğlu had also previously raised eyebrows with regards to his statements on the minimum wage. In April 2019, he had said: “If a minimum wage worker eats simit [Turkish bagel] for three meals a day for their family of five, they will have 1,120 liras in their pocket per month, isn't it good?”