Coronavirus test prices in Turkey rise 130 percent, prompting diaspora profiteering criticism

The Turkish government's decision to raise the price of coronavirus tests by 130 percent prompted criticism of laying the financial burden of the pandemic at the Turkish diaspora's door, since they are obliged to pay for their own tests when returning to some European countries, Cumhuriyet reported on Thursday.

Turkey was charging 110 liras ($15) for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test until Aug. 14 when the price rose to 250 liras ($34) with the government's decision. 

"While talking about single-digit numbers in inflation, raising test prices for Turkish diaspora is pandemic opportunism," Cumhuriyet cited main opposition Republican People's Party deputy Utku Çakırözer as saying.

He said charging Turks living abroad for coronavirus test is against the principle of equality in the Turkish law since Turks residing in the country are provided free tests.

Germany, home to the largest Turkish diaspora community of over three million people, obliges arrivals from countries designated as high-risk over the COVID-19 coronavirus to take tests before they return.