Over 53 percent of people in Turkey are unable to meet their daily expenses, with 69.3 percent struggling to pay for food, according to a survey by Istanbul-based Yöneylem Social Research Centre.
A total of 60.5 percent of those surveyed said they were struggling to pay their utility bills, Artı Gerçek news site cited the survey conducted between July 28-Aug. 1 with 2,400 participants across 27 provinces as finding.
Turkey is grappling with a 24-year high inflation rate of 79.6, according to official data in July, as the lira continues to weaken and global commodity and energy prices push costs higher, pinching consumers’ wallets.
The country’s current crisis started when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan forced the central bank to go through with a series of interest rate cuts last year that he said were part of his “new economic model,” resulting in the lira losing 44 percent of its value. The currency has lost around 25 percent of its value this year.
Some 69 percent of those surveyed by Yöneylem said their income had decreased against runaway inflation and 65 percent said their financial difficulties had their financial difficulties had sparked depression.
A total of 66.9 percent of participants said the country’s economic crisis and the lack of production were the most important problems facing Turkey.
Another 28 percent listed the country’s greatest problems as “inflation,’’ “high cost of living’’ and “ financial difficulties” (28.1 percent), the survey found.
“Problems in the education system”, “lack of justice, the unlawful decisions of courts” and “Syrian and Afghan refugees”, followed as other problems of the country listed by participants, at 13.1, 11.6 and 10.4 percent, respectively.
In response to the question on who is responsible for the current state of the Turkish economy, 50.5 percent answered with “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” while 15.1 listed “finance minister’’ and “economic bureaucracy.”
In late June a group of researchers put inflation in Turkey at 160 percent, double the official. The soaring cost of living poses a threat to Erdoğan, who must call presidential and parliamentary elections for June 2023 at the latest.
According to a June survey by leading Turkish polling firm MetroPoll, Erdoğan lacks the support of a majority of voters ahead of presidential polls. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader has the potential to attract the backing of 40 percent of the electorate, the poll showed.