At least 11 people killed in landlord-tenant disputes in Turkey in 2023

At least 11 people were killed, 46 people were injured, and hundreds of people were detained in disputes between tenants and landlords over rising rent prices due to the raging economic crisis in Turkey.

Duvar English

At least 11 people were killed, 46 injured, hundreds detained, and 14 arrested in violent confrontations between tenants and landlords over disproportionately high rents in the wake of the economic crisis in Turkey, according to online news outlet 10 Haber’s survey on open sources. 

The government-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported an annual inflation rate of 58.94 percent in August, whereas the independent inflation group ENAG put the figure at 128.05 percent. The annual inflation rate in 2022 was 64.27 percent according to the TÜİK.

Due to raging inflation and 6 Feb. 6 Earthquakes, which caused thousands of people to lose their homes, serious problems began to arise between many landlords and tenants.

As the disputes could not be resolved in the courts for more than a year, the government introduced the mediation method and set an upper limit of 25% rent increase.

However, the majority of landlords did not comply with this limit, and some of them even raised the prices by more than 100%.

In the first quarter of 2023, 65% of the cases filed only in Istanbul Civil Courts of Peace were rent disputes. During same period, the number of dispute files over rent in the courthouses exceeded last year's total.

In addition to the arguments that ended with injuries and even the death of the parties, absurd incidents also took place. Some landlords offered astronomical prices to their tenants to move out, some poured poison on the doors of the houses, and some attacked the landlord with a sound bomb.

One landlord has even harassed their tenant by opening fake profiles on dating apps on behalf of the tenant.

The Global Housing Price Index of international real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank revealed that housing prices in Turkey increased by 132.8 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022,

Analyzing 56 countries and regions, Ankara, İzmir and Istanbul were the provinces with the highest increase in housing prices among the 150 provinces on the list with 135.3 percent, 133 percent and 127.3 percent respectively.