The Turkish lira is plummeting on the Foreign Exchange (FX) market, and with its tumbling value has come a flood of Bulgarian shoppers to the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne, near the Bulgarian border.
One Bulgarian Lev is now worth nearly 8 Turkish Liras. In January 2021, it was worth 4.6 Turkish liras. As a result, Bulgarian consumers can cross the border into Turkey and do their routine shopping at a deep discount. Shopkeepers in Edirne say that “99% of their customers” are now Bulgarian, coming into Turkey to buy everything from groceries to cleaning supplies.
The Bulgarian citizens crossing the border say it doesn’t even feel like they are going to a foreign country.
“Everywhere, everything is Bulgarian,” said Mine Salim, a Bulgarian customer who comes to Edirne to shop 20 days out of the month, speaking to Turkish daily T24. “We don’t feel foreign.”
Shopkeepers and tradespeople in Edirne are largely grateful for the influx. Metin Doğan, a tradesman in the city, said that Bulgarians had made great contributions to the city’s economy. Another shopkeeper told T24 that amidst the economic crisis, they were grateful for the Bulgarians buying food products.