World Bulletin / News Desk
As Ramadan, Muslims' fasting month, is to start on Friday, tradespeople in food markets anticipate more business with people shopping for food more to embellish their dinner tables.
Muslims spend Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, fasting from sunrise until sunset; however, this restricted eating does not mean a reduction in shopping.
On the contrary, Ramadan is the month when people prepare “iftar” (fast-breaking meals) meticulously, treat each other to iftar meals and buy food packages for the poor. Therefore, Ramadan means more dynamism in the food market.
“Ramadan certainly brings abundance. People have already started shopping for food and there are more types of foods on market shelves; but there is no surprise rise in prices waiting for them,” Cemal Odavişta, a tradesman in Edirne said.
Noting that people buy extra food to fill their tables full with food for the iftar and “sahur” (the last meal eaten before the day’s fasting begins during Ramadan) time, Odavişta said he expects more vegetables will be sold during Ramadan as people will prefer lighter meals during the hot days of July and August. “We are expecting further increases in our sales. I hope we will see our expectations met for this Ramadan,” he added.
Meanwhile, Turkish Tradesmen’s and Artisans’ Confederation (TESK) President Bendevi Palandöken has released an official statement about the markets’ state before Ramadan’s arrival and his anticipations for the upcoming month. He anticipates 30 percent more dynamism in food markets, which means 3 or 4 billion extra TL will flow into food markets.
“Ramadan, known as the month of plenty, means a new period in which there are more sales for tradespeople. Ramadan also differs from other months in terms of the profiles of most preferred food product types. People that normally have quite modest meals attach more significance and care to their meals during Ramadan and try to make their meals appeal both to their taste and to their eyes. For this reason, tradespeople in the food sector are witnessing 30 percent more dynamism during the Ramadan month.”
Palandöken further requested that governmental and private institutions and companies distribute food packages they prepare for the needy in a careful way to avoid showing off to or hurting other people.
Palandöken called the recent rumors that there will be a rise in prices during Ramadan “speculations” and requested people not to pay attention to these speculations. “Tradespeople will not raise prices, but if anyone does this, I recommend not buying anything from those people.”
As a result of Ramadan coinciding with summer months, more celebratory gatherings take place, Association of Event Planning Companies (OFİDER) President Gültekin Tepe has said. “Previously Ramadan was always coinciding with winter months. Event planning companies, which normally have less work during winter, would have almost no work during these Ramadan months in winter. But this year, when Ramadan will be in the middle of summer, more and more services are expected to be ordered to promote Ramadan,” said Tepe, adding that municipalities and malls are event planning companies’ biggest customers. Mass iftar meals organized by municipalities for locals and street festivals, in which clown performances and shadow puppet performances take place in the districts of Eyüp, Eminönü and Üsküdar mark the Ramadan month, noted Tepe, adding, “The perception that Ramadan is the month when trade pauses has been replaced by a perception that it is a month when trading is promoted more.”