(Photo credit: Cagla Gurdogan/Reuters)
Turkey significantly raised its gas and electricity prices on 1 September, media reported, further straining the country’s already inflated economy.
The surge in prices is expected to result in a 0.8 percent rise in the Turkish lira’s inflation, which was pushed up to 80 percent in July.
Ankara’s state-sponsored energy regulator, EPDK, announced that it has increased household power costs by 20 percent, public sector costs by 30 percent, and industrial electricity costs by 50 percent.
Additionally, the country’s national energy importer, BOTAS, said that household gas prices were pushed up by 20.4 percent, as well as by 47.6 percent and 50.8 percent for small to medium industrial users and large industrial users.
Meanwhile, the price of gas for the production of electricity was increased to 49.5 percent, the state-owned trading company announced.
Since the launch of Russia’s military operation Ukraine, Turkey has been negatively affected by the surge in global energy prices, resulting in its recent doubling of Russian oil imports for the year, and marking a boost in trade relations between Ankara and Moscow.
The import-reliant country did not follow suit in sanctioning Russia after the start of the operation, and Turkish officials have expressed an indifference to US threats of sanctions as Turkey continues to do business with Moscow.
Despite this, the country’s inflation rate continues to soar drastically. Inflation is being fueled by the devaluation of the Turkish lira, which began in September last year as a result of Ankara’s controversial economic strategy that promotes growth by pushing the central bank to cut interest rates.
These controversial economic policies have resulted in a significant decline in popular support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to polls carried out in May, if elections were to be held in Turkey today, at least 55 percent of voters would not reelect Erdogan, and would instead vote for the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Experts have said that Turkey’s inflation could, at some point, top 100 percent if the economic deterioration persists.