Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said Turkey’s economy has been deteriorating, while stressing that Turkey has one of the highest levels of inflation in the world.
“In a country where there is inflation, there will not be peace or production. They had promised that inflation rate would drop to single-digits. But they reached the [inflation] figures of 2004,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at his party’s group meeting on Feb. 5, referring to Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak’s remarks in August last year on expecting single-digit inflation rates in 2019.
“Citizens are unable to shop. Before, they were purchasing produces by kilograms, now they are purchasing them by unit sizes,” he added.
“Once-crowded bazaars now have small numbers of customers coming,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, adding that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was “blaming” tradesmen and farmers for the price increase. He condemned the government’s raid on produce warehouses.
“What happened in a year for these prices to increase? The price of a kilogram of onion increased by 231 percent and pepper by 155 percent,” he stated.
“When there are millions of unemployed people in a country, there will be no peace, he said, noting that production in Turkey had been halted and entire factories in the country’s southeast region were closed.
Voters should hold the government accountable for the economic outlook, the CHP leader stated, encouraging citizens to vote the AKP out in the upcoming local elections on March 31.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said his party will submit a bill to seek the rights of citizens who he said were victims of the bankrupted investment firm İhlas.
He also criticized the sale of an arms factory to a joint venture whose partner is a Qatari company and accused Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, the AKP’s election ally, of carrying water for the government.
“What is the reason behind the sale of the arms factory?” he said.
“My understanding of nationalism is that no arms factory can be given to a stranger,” he said.
He accused Bahçeli of drifting away from “nationalism” and said “the real nationalists” were feeling uneasy over the sale.
The government has issued a decree to transfer the right to operate Turkey’s national tank factory to BMC Turkish-Qatari venture for 25 years. The factory was established in 1975 and is located in the Sakarya province of northwest Turkey.