Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said that Turkey was an exception to the global financial crisis emerging in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister said that Turkey has been outperforming other countries in "all measures of economic success."
Until a couple of years ago, the Turkish government was proud to be a safe haven for refugees; however, shifting public opinion caused the AKP to lose votes. Iranian freedom fighters are among the ones suffering the consequences.
Opposition İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener has slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's financial policies, accusing him of personally being responsible for the worst decade of Turkish unemployment in the country's history. The opposition leader also criticized the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) for narrowly defining unemployment, only to count individuals who made job applications in the last four weeks.
A recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed Turkey as the leading member country for the portion of youth who are both unemployed and out of school. This number was revealed to be 26.7 percent in February in data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
Former deputy Finance Minister Ali Babacan's Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) said that the Turkish Statistical Institute's (TÜİK) March unemployment data didn't reflect the reality of mass layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic and was inconsistent. The TÜİK data showed a dip in unemployment from 2019, as well as a decrease in employment and workforce participation rates.
No matter how long or short the COVID-19 crisis lasts, a broad range of working masses, but especially the unskilled labor force will be the ones exceedingly affected. They will lose income and their jobs. As a result, inequality will spread on a mass scale and poverty will soar.
A nationwide ban on layoffs will be extended for another three months after mid-July, news broadcaster NTV reported. A new "employment shield" financial aid package is predicted to include continued cash aid to workers on unpaid leave as well as incentives for employers to hire new employees.
The initiative of an industrialists' union in Turkey to hang electronic tracking devices from the necks of workers received harsh criticism from labor unions. The Platform of Istanbul Labor Union called the measure “downright slavery”.
It appears that Turkey’s capital-owning class largely agrees that the pandemic has brought two opportunities. The first has to do with broadening their vast exploitation of labor. The second has to do with obtaining a strategic place in the global supply chain, which is expected to break off from China.
Workloads have increased and working conditions have gotten worse for women in Turkey amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent report by an independent NGO. The problems that working women face include being fired, being put on unpaid leave, not receiving their wages, and having unbearable work loads between their jobs being coupled together with their household tasks.
Turkey has announced additional import tariffs of 30 percent imposed on dozens of goods including household appliances, jewelry, musical instruments and sanitary products.
One out of every four workers in Istanbul has become unemployed due to the coronavirus, according to a report of the main opposition CHP. Some 66.2 percent of the workers in the megacity have also experienced a decline in their wages, the CHP said, basing its report on surveys and field works.
As conditions worsen for the households, prospects get darker. It appears that the first wave of the health crisis will be over soon. Brace yourself for the economic downturn that it will leave its wake. That is of course until the pandemic’s second wave.
A public accountants' union warned that the COVID-19 outbreak could lead to the unemployment of some 10,000,000 persons. The union's report also noted that the service industry has essentially stopped entirely and that more than half of the workers could have become unemployed.
Former deputy prime minister and leader of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) Ali Babacan said that Ankara should swiftly compensate the 55 million people who do not receive money from the government. Some 27 million receive either public salaries or retirement pension, Babacan said.