Turkish Cypriot bakers cried foul on Sunday after the north’s ‘government’ decreed issued a decree to set the maximum price of a loaf of bread.

The decree set the maximum price at 12TL (€0.36), effectively knocking 20 per cent off the retail price of a loaf of bread, which since the start of the month was typically being sold for 15TL (€0.46) since the start of the month.

In response, a raft of bakeries from across the north issued a joint statement declaring the decree to be in violation of the north’s laws on competition.

They said, “under the conditions of the bread and bakery competition law, each bakery has calculated its own costs and offered our products to people at affordable prices so far.”

“In this regard, we have determined each bakery’s own costs separately, taking into account the recent excessive price increases, under free market conditions,” they added.

They said they “expect an invitation” to meet ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel in light of the decree, “with hope that a common path will be found without dragging society into chaos.”

“We would also like to inform our people that the price increases are not arbitrary and that we will not change them until the day of our meeting [with Ustel],” they added.

Later on Sunday, opposition ‘MP’ Devrim Barcin confirmed he had been charged 15TL for a loaf of bread despite the maximum price decree.

It was utterly delusional to expect compliance with this anachronistic practice. They thought they could prevent price increases simply by decreeing it so,” he said.

He added, “the authority and leadership of the Economy ministry, which cannot enforce the decisions it takes, must also be called into question.”