On 30 November, the Turkish lira plummeted to yet more record lows after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke again defending the sharp rate cuts despite high inflation in the country.
When the interview on Turkey’s national public broadcaster TRT began, the exchange rate was around 13.30 TL against the dollar and as Erdoğan continued to speak it rose to as high as 13.96 TL last night.
As the political and economic crisis deepens in Turkey and the Turkish lira continues to lose value against the US dollar, people are blaming the government for the poverty and demanding change.
MA spoke to shopkeepers and local people in the market in the southeastern city of Urfa.
Businesses that are some of the most affected by the crisis are the shops that are importing from overseas. In Kapaklı, Doğu, and Japon passages of Urfa, electronic products imported from far eastern countries are sold. But there are far fewer products on the shelves these days as shop keepers cannot afford new stock.
Metin Uluğ runs a shop in Kapaklı passage selling mobile phones there.
“We cannot buy new products. Say we calculate the dollar for example at 10 TL then we go to the currency exchange office, and the dollar is 12 TL and so forth. We do not make money, we sell a few pieces of products a day, which is only enough for rent and food ”
He has no hope for tomorrow.
“Turkey is getting worse each day. We cannot predict our future. Yesterday was better than today, today is better than tomorrow. It’s getting worse. This government must be changed.”
The Turkish lira has lost over 45 percent in value in 2021 and lost 29 percent in value in November alone. Fatih Saydan, one of the shopkeepers of the Japan Passage says that many people can not continue to live like that anymore.
“We do not make any money, even if we sell products or not. God help the poor, many cannot buy what they want. We can’t buy the products and then sell for the same price again. A roll of duct tape that was 4 TL is now 12 TL.”