Inflated prices spark nationwide restaurant boycott calls

Thousands of people have issued a call to boycott restaurants and cafes this weekend, accusing business owners of exploiting economic issues and inflation as an excuse to set exorbitant prices.

The boycott plea has resonated widely among the public, with several prominent figures lending their support.

The hashtag "Boycott Overpriced Meals" has been trending on social media, urging people not to visit cafes and restaurants on April 20-21.

Much of the social media activism throughout the week has been fueled by examples circulating in the press and on social media, such as photos of inflated bills and the juxtaposition of food prices in Istanbul with those of foreign cities.

Many news outlets reported that citizens characterize the inflated prices at restaurants and cafes as "pretextual and opportunistic," extending beyond economic woes attributed to inflation. Reports also noted that customers face smaller portion sizes and lower quality despite rising prices.

While a bakery selling a single cookie for 110 Turkish Liras sparked outrage, a large number of people are also lamenting paying up to 300 liras for a single meal portion, attributing the issue to profiteering by businesses.

 'Boycott calls are just'

Ramazan Bingöl, the head of Türkiye's largest restaurant association, acknowledged the validity of the public's decision to boycott, noting that despite the high exchange rate, prices have become expensive even for foreign tourists.

"I know my industry will crucify me, but is the public justified in boycotting? Yes, they are. I agree, it's expensive. I was in Baku last week. I saw their prices. The same service in Türkiye is more expensive," Bingöl told daily Hürriyet.

"Tourists are...

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