Turkey hikes electricity, natural gas prices by as much as 51%

The Turkish authorities increased the price of electricity and natural gas by as much as 51 percent on Thursday in a latest financial blow to Turks suffering from sky-high inflation.

The highest increases of around 50 percent were reserved for industry, while consumers faced an additional 20 percent on their bills, according to statements by the energy regulator and state pipeline company BOTAŞ.

Inflation in Turkey hit 79.6 percent in July, the highest level in almost a quarter of a century, after the lira tumbled against the dollar. The country imports nearly all of the natural gas and oil that it consumes. The government, which has suffered a decline in public support due to the economic troubles, must call presidential and parliamentary elections for June next year at the latest.

The announcement of the price hikes came as the Turkish Statistical Institute prepared to announce August inflation figures on Monday, which are expected to register another increase to over 80 percent.

Turkey has hiked household natural gas prices by 174 percent this year. Small and medium-sized enterprises have faced an increase of 277 percent and large industrial companies 379 percent. BOTAŞ said that the state still subsidised over 80 percent of natural gas prices for households.

Just prior to the price hikes, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), warned President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against announcing further increases in prices.

“Erdoğan, don't even think about a new hike in electricity. The people have no bread. You see, there's nothing left to spend. No huh. No friend, no!” he said, according to the Diken news website.

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