On November 23, when Turkish Internet users entered Apple's online store to make purchases, they found that the site was no longer able to purchase any items with Turkish lira, although it was operating normally.
Apple suspended sales in Turkey because the lira plunged 15% that day, once breaking the psychological barrier of 13 liras to the dollar, breaking a record high. If it continues to open for business, the result may be a loss of one unit sold.
Apple's emergency shutdown is new, yet for the Turkish lira, devaluation is the norm. It has hit a record low on consecutive days for the past 11 trading days, the most in nearly 20 years. The plunge is believed to be related to a speech made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a cabinet meeting on the night of the 22nd.
Zou Zhiqiang, a young researcher at the Center for Middle East Studies at Fudan University, told China Business News that this round of plunge in the Turkish currency lira is indeed very tragic and is the most serious currency devaluation crisis since the lira crisis in 2018.
He went on to say that Turkey is currently facing a more complex internal and external economic situation, with a lack of internal growth momentum, a deteriorating external economic environment, a continuing epidemic, a depreciating currency, and a recent round of energy and price hikes pushing up Turkey's already high domestic inflation, seriously weakening the foundation of Turkey's economic stability.
The sharp depreciation of the exchange rate has further pushed up the cost of imported goods and fuel. Economic analysts say that while the current inflation rate in Turkey is around 20%, the rate is expected to rise to a higher level. This means that the soaring prices of basic commodities and the depreciation of real incomes have exacerbated the pressure on people's lives.
A resident of Diyarbakır, Turkey, said a bag of flour used to be 100 liras, but now it costs 300 liras (about 170.6 yuan at the current exchange rate). "Everyone is sad, many people are trying to find jobs abroad, and there are no longer any jobs in Diyarbakır." Turkey is the second largest wheat importer in the world.
Rising prices have now become one of the most important livelihood issues in Turkey. The Turkish government blames the price hike on speculators in the food industry and has ordered investigations into several large supermarket chains. The Turkish government also recently said it would open 1,000 new supermarkets to curb price hikes, but the effect remains to be seen.
I went to a few Turkish websites in particular and there seems to be little reaction from the country. I saw one saying how much the gold price is going to rise. Another report was alerted to the foreign media using this topic to interfere with Turkey.