Main article: Eid al-Adha trade market sluggish amid rampant inflation and pandemic in Istanbul, Turkey – Xinhua

People walk past stores in Istanbul, Turkey on July 27, 2020. Turkey’s economy boomed with inflation spikes in June when the government moved to ease foreclosure restrictions imposed on curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Osman Orsal / Xinhua)

by Zeynep Cermen

ISTANBUL, July 27 (Xinhua) – Melahat Yildirim planned on Monday to buy a charming outfit for her son for the upcoming Eid al-Adha at an open bazaar in Istanbul that offers affordable shopping opportunities.

“My 15-year-old daughter especially wants a new pair of shoes for the party,” Yildirim, a resident of Gultepe district, in the European part of the city, told Xinhua. “But prices for this specific brand start at 300 Turkish lira (US $ 44), almost twice as expensive as the year before.”

Yildirim worked in a private telecommunications company for a minimum wage of 2,400 lire ($ 350) per month.

In March, however, she was forced to take unpaid leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other employees at the same company.

“I was making the same amount last year, and I could buy him decent pants and a shirt, and a pair of shoes of the exact brand he wanted,” she whispered, trying to pick the right ones. sneakers in a large suitcase. with a 50 percent sale sign. “In today’s conditions, it is simply impossible,” she added.

Turkey’s economy boomed with spikes in inflation in June when the government moved to ease lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Turkey’s annual inflation climbed to 12.62 percent in June, mainly due to rising transport prices, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute.

“The transport sector became the champion of the price increase in June, with an increase of 4.5%. The prices of cars and tickets have risen sharply,” Mustafa Sonmez, an economic writer, told his account Twitter.

Sonmez, the author of more than two dozen books on Turkey’s economy and social events, added that the price hike in the service sector, which has been closed for nearly three months due to the pandemic , has also played a decisive role in the rise in inflation. Restaurant and hotel prices across the country rose 2.8% in June, data showed.

For a brand manager of a foreign retail company, which has numerous stores in several high-end shopping malls in Istanbul, upper-segment retail brands have been severely affected by the pandemic, the outlook volatile economy and the absence of tourists.

“This year, most of our clients left Istanbul for their summer homes as soon as the government lifted partial curfews in early June,” she said without giving her name.

“And others still don’t prefer to enter crowded places like shopping malls for fear of being infected with COVID-19,” the director also noted. “We have also lost our Arab tourists, who love to shop. As a result, our stores have not seen a boom in party shopping this year.”

Due to the pandemic, the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey also fell rapidly from March.

According to the latest official data, 21,044 tourists visited the country in June of this year, indicating a drop of 96% year-on-year. Turkey welcomed 45 million tourists last year with a total revenue of $ 34.5 billion.

Hakan Aydin, owner of a store on crowded Istiklal Avenue, told Xinhua that his business saw its results decline during the quarantine period, when all stores were closed due to the pandemic.

“No one has enough money to go shopping these days. I’m hardly trying to pay the rent for the store,” Aydin told Xinhua.

But he remains optimistic about the future, noting that if everything goes on track and tourists soon flock to the country, there will be a rapid recovery in the economy.

The Eid al-Adha holiday will be celebrated at the end of this month across Turkey with four days of vacation.

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Peggy P. Gilmore

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