A surprise tax hike hits motorists and smokers.

The Turkish Government increased taxes on fuel and cigarettes with effect from Saturday. Normally tax increases occur on 1 January each year but the Turkish Government has implemented an in year increase, we guess, now that the election earlier this year is a dim and distant memory.  The special consumption tax on a litre of fuel was increased from 1.36 YTL to 1.48 YTL, an 8.8% increase. The same tax on cigarettes increased from 1.40 YTL to 1.50 YTL. Following the tax increase a litre of unleaded fuel at the pumps costs around 3.07 YTL and LPG 1.68 YTL.

The tax increase on fuel couldn’t have come a worse time for Turkish transport users. The price of oil is already at a world high and will shortly filter through into the price at the pumps. If converted to the GBP (£) the price of a litre of unleaded fuel in Turkey is now £1.34 at current exchange rates and is the highest in Europe. In comparison the UK average price is 97.1p per litre.

Watch out for another increase on 1 January 2008.