Erdoğan denies rising cost of living problem in Turkey
During a rally held in Denizli province, Turkish President Erdoğan has argued that there is no “(expensive) onion, potato or cucumber problem” in the country. His remarks came after opposition presidential candidate Kılıçdaroğlu said “Now, one kilogram of onion is 30 liras, if (Erdoğan) stays it will be 100 liras.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 19 argued that there is no problem of rising cost of living in the country.
“Let them always talk about (expensiveness of) cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes. Our cause is great. We know how to smash an onion with our fist and how to eat it. In this country, there is no (expensive) onion, potato or cucumber problem. We have already fixed problems in Turkey,” Erdoğan said during a rally for the May 14 presidential election held in the western province of Denizli.
He also said “We, as always, relying on God, trusting our nation, and with our good partnership in the People's Alliance, set out on the road. All of the imperialists, from America to Europe, sided with Mr. Kemal (Kılıçdaroğlu), and the alliance” referring to the main opposition Nation Alliance, consisting of six parties with two AKP-breakaways.
In his usual hate speech rhetoric, Erdoğan said “85 million citizens of this country are members of the same big family, regardless of their origin or belief. Family is sacred to us. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) can feed LGBT’s. The CHP and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the parliamentary extension of the terrorist organization, support LGBT. Have you heard anything from them against LGBT? They can’t, because there is no such thing as family sanctity in them. Campaigns aimed at destroying the institution of the family in the world and in our country and targeting our children and young people with deviant ideologies gained momentum.”
Erdoğan’s remarks on onions came after opposition Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate and main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu shared a video, pointing out the high cost of living problem in Turkey by holding an onion in the kitchen of his house. “Now, one kilogram of onion is 30 liras, if (Erdoğan) stays it will be 100 liras,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on April 9.
Soğan. pic.twitter.com/qzogy318D6— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) April 9, 2023
Since Kılıçdaroğlu’s video, Erdoğan on several occasions responded to his rival. On April 18 during a rally in Afyon province, Erdoğan said “Can you (Kılıçdaroğlu) put the onion on the table and smash it with your fist (to eat)? That's how we grew up. Without these roads, bridges (we’ve constructed), how would you transport onions and potatoes?”
Although TÜİK announced an annual inflation rate of 50.51% in March, ENAG Inflation Research Group, an independent institution set up in 2020 to track the country’s inflation, reported the inflation rate as 112.51%.
Inflation has been stoked by a currency crisis at the end of 2021 and hit a 24-year peak of 85.51% in October 2022. The central bank cut its policy rate despite soaring inflation to preserve growth momentum.