Turkey's hunger threshold hits above 3,000 liras amid deteriorating economy

The hunger line for a family of four in Turkey reached 3,191 liras in November, while the poverty threshold rose to 10,396 liras, data from the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) revealed.

This file photo shows people walking on Istanbul's İstiklal Avenue.

Duvar English

Turkey’s biggest trade union confederation Türk-İş has calculated the hunger threshold – which indicates the minimum amount of money needed to save a four-member family from starvation a month – as 3,191 liras for November. This amount is above the monthly minimum wage of 2,826 liras a month, which is currently being discussed to be increased for the new year.

As for the poverty threshold, it increased above the 10,000 liras-mark for the first time, reaching 10,396 liras. The poverty threshold indicates the money needed for a family of four to feed itself sufficiently and healthily, and it also covers the expenditures on basic necessities such as clothing, rent, electricity, water, transportation, education and health.

In its report titled “Hunger and Poverty,” the Türk-İş said that the monthly food expenses of a family four had increased by 98 liras in November compared to the previous month and by 675 liras compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, monthly living expenses for a single person total 3,902 liras, nearly 40 percent over the minimum wage.

The Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry's 15-person commission will start negotiations for 2022 minimum wages in December with the participation of state officials and union representatives.

The cost of living expenses in Turkey are expected to become even more painful in the coming months amid the local currency's sharp depreciation. It is no longer just the low-income families who suffer from the currency crash, but the middle class too.

Rejecting to put on any responsibility for the lira's collapse, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this week said that the country was in a "war of economic independence."