Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has called governors to minimize spending and suggested they switch their official rides to the domestically produced TOGG electric cars.
Şimşek addressed the governors of Turkey’s 81 provinces and requested they remain sensitive to “public saving measures,” during expenses ranging from publicity to vehicle use, the daily BirGün reported on Jan. 16.
He estimated Turkey would be in a 2.7 trillion liras (90 billion dollars) budget deficit should all government departments fully stick to their budgets and reiterated the importance of spending less than the allocated amounts.
“Financing Turkey’s debt in today’s high-interest environment would be a waste of our resources,” Şimşek added.
The Finance Minister said he used every page in his notebooks and refrained from wasting high-quality paper to save money. He went on, “The money you are spending is not your fathers’, it belongs to the people of Turkey.”
“We must uphold a modest public image, and abstain from ostention,” Şimşek added.
The Minister warned the governors to be mindful of allocating social aid and cautioned for increased supervision to determine who is in real need of aid.
As Şimşek answered inquiries from governors, he suggested the governors could sell their staff cars and buy TOGGs instead.
Turkey’s electric car Project TOGG was a key campaign pledge for Erdoğan before the 2023 general elections. The sales began in mid-2023 through a raffle system, and direct retail sales are set to begin in 2024. The cars range from 1.430.000 to 1.800.000 liras (48-60 thousand dollars).