Senior official signals minimum wage could be adjusted again this year

Presidential official Nihat Zeybekci has said circumstances created by high inflation have raised the need to consider an adjustment to the national minimum wage again this year.

Duvar English

Nihat Zeybekci, a member of the presidency’s economic policies team and former economy minister, has said the national minimum wage could be adjusted again this year as wages melt in the face of soaring consumer prices.

“There needs to be a serious struggle. Measures need to be taken to raise our people’s wages. If necessary, the minimum wage should be looked into mid-year in Turkey,” he said on a local TV channel on March 17, adding that the circumstances created by inflation have raised the need to consider another hike.

Previously, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy chair Cahit Özkan said there could be a raise in minimum wage twice.

Turkey’s staggering inflation is crushing the wages of millions of Turkish citizens. The country recorded a record-high annual inflation rate of 54.4 percent in February, fueled by a crash in the lira last year and soaring commodity prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The first months of this year were marked by worker protests at several companies where employees demanded wages to be increased in line with the inflation rate.

At the start of 2022, the Turkish government raised the monthly national minimum wage by 50 percent, reaching 4,250 liras ($287).