Upon directives from Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, officials have launched legal work that would impose higher fines for stockpiling and engaging in practices that adversely affect the prices of goods.
The move came after the public debate over and the supply and price of sunflower seed oil. There have been speculations suggesting that Turkey may soon run out of sunflower oil and some businesses are stockpiling the product.
However, both Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişçi and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati have dismissed the suspicion that Turkey may face a shortage of sunflower seed oil.
Moreover, the General Directorate of Security said earlier this week that a probe had been launched into more than 40 social media accounts over “provocative” posts concerning the prices of vegetable oils.
Turkey imports sunflower oil both from Ukraine and Russia.
Sources from the Justice Ministry said that with the amendments to be made in the penal code’s respective articles, harsher fines will be imposed.
An article in the penal code in its current form stipulates that any person who causes an urgent public need by restricting the supply of certain goods shall be subject to a penalty of imprisonment for a term of six months to two years.
According to the sources, once this article is changed, the prison sentence for engaging in such practices will be increased to between one to three years.
Furthermore, heavier sentences will be introduced for manipulating prices.
The current law says that those who disseminate false information or news or are involved in fraudulent acts to cause an increase or decrease in the price of goods shall be subject to a penalty of imprisonment for a term of three months to two years and a judicial fine.
Sources said that the prison sentences for engaging in such practices under this article would be increased to one to three years.
Hurriyet Daily News
Hurriyet Daily News