EXPATS in Turkey were this week facing higher costs of living the dream in Turkey – with news that energy prices are set to soar.
The government has increased electricity prices by 9.3 percent – the third of its kind in as many days following big increases in gasoline and natural gas prices.
Consumers have woken up to a costlier life in April, with the Minister of Energy announcing natural gas prices have been raised by a staggering 18.7 percent, while electricity prices also increased about 9.3 percent last weekend.
The natural gas and electricity price hikes come just after gasoline prices rose for the third time late last month, putting the cost of one litre of petrol at nearly 5TL.
Expats have also been commenting on the spike in food prices and the cost of Efes in some restaurants and bars in Didim – with a price for an Efes hitting 10TL in one or two new places.
“There is a cost increase of about 17 percent in natural gas due only to changes in the exchange rate. In the last 19 months oil and natural gas prices have risen 29 percent, excluding the exchange rate.
“The reason for the latest price increase is the difference in the exchange rate and rising oil prices,” Minister of Energy Taner Yıldız said.
Commenting on the increase in electricity price by nearly 9.3 on March 31, he said, “If we had not reached an agreement with Russia on a price cut deal for natural gas prices late last year, those prices might have been increased twice as much.”
Citizens are paying the price while the government manages the economy with price hikes, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said.
“They used to say ‘Turkey sets an example to the whole world,’ and ‘there is no problem with the economy.’ What kind of an example is this? Citizens face immediate price hikes in electricity and natural gas,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, as he slammed government claims that the hikes stem from international market prices, saying that this is not the case in other countries.
“We have the most expensive diesel, gas and natural gas,” he said.
Turkey may raise gas prices by an additional 15 percent after raising them by 18.7 percent on April 1 to avoid losses at the state-run provider, national newspaper Haberturk reported.
One consequence of the energy price hikes was that Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines increased ticket prices between five and 10 Turkish Liras for domestic flights, and at least seven liras for international flights.