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Crisis in Turkey Forces Vendors to Sell the Koulouri Delicacy Cut in Half

Crisis Turkey koulouriSellers have been selling the traditional koulouri split in half. Credit: screenshot/You Tube/Anka

The economic crisis and the spiraling price rises in Turkey have forced street vendors to sell the iconic koulouri, or as Turks call it “simit”, cut in half.

Turkish citizens are having increasing difficulties coping with the rising prices of almost every item amid high inflation and the national currency depreciation.

Turkish currency lira has lost about 40 percent of its value this year against the US dollar, while the annual inflation hit almost 20 percent in October.

Grecian Delight supports GreeceTurkey crisisRising prices mean that many Turkish citizens cannot afford the whole koulouri. Credit: screenshot/You Tube/Anka

Although it does not have a registered designation of origin, the sesame-seed koulouri has been identified with the city of Thessaloniki as its history begins during the period of the Byzantine Empire and it mainly appeared in Istanbul and Thessaloniki.

In Istanbul the vendors of the koulouri (called koulourtzides) trumpeted their merchandise with the name “koulouri of Thessaloniki” and much later the same name was used by the street vendors in Attica.

Today, in Greece and Turkey, koulourtzides frequent in places where crowds pass, normally central parts of the cities, in order to sell their “koulouria.” They carry them in big baskets and sell them either straight out of the basket or out of glass, mobile displays.

Crisis in Turkey

Despite the crisis in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows to continue the same policies. He has declared himself an “enemy” of high borrowing costs, and portrayed his economic policies as “an economic war of independence.”

He made clear that his government would not step back from its policy of lowering borrowing rates to boost growth.

Contrary to traditional economic theory, Erdogan argues that high interest rates cause inflation. Typically, central banks raise those rates to tame rising consumer prices.

“Either we were going to give up on investments, production, growth and employment by keeping to the understanding that has prevailed in our country for years, or we were going to engage in a historic struggle in line with our priorities,” Erdogan said.

“As always, we preferred the struggle”.

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