Renowned Turkish actress Berna Laçin has been summoned by a prosecutor to testify due to remarks on social media complaining about the high price of cherries.
Laçin, a critic of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), announced on Twitter on Tuesday that she has once again been summoned by a prosecutor and that this time it concerns her comments in summer related to the high price of cherries.
On June 2, 2021 Laçin had tweeted that the price of a kilo of cherries varied between TL 60 and TL 80 ($6.40 to $8.50).
“I asked them [vendors], ‘But [the price] will eventually go down, right?’ They said, ‘No sister, it won’t.’ These are cherries, for God’s sake! We used to put them on our ears like earrings when we were kids. Now we’ve become a country where children grow up without knowing what a cherry tastes like. Shame on you!” Laçin added.
Turkey’s annual inflation rose to 19.58 percent in September, its highest in two-and-a-half years, and month-on-month consumer prices rose 1.25 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute said earlier this month.
Data from the İstanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) also showed earlier in October that retail prices in Turkey’s largest city and commercial hub of İstanbul, which is home to some 16 million, rose 2.22 percent month-on-month in September for an annual increase of 19.77 percent, the city’s highest inflation rate since May 2019.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government hold supermarkets responsible for the high prices for consumer goods, and investigations have been launched into some supermarket chains for allegedly exploitative pricing.
However, economists say not supermarket chains but poor economy management is the cause of the high inflation in Turkey and that opening 1,000 new supermarkets across the country to provide “suitable” prices for consumer goods, a “solution” recently announced by Erdoğan, will not cure the problem but will instead deepen it.
In early 2019 — on the heels of a currency crisis that sent inflation soaring — the government opened its own markets to sell cheap vegetables and fruits directly, cutting out retailers it accused at the time of jacking up prices.