Ministry of Trade Intensifies Nationwide Market Inspections Ahead of Ramadan

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, the Ministry of Trade has heightened its regular market inspections across the country, specifically targeting essential food and necessity items for potential price hikes and labeling irregularities.

The Ministry, in anticipation of Ramadan, has intensified its routine market inspections. Simultaneous inspections for exorbitant prices and label compliance were conducted in markets in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Balikesir, Tekirdag, Sakarya, Samsun, Manisa, Aydin, and Van.

Inspectors closely examined labels, particularly for essential food and basic necessity products. The inspections focused on verifying whether the product prices were excessive, checking for discrepancies between the labeled and cash register prices, and ensuring the product label displayed the latest price change date along with the previous price.

In the fruit and vegetable sections, the origin and cost information of products were cross-verified using the Hal Record System (HRS).

Istanbul In Istanbul, the Director of Trade for Istanbul, Ismail Mentes, and his team conducted inspections in some markets in Atasehir and Umraniye.

Mentes stated, “We have been continuing inspections for 12 months. Today, we are here to check if there is any increase in prices before the upcoming Ramadan month. We are inspecting one of our retail businesses today, overseeing them with our team.”

Pointing out that they examined approximately 50 products, mainly basic food items, Mentes said, “We check whether the product has a label, if the label is compliant, if it has a distinctive feature, if there is a date of the last price change on the label, and if the currency emblem for the sales price is present. We compare the shelf price with the cash register price. If there is any discrepancy, we apply administrative sanctions with a record.”

Mentes highlighted that for discrepancies between shelf and cash register prices, they impose an administrative fine of 2,172 Turkish Liras for each product.

He emphasized that municipal law enforcement officials are also continuing their inspections, particularly focusing on verifying the identity information of products in the fruit and vegetable section.

Ankara Elif Tan, Acting Director of Trade for Ankara, mentioned that price tag and unfair price increase inspections continue ahead of the Ramadan month. Tan assured that inspections would be carried out intensively throughout the capital during Ramadan.

Stating that inspections are conducted in 12 regions daily, Tan indicated that they focus more on chain markets.

Izmir In Izmir, the Provincial Trade Directorate teams conducted inspections in markets in the Konak district, comparing the prices and labels of products.

Mustafa Çağrı Ergünen, the Trade Director, stated that the number of inspection teams had been increased, and the intensity of inspections across the province had been raised in anticipation of Ramadan.

Balikesir In Balikesir, the Trade Director, Ilhan Pehlivan, and his team inspected markets in the Kuvayi Milliye neighborhood.

Pehlivan mentioned that they operate in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey Century goals. He emphasized that inspections are conducted to prevent consumer grievances, and in case of consumer complaints, they respond by conducting inspections and notifying the complainants.

Tekirdag The Trade Directorate in Tekirdag continued inspections in chain markets for excessive prices and label compliance.

Mehmet Furtina, the Trade Director of Tekirdag, stated that they work in line with the goals of the “Century of Trade” and impose administrative fines on producers, suppliers, or retailers found to have made unjustified price increases.

Sakarya In Sakarya, both local and chain markets were scrutinized ahead of the Ramadan month.

Emre Atmaca, the Trade Director, stressed that inspections would be ongoing to ensure that prices, especially for products that will be heavily consumed during Ramadan, are fair and compliant with regulations.

Samsun Kürşat Turpçu, the Trade Director of Samsun, indicated that inspections focus on checking for differences between label and cash register prices.

He stated, “We try to prevent consumer grievances caused by deceptive discounts and misleading promotions. Our inspections cover unfair price increases under the law regulating retail trade and compliance with the Consumer Protection Law and Price Tag Regulation.”

Manisa In Manisa, teams inspected various markets, especially chain stores selling basic food products.

Serkan Karabacak, the Provincial Trade Director, stated that inspections aim to protect consumers from unfair price increases and to prevent consumer grievances caused by deceptive discounts.

Aydin The Trade Director of Aydin, Arif Aksu, highlighted that inspections regarding price tags and unjustified price increases continue.

Aksu explained, “We will document any irregularities in price tags, and for unjustified price increases, we will send the findings to the Ministry to be forwarded to the Unjust Price Evaluation Board.”

Van In Van, Trade Directorate teams conducted inspections in markets in the Tusba district, specifically focusing on price and label compliance.

Derya Ayaydın, Acting Trade Director, emphasized that regular inspections are conducted in the city and said, “Especially in inspections related to essential food and basic necessity items, we check the production place, distinctive features, all-inclusive selling price with taxes, unit price, the date the sales price and unit price started to be applied, and for goods produced in Turkey, the shape, logo, or sign announced by the Ministry.”

Ayaydın highlighted that they also check for discrepancies between the sales price and the cash register price. In case of irregularities, they prepare reports and apply administrative sanctions.

Ayaydın stated that they are conducting intensive inspections in the run-up to Ramadan, and these efforts align with the goals set by President Erdogan for the “Century of Trade.” He concluded by emphasizing their commitment to a comprehensive and effective struggle to protect consumers from unfair price increases and deceptive discounts both at the administrative and field levels.

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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