Turkey’s Competition Authority has launched an investigation into 23 supermarket chains to ascertain if they are engaged in unfair competition in the sale of fruits and vegetables, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Monday.
Retail giants such as Makro, CarrefourSA, Migros, Şok and BİM are among the chains the watchdog has decided to investigate.
Over the last few months leading to Turkey’s upcoming local elections, skyrocketing food prices have been a hot topic in the country’s political conversation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and leading figures of his government blamed wholesalers and retailers for the spike in prices, claiming Turkey was targeted by what they described as “food terrorism,” instigated by outside forces.
“They’re trying to corner Turkey by means of onions, eggplants and cucumbers,” Erdoğan said at an election rally in February.
In an effort to stop the constant increase in food prices, the Turkish government has opened produce stalls with discounted prices through government subsidies.