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Turkey opens government vegetable stalls to battle inflation

12.02.2019 15:24 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) In an effort to put down a sharp rise of the domestic market foods prices, the Turkish authorities opened their own markets on this week Mon to sell cheap vegetables directly to shoppers, cutting out retailers who the government has accused of jacking up prices, Reuters reports. As to the report, crowds queued outside municipality tents to buy tomatoes, onions and peppers within the Istanbul Bayrampasa district, waiting for an hour for items selling at half the regular shop prices. As to the report, the move to set up State markets follows a domestic market vegetables this year Jan prices 31% boost (against last year Jan) and precedes local elections next month within which President Tayyip Erdogan AK Party faces a tough challenge to maintain support. It is to be admitted, as of recent, traders blamed storms within the southern Turkeys farming region for food price inflation, as well as rising costs of labor and transport. On their part, the Turkish authorities called it «food terror» and said they would punish anyone trying to keep prices artificially high. «This was a game. They started manipulating prices, they tried to make prices skyrocket,» President Tayyip Erdogan said in a campaign speech this week Mon. «This was an attempt to terrorize (society),» he said. Thus, due to the Turkish government initiative, municipalities have started selling vegetables at just about 50% of prices recorded by the Turkish Statistical Institute as of this year Jan. A maximum of three kilos of vegetables per person is allowed. The move will be extended to rice and pulses such as lentils, as well as cleaning products, Erdogan said. As of now, this project is taking place only within Istanbul (where around 50 sites are selling the cut-price vegetables) and within the capital Ankara.

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