TÜİK uses dramatically lower prices to calculate inflation, Turkish journo reveals

TÜİK has been using dramatically lower prices such as 33 liras for medical examination fees or 5,844 liras for rent while calculating the consumer price index (CPI), journalist Alaattin Aktaş revealed. Despite a court ruling, TÜİK has not published the prices of the items used in the CPI calculation since April 2022.

Duvar English

The government-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) has been using dramatically lower prices while calculating the consumer price index (CPI) since 2022, journalist Alaatin Aktaş from the online news outlet Ekonomim reported.

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) stopped disclosing the prices of items that have been used to calculate the CPI after April 2022, citing "public misinterpretation and misunderstandings" as the reason.

Although a court ruled in favor of the labor unions' lawsuit against the institution, declaring TÜİK's practice illegal, the institution has been continuing to withhold this information. Subsequently, TÜİK also ceased releasing weights used for the overall calculation. 

The inflation figures reported by TÜİK play a significant role in the determination of the minimum wages and pensions during the collective bargaining process.

The journalist calculated the current prices of the individual items from the April 2022 index by considering the TÜİK's monthly inflation announcements, the change occurred in the past 26 months.

According to the journalist’s calculation based on the TÜİK, the fee for a specialist doctor's consultation in June was approximately 33 liras. This fee was 28 liras in April 2022, showing an increase of 19 percent over the past two years.

In June, even at a private hospital, you pay around 1,000 liras as a co-payment when visiting a specialist doctor, according to Aktaş. If you visit the doctor's private clinic, the amount you pay could reach 3,000 to 4,000 liras.

The author also discovered that TÜİK set the dormitory fee at 457 liras in June, after taking into account the 38 percent increase in two years.

More strikingly, the institution took the rent as 5,845 liras in the June index which many students pay for just one room in most of the metropolitan provinces.

According to the journalists' calculation, TÜİK calculated feta cheese at 147 liras, beef at 433 liras, olive oil at 133 liras and onion at eight liras in the "food and non-alcoholic beverages" group in June.

In the transport group, a petrol car was calculated as 1.3 million liras and a telephone was calculated as 12,700 liras in the communication group. In the restaurants and hotels group, döner was 77 liras, while cold drinks were added as 32 liras according to the institutions' calculation.