The government has done nothing concrete in order to resolve the economic problems of almost two million shopkeepers and craftsmen due to the pandemic, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, criticizing what he called insufficient and wrongful economic policies.
“The shopkeepers and craftsmen are the backbone of our country’s middle class. We have 1.96 million shopkeepers. Around 35,000 of them had to close their shops only in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir in the past eight months,” Kılıçdaroğlu told his parliamentary group on Oct. 6.
“The shopkeepers are the most who suffered from the pandemic. Around 700,000 shops remained close for months during the lockdown,” he underlined.
Informing that he had dispatched all his lawmakers to 81 provinces for a detailed analysis on the state of the shopkeepers, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “The situation of the small size shopkeepers is very grave. There is a need for a solid approach to recover it.”
“A special ministry to deal with the problems of the shopkeepers should be formed because we know the shopkeepers cannot find an interlocutor at the government,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
“The government should erase poor credit records of the shopkeepers so that they can find resources to recover over time,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, criticizing the government for funneling money to big companies and interlocutors instead of shopkeepers.
“Of course, it is a political decision. They have borrowed more than 1.5 trillion Turkish liras from external and internal lenders, but they have only given eight billion liras of it to the people. So now the people should ask where all that money has gone to,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“This is because of the misconducted economic policies. We have long been saying that these policies are wrong, but they have never listened to us.”
Hurriyet Daily News