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Turkish opposition leader barred from data center as mistrust in data grows

Turkey’s official inflation figures have fueled tensions between the government and the opposition amid growing doubts over the credibility of the data.
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu arrives to hold a news conference in Ankara, Turkey on June 26, 2018.

Growing mistrust in Turkey’s official inflation data fueled political tensions last week as the main opposition leader was barred from entering the building of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), the government agency tasked with compiling and sharing various data.

Shortly after the TUIK released the latest inflation figures Dec. 3, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu sped to the TUIK headquarters to seek answers amid doubts over the inflation data. The institute said consumer prices rose 3.5% in November from the previous month, while pundits had expected a rate of about 5%. Security guards speaking from behind the iron bars of the TUIK’s gated entrance turned the CHP leader away, saying they were following instructions. The head of the institute works directly under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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