Turkish Finance Ministry launches tax audit against independent inflation research group

Turkey’s Finance Ministry has launched a tax audit into the independent research group ENAG on the grounds that it failed to disclose a 6-lira worth of income, ENAG founder Prof. Veysel Ulusoy announced.

This file photo shows ENAG founder Prof. Veysel Ulusoy.

Duvar English

Turkey’s Inflation Research Group (ENAG), an independent institution set up in 2020 to track inflation, has announced that it was facing a tax audit on the grounds that it has not declared a 6-lira worth of income.

ENAG’s founder Prof. Veysel Ulusoy made the announcement on social media. Ulusoy said that the finance minister had launched a tax audit into ENAG after receiving “orders on the phone.”

Earlier this year, the government-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) filed a criminal complaint against Ulusoy on the grounds that he “is engaging in unfair and heavy attacks” against TÜİK and ENAG’s announcement of alternative inflation figures “has the purpose of damaging the reliability of the institution.”

Ulusoy later announced that courts have declined TÜİK’s demand for ENAG to stop its operations.

The data by ENAG, whose model was developed by a group of academics and researchers, shows an annual inflation in Turkey that is at least twice the figures announced by TÜİK. 

Opposition lawmakers and economists have questioned the reliability of TÜİK's figures, but TÜİK has been standing by its figures. Opinion polls show about 50% of Turks believe inflation is far higher than official data.