The government will closely watch the markets to ensure that a recent drop in the foreign currency exchange rates are reflected in prices, Turkey’s trade minister has said.
“We will increasingly continue our inspections against those who do not reflect the decline in exchange rates on prices in every ring of the supply chain,” Mehmet Muş wrote on Twitter.
“We will not turn a blind eye to opportunists. We will give the heaviest punishments in the legal framework to those who violate the laws. We will not anyone violate the rights of our citizens,” he added.
Consumers’ groups have also called on the sellers, especially the supermarkets, to decrease their prices.
“Supermarket chains sold the products in their stocks based on the new currency. However, those products were not produced at high cost,” said Aziz Koçal, head of the Consumers’ Associations Federation.“Now they should lower the prices.”
In recent months, the weakened Turkish Lira drove consumer prices higher, making imports, fuel and everyday items more expensive.
In response, the government decided to cover losses by lira deposit holders in cases where the lira’s depreciation against foreign currencies exceeds bank interest rates.
The lira has soared more than 50 percent this week. Alpaslan Çakar, CEO of state-owned lender Ziraat and the head of the Turkish Banks Association, said the overall dollar-selling pressure amounted to about $1 billion in markets in a couple of hours in the evening of Dec. 20 after the new deposit account scheme was announced.