Desperate Times Desperate Measures ..

The businesspeople I talked to this weekend told me that there is no problem for the exporting industries in Turkey for now, however the industry leaders have lowered their expectations vis-a-vis the country’s tourism performance. By the way, despite the increasing prices, the slowdown in restaurants and cafes in the first week of Ramadan has peaked out in recent days.

It was more expensive for single people or married people without children to cook at home in the past year than to have a meal in a restaurant. Now, eating at home and out has both become expensive. It is more logical for a family with at least 1 child to eat at home rather than in a restaurant, in terms of economies of scale.

Last month, I saw that some dishes were removed from the menu of a fish restaurant I always visit in Antalya When I asked why, the owner said something both interesting and reasonable: “For how much can I sell a seafood dish, the main ingredient of which costs TRY 300 per kilo?”. His answer was both rational and customer friendly. The owner apparently does not want to serve a high-priced meal and cause disruptive gossip for both himself and his restaurant, while also trying to keep his regular customers happy.

“Budgeting turned to be An Art Form Rather Than a Technique.”

Aside from the fact that the employees complain about the high cost of living and their low wages, the triple-digit increase in business and production costs creates huge problems in terms of retaining and improving their human capital. Companies are left without options in the face of the costs of the events and activities carried out to increase the know-how and the manners of employees and to enhance their sense of belonging. Most of them say, “I’m better off hit by a surprise expense than spending money on these expensive employee training and activities”. But the reality is that companies will now be hit by more and more unexpected increases in their operating costs. Sadly, budgeting has become more of an art form now than a simple technique.

On social media, everyone is posting the pictures of their gas and diesel bills to each other. On the other hand, foreign companies operating in markets that have price ceilings are hesitant to ship products to Turkey. Earning insufficient profit while costs keep rising cannot be sustained for a long time. In the event that the anticipated negative scenarios come true, a significant proportion of foreign firms would stop their activities in the Turkish market.

So, what to do? The first thing we should do to analyse our economy comprehensively and thoroughly, identify and fix the errors and the parts that are not compatible with the market economy, and start taking confidence-building steps without disturbing the parts that work just fine. Contrary to what is expected, I believe that these steps will help increase peace and stability in Turkey.