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Erdoğan admits minimum wage, pension hikes fall short amid inflation surge

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has acknowledged that recent increases in the minimum wage and pension payments have failed to keep pace with the rapid surge in inflation, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

High prices remain an important topic ahead of local elections scheduled for this Sunday.

Speaking during an campaign rally in the central province of Aksaray on Tuesday, Erdoğan admitted that the increases in the minimum wage and pension payments can’t compensate for the surge in inflation.

“Just like everywhere else in the world, we are grappling with the soaring cost of living caused by debilitating inflation. In an environment of high inflation, whatever we offer seems to disappear into a bottomless pit,” the president said.

He noted that his government’s priority is to reduce inflation.

“As inflation starts to decrease in the second half of the year, we will feel more at ease. We need to get inflation under control. We have a program that will succeed in achieving this,” Erdoğan added.

The country has been trapped in a vicious cycle of rising prices and a falling currency for several years.

Erdoğan regularly promises a return to “single-digit inflation” and has agreed to interest rate hikes by the central bank to control prices despite his past objections to such a policy.

According to official figures, Turkey’s inflation rate soared to 67 percent in February.

A group of independent economists from Turkey’s Inflation Research Group (ENAG), however, estimated a 122 percent rise in prices in real terms in February compared to a year earlier.

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