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Turkey, still recovering from the pandemic, is shocked by its soaring electricity bills.

ISTANBUL – Turkey’s economy was already in recession before the pandemic hit, and because the country relies heavily on tourism and the hospitality industry, the months of closures have taken a heavy toll on many businesses and robbers. away the income of many people. The country is currently struggling with raging inflation.

The Turkish lira has sunk to a record low. Food and fuel prices have more than doubled. Now it is electric.

It started with some outraged customers posting photos of their electricity bills on social media, showing that the charge had nearly doubled by the end of January. But such complaints quickly turned into a full-blown political crisis for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

When Mr. Erdogan raised the minimum wage last month to help low-income workers, his government warned that there would be an increase in the utility charges they set. But few expected such a shock.

Restaurants and cafes trying to recover from two years of losses from the pandemic have been reeling this month after electricity and gas bills doubled.

“During the pandemic, we were closed for 19 months,” said Ilker Tiniz, 37, who runs a family-owned restaurant in the southern city of Adana. “We have delivered. My credit card exploded, and we were taken to a debt enforcement office.”

In January, his rent rose to 15,000 lira (about $1,150 at the time). Then the electricity bill was even higher at 17,000 lira. Mr. tiniz went to twitter to voice his alarm among what first developed into a storm of complaints from residents.

Mr. Tiniz said in an interview at his restaurant that, despite the difficulties in times of the pandemic, there is always hope that things will get better, but hyperinflation is shaking things up throughout the world. food chain, from farmers to traders in the market to customers in their restaurants.

“I wrote that tweet so the government could hear my voice,” he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/world/europe/turkey-still-recovering-from-pandemic-lockdowns-is-shocked-by-soaring-electricity-bills.html Turkey, still recovering from the pandemic, is shocked by its soaring electricity bills.

Fry Electronics Team

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