Duvar English 

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Faik Öztrak has blasted the latest official inflation figures provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), claiming that the actual figures are much higher. 

The most recently-released TÜIK figures from the month of October pegged inflation during that month to have increased 8.55% percent year-on-year, in which food products increased by 7.85 percent during the same period. 

“There is a huge difference between the inflation on the streets and the inflation determined by TÜİK. We are calling on TÜİK, which is run by the friends of [Finance Minister Berat Albayrak], from where are you collecting these prices, give us the addresses. Not only you but the country should benefit from these cheap prices,” said Öztrak, speaking at a party meeting. 

Öztrak also criticized Turkey’s state-run banks for trying to artificially prop up the country’s flailing economy by meddling with currency markets: 

“The problems of this economy cannot be solved by interfering with currency markets or by distributing lines of credit. As they cannot be solved, the public banks cannot be expected to excessively carry this burden,” Öztrak said. 

The largest increase in prices according to TÜİK pertained to alcohol and tobacco products, which rose 43.6 percent year-on-year. The taxes of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, which constitute a heavy portion of their prices, are regularly increased by the government. 

Öztrak criticisms came in light of widespread perceptions that the actual inflation experienced by Turkish consumers is exceedingly higher than what the official figures indicate.