Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Zülfü Demirbağ suggested Turkish people eat less in the face of the economic crisis and skyrocketing food prices.
"We can buy two tomatoes instead of buying two kilograms. It's not that healthy to eat forced crops during winter anyways," Demirbağ said on Nov. 22, prompting outrage.
"If we were eating two kilograms of meat a month under normal circumstances, we can now eat half a kilo," he also said.
His remarks come at a time that Turkey's lira crashed to as low as 12.49 against the dollar after hitting records in the last 11 straight sessions. It has lost 40% of its value this year, including a near 20% tumble since the beginning of last week.
According to the deputy, "we may experience economic hardships, but the homeland comes first."
"We have nowhere else to go," Demirbağ added.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) spokesperson Faik Öztrak slammed the deputy for mocking the economic hardships people are facing.
"Have a heart! People can't buy bread, let alone vegetables. They have lost the sense of shame and are mocking people," Öztrak said, reiterating his party's call for early elections.