K. Murat Yıldız / Duvar English
Turks woke up in 2021 to price hikes on electricity, gas, and tolls. The 6 percent increase in electricity prices announced by the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) was a hot topic on social media on the first day of the New Year. Many criticized the timing of the hikes during the coronavirus pandemic; a period of financial uncertainty.
Although the price increase for gas is only one percent, it drew heavy criticism, as heating costs are already very high, and for many gas has become “a luxury;” More than 3 million households have no electricity as they cannot pay their bills, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul MP Gürsel Tekin told Duvar English.
Toll hikes for bridges and highways
Additionally, tolls on the main two Bosporus bridges that connect Asia and Europe in Istanbul have been increased from 10.50 Turkish Liras (TL) to 13.25 TL dealing a blow especially to those using the bridges on a daily basis. Similarly, The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, also known as the "Third Bridge" over the Bosporus strait, saw tolls jump from 21,90 TL to 27,50 TL.
Meanwhile, the Osmangazi Bridge, which links the city of Gebze to the Yalova Province via the O-5 motorway, one of the many controversial road and bridge projects of President Erdoğan, saw a price hike from 117,90 TL to 147,50 TL.
Similarly, the toll of the Izmir-Istanbul highway, which already drew criticism for being too expensive, rose from 292 TL to 367 TL.
Tolls will increase an average of 25 percent for the country's turnpikes and bridges depending on the type of vehicles, according to the new rates announced by the General Directorate of Highways (KGM).