Turkey's rampant inflation driving rise in evictions and housing disputes - report

Rampant inflation is driving quarrels between landlords and tenants in Turkey, resulting in a surge of evictions and legal disputes, AFP reported on Thursday. 

Inflation reached a two-decade high of 54.4 percent in February and is expected to rise further in the coming months. 

Meanwhile, rents surged last year by an average of 85 percent in Istanbul and 69 percent at the national level, AFP said, citing analysis from Bahçeşehir University. 

As a result, tenants across the country are struggling to make payments, leading to confrontations with landlords often looking for higher rents.

Receptionist Erdem Yilmaz told AFP that he had spent more than two and a half months' salary on relocating after being forced into leaving his Istanbul home by its owner.

"He harassed us. My family had no peace," he said. "We shouldn't have had to leave."

"I saw an advert (for the flat) on the internet a week after we left," he added. The advertised rent was 2,600 liras ($190) a month, more than double the 1,100 liras ($80) paid by Erdem, according to AFP. 

Last month, Turkey overtook Argentina as having the highest inflation amongst major economies. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has steadfastly blocked the central bank from raising interest rates, the orthodox policy response regularly used in other countries.

Rent rises are limited in Turkey to 22.6 percent, but landlords' intimidation and other untoward tactics are not uncommon. 

"The rise in rents is pushing property owners to seek the recovery of their homes to put them back on the market," Hanife Emine Kara, a specialist in real-estate law, told AFP. 

Legal disputes between landlords and tenants are now the biggest single issue in the Turkish court system, representing 20 percent of all cases, the news agency said. 

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