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The plunge in the Turkish lira and Turkish Cypriots’ shopping habits

August 26, 2018 at 9:00am
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The plunge in the value of the Turkish lira is taking a toll  on Turkish Cypriots who face difficulties in purchasing several products.

Recently, cost of living, utility bills as well as food and rents have skyrocketed in the Turkish occupied north, leaving many in dire economic straits.

Shops in the government controlled areas  of the island — where Turkish Cypriots are regular customer may also be affected .

According to card processing company JCC, between 2015 and July 2018, Turkish Cypriots spent €84.6m in the government controlled areas of which €15m in supermarkets.

However, on industry representatives told ‘Phileleftheros’ newspaper that lira crisis is unlikely to affect their businesses to a large extent.

According to figures published by JCC, Turkish Cypriot consumers seem to spend more money in the government controlled areas than Greek Cypriots spend in the occupied north.

According to JCC, from January 1 to the end of July 2018, Turkish Cypriots spent €11.5m in the government controlled areas.

The average monthly expenditure of Turkish Cypriots’ transactions is €1.5m, with sources highlighting that the largest amounts were spent on food – JCC however does not provide specific data on how spending is distributed.

In addition, Turkish Cypriots’ credit card transactions for 2017 were 25.9m, while in 2016 they stood at €26m.

In 2017 the value of Turkish Cypriots’ transactions in supermarkets,  on clothing and sanitary ware totalled  €18.2m,

In particular, €6.2m was spent on supermarkets, while €5.2m were spent for clothing, €3.6m for other products and €3.1m for the purchase of sanitary ware and household equipment.

On their part, Greek Cypriots in 2016 spent their money in occupied north on entertainment (€1.5m), hotel bookings €1.4m) and other services, with the total amount reaching €8.2m. According to JCC figures, most of the Greek Cypriots’ transactions were for hotel bookings, casinos, fuel and  the purchase of fruit. From 2015 until July 2018, the total amount of Greek Cypriots’ transactions in the north was €33.4m.

In 2015, the total expenditure of Turkish Cypriots was €21.4m, of which €4.6m was spent in supermarkets and €4.4m on clothes. 

Also, €3m went on retail products, €2.6m on home equipment, €1.3m on hotel bookings and €1.1m on entertainment.

Additionally, Turkish Cypriots spent over €500,000 on health and insurance, €94,000 for airport tickets (it is to be noted that a small number of Turkish Cypriots opted to travel from Larnaca and Paphos airports) and €66,000 on education. Approximately, €64,000 was spent on state transactions, while smaller amounts were spent on other sectors.