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Sunday, February 5, 2023
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    Rising living costs changes breakfast habits of Turks

    ANKARA (XINHUA) – For Turks, breakfast is a ritual that cannot be missed, but the rising living cost is now compelling locals to spend less on this meal of the day.

    “The purchasing power of citizens has dropped considerably compared to previous years and this has changed their breakfast habits,” a bee farmer from the eastern province of Sivas Burak Yalcin, told Xinhua.

    Yalcin was displaying many honey products of the family company at a “Breakfast Festival” in the capital city of Ankara that highlighted the importance of this essential meal of the day, even in times of economic crisis.

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

    “Compared to last year, the price of honey increased by 300 per cent because of production and transportation costs,” the experienced bee farmer said.

    Another must-have ingredient of the Turkish breakfast, the olives, is also falling from grace amid price hikes.

    People visit a breakfast festival in Ankara, Turkiye. PHOTO: XINHUA

    “In our region, people used to consume four or five different types of olives in the morning, but nowadays, it’s only one type of olive,” said Tulay Zor from the western province of Aydin, which is famous for its olive trees.

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

    In fact, the costs of every key ingredient of the Turkish breakfast, such as eggs, milk, honey, fermented beef sausages, butter, olives, tomato bread, tea, and coffee, have all soared in the past year.

    Official data released in early November by the Turkish Statistical Institute indicated that the cost of living in Türkiye has risen dramatically with food prices climbing 99 per cent year-on-year.

    The annual inflation rate is at 85.5 per cent, the highest since 1998, leaving many Turks struggling to make ends meet.

    The “poverty threshold” was set at TRY24,185 (USD1,300) for a family of four by the Confederation of Trade Unions in October, while the minimum wage applied to millions of workers stands currently at TRY5,500 (USD296).

    According to estimations by the Turkish government, the annual inflation will drop sharply in the first trimester of 2023, but it will remain at around 50 per cent until the mid-year.

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