In reaction to the country’s deepening economic crisis, Apple has banned sales of practically all of its products in Turkey. According to CNBC, Turkey’s inflation rate is nearly 20%, and the country’s currency, the lira, has dropped significantly.
When you visit the Turkish version of the Apple Store Online right now, everything looks to be totally functional until you try to add a product to your shopping cart. While Apple has not publicly addressed the matter, it appears that sales in Turkey have been paused due to the economic turmoil.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has routinely justified interest rate reduction. The sell-off was sparked after Erdogan supported his central bank’s ongoing contentious interest rate reduction in the face of mounting double-digit inflation. He described the action as part of an “economic war of independence,” dismissing investor and expert requests to reverse course.
The lira was trading at 5.6 to the dollar two years ago at this time. However, on Monday, it reached a low of 13.45 to the dollar. Similarly, inflation in Turkey is approaching 20% as of Tuesday.
“Insane where the lira is, but it’s a reflection of the insane monetary policy settings Turkey is currently operating under,” said Senior Emerging Markets Strategist Tim Ash.
The sell-off is in response to Erdogan’s desire to lower interest rates in what he sees as a feasible approach to boost exports, investment, and job creation. As a result, inflation rates are drastically raising the cost of products and depreciating Turks’ earnings.
Turkey’s currency has been dropping since 2018, owing to geopolitical worries with the West, current account deficits, diminishing currency reserves, rising debt, and, most importantly, a refusal to raise interest rates to control inflation.
It’s hard to say how long Apple limits product sales in Turkey due to the current economic scenario. But, again, the company has not yet made a public statement on the subject.