More than a fourth of Turks say they can’t meet basic needs: survey

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According to a recent survey, 26.6 percent of Turks say they can’t meet their basic living costs, while 54 percent state that they barely do, Turkish media reported on Monday.

Conducted by leading local polling company MetroPoll on 1,752 people in April, the survey showed the number of people who only get by financially rose by 5 percentage points from April of last year.

People who say they can meet all their living needs stood at 17.2 percent of those polled. The figure fell by 8.8 percentage points from April 2020, MetroPoll said.

The COVID-19 pandemic, double-digit inflation and a slump in the lira’s value is hitting living standards in Turkey, putting many people into poverty.

Although the latest TurkStat data show around 4 million unemployed in Turkey, the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK-AR) disputes its accuracy, saying the actual figure is around 10 million.

March 2021 data from the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) show the hunger line, which refers to the amount a family of four has to spend on basic food expenses, to be TL 2,736 ($330.93).

The poverty line, which also includes the cost of rent and utilities for a family of four, is TL 8,912 ($1,077).

Meanwhile, the net minimum wage is TL 2,826 ($341.8), the lowest figure in US dollars for a monthly net minimum wage in the last 11 years. 

Inflation in the country surged to 17.1 percent in April from 16.2 percent in March, according to official data published on May 3. Turkish inflation exceeds annual price increases in all major emerging market economies except crisis-hit Argentina.

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