Supermarkets in the north were emptied of alcohol after news hit of a big price hike to be slapped on them through increased taxation.
Some shop owners pre-emptively took bottles off the shelves in order to replace them once the higher prices were announced.
The increases of up to 50 TL (approximately €3), announced as a “price stabilisation” measure, apply to gin, vodka, tequila, whiskey, beer and wines. According to Turkish Cypriot press, the increases are aimed at reducing an alarming and growing budget deficit.
Jenk Mutluyakali, in an article in Yeni Duzen, wrote that the expected financial aid from Turkey did not arrive for the third consecutive year. According to Mutluyakali, a 2021 agreement had been signed for aid and loans amounting to 3.25 billion TL but only 1.83 billion TL, about one third, was paid. Mutlouyakali says the same happened in 2020 and 2019.
In addition to price increases in fuel, electricity, as well as alcohol, Turkish Cypriot newspapers reported that from Thursday there will be a tax increase on cigarettes.
“It is demoralising that the ‘government’ resorts repeatedly to price increases in order to cover its expenses,” the ‘Chamber of Turkish Cypriot Shopkeepers and Artisans’ said in a statement, adding, “Everyone knows that there is no money left in the budget, the ‘state’ is mired in debt, and increases in electricity, as well as daily products, are made because the ‘government’ can’t make ends meet.”
The ‘government’ in the north downplayed the price hike on alcohol, saying that in the north “beer is cheaper than milk” and that beer prices in the south, and also in Turkey, are sevenfold or more. However, opposition leader Tufan Erhiurman said the ‘government’ was clueless about “the extent of accumulated anger among the people.”