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Hunger line continues to exceed Turkey’s minimum wage in November: labor union

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Data released by a leading labor union in Turkey on Tuesday showed the hunger line, which refers to the amount a family of four has to spend on basic food expenses, to be TL 14,025 ($484) in November, again exceeding the minimum wage, which is 11,402 lira, currently valued at $394.

In November, the total amount a family of four needs to live without feeling deprived of food and the money required to pay other expenses such as rent and utilities – referred to as the poverty line – also increased, reaching TL 45,686 ($1,579), according to Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş) figures.

The poverty line is determined based on various factors including the cost of education, health, housing, heating and transportation, representing the necessary expenditures a family incurs to avoid deprivation.

This latest data from Türk-İş marks an increase from October’s figures, where the hunger and poverty lines were documented by the union at TL 13,684 ($472) and TL 44,573 (1,540), respectively. It offers insight into the climbing cost of living Turkish families face, highlighting a persistent trend of economic hardship in the nation.

Inflation has become a pressing issue in Turkey, reaching an annual rate of 61.3 percent in October, according to official data.

Over the past several years the country has been suffering from a deteriorating economy, with high inflation and unemployment, as well as a poor human rights record. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is criticized for mishandling the economy, emptying the state’s coffers and establishing one-man rule in the country where dissent is suppressed and opponents are jailed on politically motivated charges.

The lira, which traded at 28.9 to the US dollar on Tuesday, has weakened 35 percent so far this year.

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