Female vendor at district market: We will starve if we do not work

Sultan Sena has been working as a vendor at a weekly district market for 15 years despite her advanced age due to rising cost of living. “Erdoğan raises the prices of products even more. Everything will be worse.”


Amed- In Turkey, where the economic crisis is deepening day by day, the number of people in extreme poverty rises every day. The increase in cost prices and inflation rates also raises food prices. Women going to weekly vegetable markets return home empty-handed. Sultan Sena, who has been selling chili powder at a weekly district market in Amed (Diyarbakır), is one of those who cannot make both ends meet due to the economic crisis. She told us that she works to pay her rent and bills. “We will starve if we do not work,” she said.

 She sells chili powder at the market

Sultan Sena sells chili powder at the market set up every Thursday in Amed’s Bağlar district. She makes great efforts to make chili powder and sell it. Sultan Sena, who lives with her husband, has been working both in the field and in the market for years. Despite her advanced age, she has to work to make both ends meet. She plants and grows paprika in Urfa’s Viranşehir district. “I plant, grow and dry them alone. After making chili powder, I put it in small plastic bags and sell them at the market. At first, people were shocked when they saw a woman selling chili powder at the market, but they got used to it. Being your own boss is better than being someone else's employee. I work here without depending on anyone.”

 ‘I work to survive’

Sultan Sena likes working but sometimes she faces difficulties. “If I do not work, no one will look after me. I have to work to buy bread,” she said, “When we get older, no one will take care of us. If you do not have money, no one will take care of you. I spend all my earnings to pay bills. If my husband and I do not work, we will starve. I am sick but I keep working not to starve. I work to survive.”

‘Erdoğan will continue to rises the prices of products’

Drawing attention to the rising price hikes, Sultan Sena said, “Erdoğan has already raised the prices of all products. No matter how hard we work, our earnings are not enough for us. 260 grams of bread is sold for 10 TL (Turkish Lira). A kilogram of tomato is sold for 20 TL. These days are our good days. Everything will be worse. If I do not work, we will starve, we will be evicted from our house, we will have no water and electricity. We will not be able to find even a tent to stay in.”