Gov't statistics office files lawsuit against academics over alternative inflation data

Turkey's government statistics office TÜİK has filed a lawsuit against a group of academics and researchers after they started to publish inflation data that are much higher than the official data. In a statement on May 10, TÜİK accused the Istanbul-based ENAGroup of not sharing with the public the method through which it produced the alternative data.

ENAGroup’s inflation figures are higher than the official data.

Duvar English

Turkey’s official statistics agency has accused an independent group of academics and researchers of misguiding public opinion in a lawsuit launched against them.

The lawsuit was filed in February, but the case has become publicly known only recently.

Since September, the Istanbul-based Inflation Research Group (ENAGroup) has been releasing the monthly inflation rate, based on a new model that it has developed.

The inflation rates announced by ENAGroup are far higher than official claims. Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced in January that Turkey's annual inflation was 14.6 percent at the end-2020, whereas ENAGroup announced it as 36.7 percent.

In recent years, questions have been raised over the accuracy of the official inflation rates, which many say are lower than the market realities.

In an official statement on May 10, TÜİK defended the lawsuit saying that "it is a legal obligation to clearly and explicitly share the basic information about the method by which the data is produced with the public."

It argued that ENAGroup violated the Turkish Statistical Law for not publishing "the necessary explanatory information with their news bulletins.”

TÜİK further said that its lawsuit “is not related to the results of the published study [of ENAG] and it is also not intended to prevent or stop the studies they have performed.”

Treasury and Finance Minister Lütfi Elvan on May 6 argued that ENAGroup's aim was to “damage and discredit” TÜİK.

“It is out of the question that TÜİK is playing with the numbers and that there is an inflation rate of 30-40 percent,” Elvan told pro-government CNN Türk, after the lawsuit became publicly known.