Probe launched into 'provocative' sunflower oil posts

Turkey’s General Directorate of Security (EGM) has launched an investigation into 'provocative' posts about the prices of sunflower oil against 45 social media accounts, while videos showing long queues at markets to buy sunflower oil were shared on social media during the weekend across Turkey.

Duvar English

Turkish citizens who wanted to buy sunflower oil at more affordable prices right before an expected hike formed long queues in markets during the weekend in Turkey. 

Due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, a ton of crude sunflower oil rose from $1,400 to over $2,000. Upon this increase in sunflower oil prices, citizens started to stock up and emptied market shelves.

Images of people packed and rushing to buy oil were shared on social media. 

Meanwhile, the General Directorate of Security (EGM) on March 6 announced that it has launched an investigation into 45 social media accounts over their “provocative and disinformation posts” about the prices of sunflower oil.

“The information that there is not enough stock in basic food products such as sunflower oil is not correct. Necessary measures have been taken. Our country has sufficient sunflower oil stocks. Do not rely on baseless claims. There is nothing to worry about," Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişçi tweeted on March 6.

On the other hand, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on March 6 said that Turkey does not have any deficiency and shortcomings in food products. 

“They want to develop a story in Turkey by provoking people on social media that there will be a 'deficiency' in a food product and are trying to draw people to markets. In this regard, our forces do not hesitate to punish those who do these manipulations not only on social media, but also in reality,” Soylu said.

Media watchdog warns TV channels against 'speculative statements' on food price increases 

The head of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) Ebubekir Şahin on March 7 warned TV channels against broadcasting "speculative statements" with regards to food price increases. 

"It draws our attention that some speculative statements regarding food prices have been made in news bulletins and commentary programs. Broadcasts that mislead the public and cause anxiety and panic are carefully followed by RTÜK,” Şahin said.

Şahin further said that the law will be applied to media outlets that cause a "false perception in the public."