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  • Writer's pictureRozerin İdin

Those Who Earn Crust From Milk

Economic data in Turkey unfold that there is a big economic crisis in Turkey. Turkish Statistical Institute declare the inflation as 19.89 percent, Information Research Group (IRG), calculate the annual inflation increase as 49.97 percent.

The impact of the increase in inflation on every aspect of life has become inevitable. In this news, I will tell the story of two women who is trying to contribute the home economy and are in a kind of solidarity with each other.

I used the name Ayşe when describing our first interviewer, who did not want her real name to be used in the news.

Ayşe prefers to ferment yogurt at home, as she thinks it is healthier than buying it from the market.

She also buys the milk of the yogurt she ferments every week from Deniz.

Deniz, who contributes to the home economy with the milk of the cow that she feeds in the garden of her house, brings the milk she milks daily to Batman center and sells it to women by kilo.

Deniz has been doing this for years. She wakes up early every morning, milks his cow, puts the milk in 5 kilo bottles and brings it to the center to its recipients.

She can carry three bottles by herself. But if the demand is more than 3 bottles, her child also helps her to carry.

Inquiry has decreased due to the markup in milk. That is why, carrying two bottles isn’t pushing her.

“At the beginning, I was selling at 3.5 per kilo, but everything is really expensive, my children go to the , so i had to increase the price. Now, I am selling a kilo for 6 turkish lira. Lots of people grumbling about it but if I sell cheaper than that there is no benefit for me.”

Deniz, who supports her house with the money she earns from milk, complains about the expensiveness.

I name Zeynep, one of Deniz's customers, who does not want us to use her real name in the news.

She also says that fermented milk at home is healthy, she doesn't buy yogurt from the market if she doesn't have to, but she says that homemade yogurt will almost fall into the luxury category.

She explains that a pot of yogurt almost doubles the cost.

“Because it is healthy, I make my own yogurt at home. I buy a five-pound bottle of milk and make a pot of yogurt. While a pot of yogurt cost me 17 liras before, now it has increased to 30 liras. It seems like making yoğurt has become a luxury.”

Zeynep also regularly buys milk from Deniz.

Although she complains about the cost, she says that fermenting yoghurt at home contributes both to Deniz and herself economically.

“After all, most people in the neighborhood buy milk from Deniz sister. I used to buy from her, and I used to buy milk from her once every two weeks, at worst, once every three weeks. She used to knock our door a few days a week and bring milk. Now, she only comes a couple of a days of week. Because when there is a knock on the door, I have to turn it down now.”

Milk trade, also provided the basis for the development of solidarity among women.

Even so, she says that she can’t get milk every week cause of the increase price of milk. Shhe has her daughther open the door when she comes to the door because she feels embarrassed for Deniz.

Deniz states that because her customers were stable, she used to take milk to one or two neighborhoods, and she did not have to travel far to sell the milk. This circumstance change recently and now she tired more often.

“At first, few neighborhood enough for me. The number of people buying in the neighborhoods I used to take decreases. And now I have to go to the other and new neighborhoods.”

When Deniz talked to women who were trying to make a living by selling milk like her, she realized that they had similar problems.

She states that women selling milk divide neighborhoods among themselves, and that everyone's customers are different.

The economic crisis and the increasing cost of living have changed these borders too.

She states that she has brought milk according to whoever finds many buyers lately.

“I already know the other women who sells milk. They've been doing this job in Batman for a long time too. For example, I usually brought the milk to Çamlıtepe Neighborhood. But now I see another women who selling milk. If it was before, I would go and talk. But I also do the same thing. They are also in the same position. What can we do?...”

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