Duvar English - Reuters
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 8 that Turkey will remove two fixed payments from electricity bills to help consumers, adding his government had already subsidized some energy costs.
Erdoğan faces tough elections no later than mid-2023 and his approval ratings have been hit by Turkey's nearly 20% inflation rate, with recent rises in staples such as food and gas.
Officials told Reuters last week that Ankara was preparing a fiscal support package to help lower-income households with measures such as lifting the minimum wage, relief on energy costs and raising salaries for some civil servants.
Erdoğan said after a cabinet meeting in Ankara that the government will remove a fixed 2% payment on electricity bills for the funding of state broadcaster TRT and another 1% payment levied for outstanding energy costs.
"By neither disrupting the balances of firms in the energy sector nor victimizing our citizens, we will keep managing this global energy crisis," Erdoğan said.
Utility prices in Turkey - especially in Istanbul - are skyrocketing, leaving individual consumers with monthly bills worth hundreds of lira.
The price of utilities is rising across the board. In July alone, a 15% increase was levied on electricity in Turkey. In the past two years, Turkey had the highest increases in gas and electricity prices in Europe - from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2021, electricity prices increased by 47.4%, while gas prices increased by 42.3%. This while some European countries, including Denmark, Holland, and Belgium, saw a decrease in electricity and gas prices over the same period.
In 2021 so far, electricity alone has increased in price by 21.9 percent. Over the course of 2020, that number was 12% for residential properties.
In January 2020, the price of electricity per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for residential properties was 0.7102 TL, including taxes. By December 2020, that number was 0.7511 TL. As of October 2021, the price of electricity per kWh is 0.9155 TL.