Cost of setting New Year's table in Turkey soars 10 times in three years

Preparing a New Year's table at home exceeded 2,000 Turkish liras in Turkey while the same menu cost 200 liras three years ago. When alcohol was added to the table, the cost multiplied due to high taxes.

Duvar English

The price of an average meal menu for those who want to celebrate New Year's Eve at home exceeded 2,000 Turkish liras ($68), according to daily Evrensel's market calculations.

A minimum wage earner received their salary without the latest increase in December, which was 11,402 liras ($386).

In order to calculate how much an average New Year's table would cost, the newspaper created a menu consisting of three types of appetizers, soup, starter, main course, cheese plate, nuts, dessert, fruit, alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages.

Excluding beverages, the menu consisted of lentil soup, traditional pastry with sausage, chicken, rice, mashed potato, hummus, carrot salad, celery with orange, and hot tahini.

In an average chain supermarket with all the ingredients, when legumes, fruits and vegetables were listed as one kilogram each; oils and other liquid products were listed as one litre each, the account cost 2,080 liras without including drinks.

When rakı, traditional Turkish alcoholic beverage, was preferred for drinks, cost of one bottle started from 500 liras. Due to the high taxes levied on alcohol, three quarters of the price went to taxes.

If one added two 2.5 litre carbonated drinks to the menu, this would added 90 liras to the whole cost. A minimum wage worker had to work nearly two hours to buy two family size bottles of non-alcoholic drinks.

In the same supermarket, special New Year's baskets with various snacks started from 400 liras and went up to 800 liras.

In 2020, the fee spent by a family of four to spend New Year's Eve at home was at least 200, while it was between 300-700 liras for a varied table, according to a reporting of Demirören News Agency back then. 

While 200 lira corresponded to eight percent of the minimum wage of 2,324 liras in December 2020, 2,080 liras was 18 percent of the minimum wage of 11,402 liras in December 2023.