Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a citizen who said he couldn’t bring home bread that he should enjoy a nice cup of tea, a video posted by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Veli Ağbaba showed.
The footage was taken during an exchange President Erdoğan had with local bus drivers, Ağbaba noted, where the workers were telling the president of their problems.
“Workers: We can’t bring home bread!
Erdoğan: That sounds like a huge exaggeration to me. Here, enjoy this nice cup of tea,” Ağbaba noted in a tweet accompanying the video.
Visiting the southern province for a mass opening ceremony, the president handed out bags of tea to locals from his bus.
The president’s words evoked the infamous quote of French ruler Marie-Antoinette von Österreich-Lothringen, who said that her people should eat cake if they can’t find bread.
“From France in 1789 to Turkey in 2020, from Marie Antoinette who said ‘eat cake if you can’t find bread’ to Erdoğan who says ‘enjoy a nice cup of tea if you can’t find bread,’” the deputy chair noted in a following tweet.
The Turkish Lira has been hitting record lows for over a month as it depreciates despite state intervention, reflecting Ankara’s dire shrink in foreign currency reserves.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported year-on-year inflation of 11.75 percent in September, although experts estimate inflation levels to be four times the official number.
TÜİK also reported unemployment of 13.4 percent in September, although the statistical institute’s credibility has plummeted due to data inconsistencies aimed at veiling the true severity of Turkey’s economic depression.