Opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has said that Turkey has experienced the worst unemployment figures in its history in the past decade and this is the fault of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s financial policies.
During her speech at her party’s June 23 parliamentary group meeting, Akşener said that Turkey’s youth unemployment is around 26 percent, with about 30 percent both unemployed and out of school.
“When we switched to the presidential system on July 1, 2018, this number was at 5.6 million people [both unemployed and out of school]. At the end of the first 20 months of the presidency system, it reached 7.9 million people. That’s a 40 percent increase!”
Akşener slammed the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) for their unemployment data as it was highly criticized for its inconsistencies and questionable integrity.
“The son-in-law [of Erdoğan] minister will order a monthly unemployment rate and TÜİK will whip it up. They think that by corrupting data, they can manage public perception and the crisis.”
Akşener noted that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) People’s Alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has been governing for part of the Turkish economy’s decline, and Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak has been Finance Minister for part of it.
“Despite TÜİK’s ‘little touches,’ you have the worst decade of unemployment of the last 60 years on your hands. The worst five years are yours too. The worst three are the presidential system’s, the People’s Alliance’s, your son-in-law’s, and yours, Mr. Erdoğan.”
The İYİ Party leader noted that TÜİK had changed their criteria for measuring unemployment to only include persons who had made an unsuccessful job application in the last four months.
“If you say you haven’t, your life is considered all good. You know why? Because you’re not considered unemployed anymore. You don’t have a job, but at least the government doesn’t think you’re unemployed anymore.”
Akşener said that Turkey’s workforce, an aggregate of the people who are both unemployed and employed, had shrunk by 2.2 million people in the last year.