In December alone, consumer prices took a rare step into double-digits, rising 13.58%, Turkish Statistical Institute data showed on Monday (January 3), eating deeper into the earnings and savings of Turks rattled by the economic turmoil.
The subsequent accelerating surge in prices and drop in the lira have also upended household and company budgets, scuttled travel plans and left many Turks scrambling to cut costs.
"We don't sit with our friends in a cafe and drink coffee any more," Mehmet, 26, a university graduate, said as he did his job as a pollster in Istanbul."We don't go out, just from home to work and back again," he said, adding he was buying smaller meal portions and believed inflation was higher than official data showed.
The central bank has argued that temporary factors had been driving prices and forecast a volatile course for inflation, which - having been around 20% in recent months and mostly double-digits over the last five years - it said in October would end the year at 18.4%.
Turkey's lira shed 44% of its value last year as the central bank slashed interest rates under a drive by Erdogan to prioritize credit and exports over currency and price stability.
The economic turmoil has also hit Erdogan's opinion polls ahead of a tough election scheduled for no later than mid-2023.