Mon, 24 Jan 2022

ANKARA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Miniature simit kiosks with red awnings can be seen in almost every square in Istanbul, offering people a popular and affordable on-the-go snack.

Dating back to the Ottoman Empire's cuisines, simit, widely known as Turkish bagel, is a circular bread covered with sesame or sunflower seeds and usually consumed with a cup of Turkish tea.

Besides its popularity, it used to be hugely affordable street food in Istanbul, costing about 2.5 Turkish liras (0.18 U.S. dollars) each.

However, the price of a bagel of 100 grams increased by 40 percent to 3.5 liras recently, after raw material costs increased by 300 percent in a year.

Emin Korkmaz, a street vendor, has been selling simit on Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue in the Beyoglu district since 1977.

The lira has fallen as much as 45 percent in value against the U.S. dollar since the start of the year, with the losses concentrated in the last three months as the central bank gave consecutive interest rate cuts.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is betting on low-interest rates and cheap credits to boost the economy and growth amid currency volatility.

The annual inflation hit 21.31 percent in November. One dollar was traded at 13.78 liras last Friday.

Last week, Turkey's Finance and Treasury Minister Lutfi Elvan resigned amid the sharp plunge of lira.

Can Tulgar, 56, moved to Turkey's biggest city Istanbul six years ago after living in the U.S. for 25 years.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

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