The Turkish government has shown that it may have a mind-boggling distance from reality during the reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Authoritarian regimes have a long history of interfering in official statistics. When data is made inaccessible or when data is not real, then a different type of politics begins.
Dinçer Demirkent writes: While the state of emergency has ended, its effects are permanent. Rather than instating that the AKP-MHP cannot govern, we ought to generate an effective opposition strategy and cease to assume Turkey is still a democracy. We are in need of a paradigm shift.
Perpetrators, now, know that no matter what they do, they will not be punished. They will walk free; at worst, they will be sentenced to the minimum penalty. They know how to convey certain messages to certain people. The worst part is that it is the government that taught them these clues over time.
Turkey's unemployment rate rose to 13.4 percent. and participation edged up in the May-July period in which a coronavirus lockdown was lifted and a ban on layoffs remained in place, data showed on Sept. 10, painting a clearer picture of the pandemic's fallout.
Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) data revealed that seasonally adjusted unemployment in May rose by 0.2 percent from May 2019. Some 4,166,000 people reported unemployment in May.
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.