Georgians traveling to the northeastern province of Artvin to buy food, especially oil, have caused long lines in front of grocery stores.
Arriving in the Kemalpasha region of Artvin through the Sarp border crossing between the two countries, Georgians flock to grocery stores to buy food that is much cheaper than in their country due to the exchange rate, Hürriyet newspaper reports.
“There is a high demand mainly for oil and granulated sugar, which are considered the main export products,” said Osman Akurek, head of the chamber of commerce and industry in Artvin’s Hopa district.
“The main reason for this tension is that the purchasing power of the Georgian side has increased due to the prices of our products, which are more attractive to them,” he added.
Pointing to the devaluation of the Turkish lira, Emirhan Kavak, a trader working at the border gate, said: “Georgian citizens have started coming here and trading oil. They do all their shopping here, while they both cover their own needs and take out profit by selling them to Georgia”.
Kubilai Veziroglou, a taxi driver in Kemalpaşa, said there is heavy traffic, especially on weekends.
The Turkish Lira has fallen to 0.15 against the Georgian Lari.