Turkish ministry's website runs out of cheaper vegetables, fruits on first morning

Updated with news that stocks had sold out

The Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has started selling fruit and vegetables online in an effort to curb accelerating inflation. 

Stocks of all fruit and vegetables except parsley had reportedly run out within hours of the foods going on sale on the website on Thursday morning.

The ministry announced the fruit and vegetables would be delivered by the Turkish Post Office (PTT) for a charge of 3.70 liras ($0.7). The online sales cover the Turkish capital Ankara and the campaign will end on May 1, according to an advertisement on the PTT’s website on Thursday. (https://www.epttavm.com/kampanyalar/turkiye-kazanacak/turkiye-kazanacak).

The campaign began after the Ankara and Istanbul municipalities started direct sales of vegetables and fruit at temporary sales points in urban locations this week. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that cleaning products will also be offered.

Food price inflation in Turkey has surged to an annual 31 percent, its highest level since at least 2004, as the price of eggplants, cucumbers and tomatoes jumped 81 percent, 53 percent and 39 percent, respectively, over the past year. 

The Turkish government blames some producers and warehouses for unjustly increasing prices and the authorities have imposed fines on suppliers and companies accused of price gouging

Similar to the municipal sales outlets, the online portal will sell fruit and vegetables at below market rates, but have placed a limit on how much each customer can buy.