Apple products, electronic products unavailable in Turkey after the 15% lira drop

Turks who tried to buy iPhones and other electronic devices received error messages online Wednesday, including from Apple’s local website, after a historic 15% drop in the lira the previous day that wreaked havoc on prices.

The currency fell back to its all-time low on Wednesday, fueled by concerns about the broader consequences for the economy after President Tayyip Erdogan defended recent sharp rate cuts despite widespread criticism and calls for a rollback.

The lira has lost 43% of its value this year and more than 22% since the beginning of last week alone.

In turn, goods priced in the local currency have seen a sharp effective discount compared to prices elsewhere, and retailers are struggling to keep up with price adjustments amid market turmoil.

A Turkish Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 16, 2021 (credit: REUTERS / MURAD SEZER)

Apple’s Turkish website halted sales of most products, displaying a “Not currently available” message, a Reuters query showed. Local prices for phones and computers were 10% below US prices following the sudden depreciation of the lira.

A sales representative from an Apple store in Istanbul said that people thought of electronics as an investment as much as items to wear.

“It’s pretty surreal with the economy and all that, but people see it as a store of value and flock to the stores. They know they’ll be able to sell it a year later for more than they paid for,” the person said. requesting anonymity.

Customers flocked to luxury import brands, mainly electronics and cosmetics, said an official with Turkey’s e-commerce company.

The collapse of the lira coincides with Black Friday sales and the start of New Year discounts, fueling fears that some consumer goods may not be available or face large price increases.

“Most markets are asking their big sellers to keep prices stable and refrain from increasing, at least during the discount week. As sellers and the market need each other, sellers oblige,” he told Reuters an e-commerce official based in Istanbul. .

Caner, a graphic designer in Istanbul in the market for an electric scooter, said: “This is the worst time to spend money, but there will be no better time. The prices may seem expensive now, but they are cheaper than they are. it will be next week. “

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