Rising cost of living changes breakfast habits of Turks

Ankara, November. 23 (Xinhua) For Turks, breakfast is a ritual that cannot be skipped, but the rising cost of living is now forcing locals to spend less on this meal of the day.

Burak Yalcin, a bee farmer in the eastern province of Sivas, told Xinhua: “The purchasing power of citizens has declined significantly compared to previous years, and this has led to a change in their breakfast habits.”

Yalcin was showcasing several of the family company’s honey products at a “breakfast festival” in the capital city Ankara, highlighting the importance of this essential meal of the day even in times of economic crisis.

Honey used to be an essential part of the traditional Turkish breakfast, Yalcin said, but now its rising prices are driving people away from the golden nectar.

β€œCompared to last year, the price of honey has increased by 300 per cent due to production and transportation cost,” said the veteran bee farmer.

Another essential ingredient of the Turkish breakfast, olives, are also falling from grace amid the price hike.

“In our area, people used to consume 4 or 5 different types of olives in the morning, but nowadays, it is only one type of olive,” said Tule Zor, from the western province of Aydin, famous for its olive groves.

The producer said olive prices have more than doubled in the past year, and there seems to be no respite in sight for basic food inflation.

In fact, the cost of every major component of the Turkish breakfast, such as eggs, milk, honey, fermented beef sausage, butter, olives, tomato bread, tea and coffee, has gone up over the past year.

Official data released in early November by the Turkish Statistics Institute indicated that the cost of living in Turkey has increased dramatically, with food prices rising by 99 percent year-on-year.

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With an annual inflation rate of 85.5 percent, the highest since 1998, many Turks are struggling to make ends meet.

The “poverty threshold” for a family of four was set at 24,185 Turkish lira (US$1,300) by the trade union confederation in October, while the applicable minimum wage for millions of workers is currently 5,500 lira (US$296).

According to Turkish government projections, annual inflation will fall sharply in the first quarter of 2023, but it will remain around 50 percent until the middle of the year.

(No edits have been made to the headline or body copy of this report by ABP Live.)

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