11 million people in Turkey qualify for state financial aid, report finds

According to Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Services, the number of people who qualified for state financial support rose to 11.37 million in 2021 from 4.4 million in 2020.

Duvar English

11.37 million people in Turkey, or over 13% of the country’s population, received state financial support in 2021, daily Sözcü said, citing a report by the Ministry of Family and Social Services. This was up 2.58 times from 4.4 million in 2020.

According to the Ministry’s report, 2.83 million households qualified for state aid in 2021, up from 1.15 million households in 2020.

However, the amount allocated per household did not increase at the same level as the number of people living in poverty spiked. 69 billion liras were allocated to households at an average of 572 liras per household per month in 2020, while in 2021 that amount was just 552 liras. This is despite record-high levels of inflation and skyrocketing costs of basic goods in Turkey. 

The number of people living in extreme poverty also increased in 2021. While in 2020, 23,498 people lived in houses considered too old or decrepit to be inhabited, in 2021 30,363 people were living in such conditions. This 29% increase indicates the wave of poverty that has struck Turkey due to a mismanaged economy, sky-high inflation, record-high foreign exchange rates, and the rise in the price of goods and supplies such as liquefied natural gas and cooking oil.

This poverty has hit young people particularly hard. While last year 42,000 children in primary and secondary school qualified for state support, including essential goods such as stationery, school aprons, and bags, that number more than tripled to 132,000 children this year. A further 141,000 children were provided for by the state because their families could not.