A little background about me: I have been living in Turkiye for a few years, and as someone who earns foreign currency, inflation should be fine - things theoretically should become cheaper, right? But in reality, it's an illusion, it also causes you to spend more in different ways.

I often think to myself, how come a self-sufficient country like Turkiye suffers such big inflation? I asked many locals but got different answers; some said it was due to bad management from politicians, some said it was due to many imported goods, some said it was due to oil, etc. Maybe nobody knows? But one thing for sure is that thanks to the massive money printing 🖨️

Here is what I learned during inflation:

1. Imported products are getting way more expensive than local goods.

This should be easy to understand. Generally, any non-local products are more expensive than the local ones; for example, in istanbul,  a cup of latter is 90 TL ( about 7k sats ) when a normal Turkish coffee is only 50 TL ( about 4k sats ), or the window hanger that came from Germany costs five times more than the local ones.

2. The rate of price increases is DIFFERENT with the inflation rate.

I've learned this is the main reason it's causing me to spend more: the inflation-adjusted price differs from the inflation rate and varies from merchant to merchant.

Generally, the price increases way more in istanbul than in other cities; One example to help you understand how "crazy" inflation there is, there was a cafe I used to go to, it usually had prices written on the wall, but since summer 2021, they don't want to bother updating the prices each week, so the price list on the wall is EMPTY since then.

But one interesting thing I've observed is why some shops barely increased or just a little, yet some are a lot, which makes sense if the products themselves have something to do with foreign materials or labor. But then you got some products that are clearly all locally produced yet have increased a lot, so I got the feeling some people are like, let's increase the price, it is inflation time anyway, so I see it as a good chance to see which local shops are being honest.

3. Everywhere is Encouraging you to Spend More

Discounts and promotions are virtually everywhere, with things "look" cheaper, but mostly with worse quality, easily leading to many unwise purchasers.

There is a big shopping mall around the place where I used to live, and I always saw people with many shopping bags with them and long queues; this is definitely something I didn't expect - inflation encouraging people to spend more, many young Turks would apply for more credit cards to spend the money now and then pay it back later because things are getting more expensive, it is better to buy them NOW - spending the money that you don't even have, so people need to work harder or even being stuck in a job they hate and with this debt in the head, one must find it hard to have the time and mind to learn any new skills.

4. Inflation Polluted Kindness

Turks' hospitality is unbeatable, yet if you come to istanbul, you might be seen as an ATM, especially in the touristy area, like some people would be kind to you so to charge you MORE when you are the least unexpected; I guess due to people are more stressed in cities, facing the constantly increasing rent and food ( don't get me wrong, most people in Istanbul still way nicer comparing with other big cities, you just need to be a bit careful, because money do change people )

But once you go further into Anatolia, you will experience REAL Turkish culture and be spoiled by kindness - even those who don't own much yet are so happy to share everything they have with you.

5. Fiat Money Destroys Craftsmanship

I've been hanging out with different craftsmen for a while. One of the saddest things I've learned is that many Usta ( masters ) told me that it is harder and harder to find apprentices, and young people lack patience these days and don't want to learn because it takes such a long time to master any crafts and also hard to make money with it, most young rather work in an office these days, which means many traditional crafts will go extinct in 30 - 50 years.

I recently adventured into a waving village in Anatolia, which has more than 1000 years of waving history, but after checking around, I've discovered something SHOCKING.

  • There are roughly only 6 craftsmen left in the whole village still doing the traditional way of hand-loom waving, and all elderly people and they don't do this for money but out of love and to keep the craft alive, and one of the craftsmen I met he even need to do a fiat job so to support his craft.
  • The resellers are making way more money than the makers, which is unfair and strange - why the ones doing all the hard work but not getting the biggest reward?
  • Manufacturers compete on price rather than quality, leading to many mixing bad materials.

In a consumption world where speed and productivity are everything, craftsmanship is often ignored and even forgotten, but these traditional crafts are one of the few things that still connect us to the past.

How do Turkish people Solve the Inflation Problem?

You might be wondering how Turkish people solve this problem, and here is what I've observed:

  • The ones with money would buy houses, land, cars, or gold but generally prefer gold.
  • Young Turks prefer to work in Europe or the USA.
  • Some people managed to earn other currencies while living here.
  • Young people are more open to learning about Bitcoin but mostly see it as an investment instead of just money - something you can trade with others. The same answer I was getting repeatedly is that Bitcoin is too volatile, gold is the best, or I don't trust "virtual currency " whenever I talk to noncoiners.

My Way to Dance with Inflation

Many places are going through inflation at different levels at the moment, I am happy to share my solutions - I can't fix the world, but I can change myself.

1. Leveraging the Currency

One simple way is to earn a strong currency but spend weaker ones.

For example, I'm earning US dollars and trying to earn BTC while spending mostly Turkish lira, which gives me a great amount of currency leverage and makes my money worth more.

2. Living a Simple Life

The past year has been many changes for me -  I moved closer to nature and stopped consuming junk; I even wrote down everything I need to maintain a healthy life ( surprisingly not much ), so the cheat code is slowly leveling up / crafting each of them instead of constantly being told what you need to buy.

Then, you have all the time and attention to work on what truly matters.

3. Storing Money in Bitcoin

I have stored most of my money in Bitcoin since last year; not only did it help me be more mindful about my spending, but to my surprise, this decision changed me from a consumer to a maker; if I want to have anything new, either I figure out how to do it or find the right person to make it together. Generally, I want to be more involved in everything I own, I need to make sure all my sats are well spent.

Honestly, It made me feel guilty whenever I needed to exchange Bitcoin for fiat, so I started pilling the shops I always go and only paying for the things I really needed to minimize the GUILT.

4. Getting Things from the Source

I used to like searching for nice brands made in the EU or USA, but then I found out that many of them are actually made in Turkiye, or at least the materials are sourced from here, so why don't I get things from the source? 🤔

This sudden awakening led me to another adventure - crafts hunting; why would I spend so much money on factory-produced brands when I can directly connect with the makers and find the best straight from the source? Not only do I cut out all the unnecessary middlemen, but I also have more freedom to make things the way I like! I spent some time traveling to different places to meet craftsmen since most don't even have websites or numbers to contact, nor do they speak any English, so meeting in person is the way. And I've come to realize that the best products actually come from the people who LOVE making them, so the cheat code is getting products from these people, but the real problem is these types of people are really hard to come by; you really need to do the work to dig!

Here are some of the beautiful products I've made with different people last year, and it's still continuing:)

5. Keep Stacking Skills and Creating

I've been working online for more than six years and learned quite some digital skills, which led to me even run my Bitcoin node without any tech background; But I started to get interested in hand skills last year, as I always admire people who can make things from scratch with their bare hands.

One of the perks of living in Turkiye is there are so many traditional arts and crafts to explore, so I started taking some courses and playing around. For example, I couldn't find any art piece I liked, so I learned Ebru and Calligraphy; Or I once saw a beautiful notebook in a book blinding museum, but I couldn't find anything close to that beauty anywhere, so I found a master to teach me to make mine, and so satisfying.

What I'm trying to say is the more skills you have, the less you need to depend on anyone, because over-dependence causes misery. One of the most important things I've learned during my Bitcoin journey is that you don't even need much money in the first place if you are self-sufficient.

Yet many people think that they need A LOT of money to be free; no, you can't buy freedom, you need to earn it, and the better formula is skills + knowledge + self-responsibility + Bitcoin = freedom.


Living through communism and censorship during my youth helped me to understand Bitcoin. Now, with experiencing soaring inflation firsthand, I hope my experience helps more people to understand why we need to use Bitcoin, to have the freedom to live the life you truly want instead of being dicked around - imagine working so hard your entire life, but then one day, "all your money" is worth nothing, and you no longer have the energy and time to work anymore. I've met quite some elderly people who are already retired but need to go back to work because of the inflation and  they need the money to support their families.

You might not want that happen to you, and now is the best time to THINK and learn how to avoid that.

Updated bonus - here is the art of choosing shops or services in Turkiye

  • The worst tier is those tailored to foreign tourists - if a shop has English only, staying away is the way.
  • The second worst are those tailored to foreigners or high-earning locals, oh these are the real sharks! for example, I used to live in an apartment in the European side of istanbul, and I remember the management fee used to be 700tl/month in 2021, and the fee was 3600tl/ monthly in 2023 on top of many other fees - these modern apartments are such a scam, everything is centralized and has many forced subscriptions.
  • The good but average ones are normally in Turkish only, these are everywhere once you are out of tourist areas.
  • The Great ones are those loved by locals - simply do some homework or ask around. Generally, there are old shops around the old town, and many of them are small family businesses, great quality but amazing price, I often think are they doing charity?
  • The REAl gem: the quiet craftsmen and makers who spent all their life crafting for one thing! Not only it's reasonably priced ( YES! Surprised! ) and such delightful experiences, not rushy, no sales tactic, no fancy packaging, but damn good quality ( once you tasted it, you can't go back ); it's quite hard to find tho, my secret solution is I do my researches from Turkish sources, ask around locals and travel all the way to meet them.