AKP spokesperson suggests farmers' complaints are unfounded, says they own iPhones

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünal has suggested that Turkish farmers' complaints about the government's poor agricultural policies were unfounded because he once met a farmer who had an iPhone. Under the AKP, Turkey has become an importer of basic agricultural products which were previously produced domestically.

Duvar English 

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünalhas implied that farmers who complained of the AKP's poor agricultural policies were lying, because he met a farmer who had an iPhone.

Speaking on news broadcaster TV5 on Feb. 8, Ünal said that he met a farmer on the campaign trail before the 2018 general elections who told him "You've ruined us, you've killed us."

The farmer was presumably referring to the AKP's agricultural policies that has made Turkey an importer of goods that were previoulsy produced domestically, including cheese, grains and tea.

"I told him 'Can I see your phone?' It was an iPhone 6. I asked how much he paid for it. 'About 3,500 to 4,500 liras. I bought it in 24 installments,' he said. I asked him if he had an internet package. He did," Ünal said. 

The farmer reportedly paid 450 liras for his phone payments, which Ünal thought to be a sign of his financial well being. Ironically, the Turkish Lira has devaluated so drastically in recent years that the iPhone 6 sells for more than 5,000 liras before discounts in 2021.

Turkish farmers also suffer from droughts, often caused by excessive construction carried out by the ruling AKP. This was confirmed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 7 when he boasted about turning the country into a construction site.