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Cost of living rises by 80 percent annually in İstanbul

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A survey conducted by the İstanbul Planning Agency (IPA) has revealed that the cost of living in Turkey’s most populous city increased by 80.29 percent in January compared to the same month of 2023.

The IPA, which was established in 2020 under the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, calculated the cost of living in İstanbul for a family of four to be TL 53,058 ($1,729) in January, an increase of TL 21,563 ($722) in comparison to December 2022.

More than 40 percent of Turkey’s workforce earns the minimum wage, which was set by the government this year at TL 17,002 ($554).

Turkey is suffering the worst bout of inflation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s two-decade rule. The official annual inflation rate peaked at 85 percent in October 2022.

After winning re-election in May 2023, Erdoğan appointed a new team of market-friendly economists that was given the freedom to sharply hike its policy rate.

Turkey’s official annual inflation rate ticked up to 64.9 in January, from 64.77 percent in December.

In general, the figures are showing signs of leveling off following a series of sharp interest rate hikes by the new economic team.

Analysts blamed Erdoğan — who has called high interest rates “the mother and father of all evil” — for setting off the inflation spiral by forcing the nominally independent central bank to start slashing borrowing costs in 2021.

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