The magnitude of the currency depreciation in Turkey has become the central topic among the Turkish citizens, who suffer from the daily sinking value of the Turkish Lira against the US Dollar and other currencies.
Turkey’s currency, the Turkish Lira, which has lost 28 per cent of its value against the dollar this year, fell as much as 3.5 per cent on Tuesday as investors braced themselves for a fresh rate cut by the central bank, Financial Times reported.
Participants in the Turkish central bank’s monthly survey expect another reduction in the benchmark interest rate this month, followed by a pause. Turkey will slash its key rate by 100 basis points to 15% on Thursday, according to a Bloomberg survey of 48 finance experts.
As the central bank has faced heavy pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, analysts told the Financial Times that such a move risks heaping further pressure on the lira and further stoking inflation in a country that is heavily reliant on imported energy and goods.
During street interviews with Sol TV, Turkish citizens living in Istanbul shared their concerns about the devaluation of Turkey’s lira and the ever-increasing prices of almost all products in the market, as most citizens blamed the Turkish government for its wrongful decisions and bad economic policy.
“We do not have a stable, normal economy. The bad choices of the government, and their disastrous economic policies have led to this situation,” one citizen said.
A mother, who has a child studying abroad, shared that the increase against the dollar has a huge impact on all of her family.
“We are living checking the exchange rates constantly. But I can not look at the rates anymore. Because the dollar has ruined our psychology,” she said.
Agreeing with her, her daughter said: “Some people say things like we do not butter the bread with dollars, but that is not true. Our purchasing power has actually seriously decreased.”
An industry worker, who spoke in a rather nationalist tone and defined Turks as one of the “most noble people” in the world, was also worried about the economy.
“A foreigner would come and buy ten loaves of bread with their one dollar,” he said,” but our fellow citizens will not be able to afford one loaf of bread with one TL. This is misery.”
A restaurant owner shared her concerns that especially the hospitality industry has been one of the industries hit hardest.
“As a citizen and a restaurant owner I have to say that all the items we buy increase in price every time we buy. There is not a single day that the prices do not go higher,” she said, adding that she can not increase the prices at her restaurants because of the fear of losing customers.
“Therefore we are in desperate straits. We are passing through an extremely hard period now. And the worst thing is, we do not know what to do.” she said.
When a young woman in her early 20s was asked her views about the economy, she was reluctant to speak at first, because she was afraid that if she raises any criticism against the government, she could be black-listed.
“Actually I do want to say something, but I’d better not. Because I am too young and I do not want to jeopardise my future,” she said.
But she nervously continued: “Especially as a student myself, I cannot say that our economy is doing well. Before, I could afford to spend time outside with 20 TL, but now I need pocket money of more than 50 TL.”
“We wait for God-knows-what that will happen to us next,” said another citizen, an elderly man, who drew attention to the gap opening between the rich and the poor.
“People will be doomed to live in hunger and misery. We all will live a life of great misery, but the rulers have money to burn in their palaces,” he said.