Turkey’s hunger threshold surpasses 20,000 liras for first time

Turkey's hunger threshold rose to 20,098 Turkish liras ($625), while the poverty threshold reached 57,280 liras ($1,782) in March, according to the Birleşik Kamu-İş labor unions confederation. The minimum wage fell below the hunger threshold after the first two months of 2024.

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Turkey's hunger threshold increased by 1,125 Turkish  liras in March compared to the previous month to 20,098 liras ($625) and exceeded the 20,000 limit for the first time, according to the Birleşik Kamu-İş labor unions confederation’s research.

The hunger threshold denotes the monthly food expenditure amount that a family of four living in the capital Ankara should make in order to have a healthy and balanced diet.

The government determined the minimum wage for 2024 as 17,002 liras ($529) which fell below the hunger threshold after two paychecks. The minimum wage has eroded by nearly 50 dollars after its initial announcement on Dec. 27, 2023.

The poverty threshold, indicating the total amount of food and other expenditures that a family of four should make in order to live without feeling deprived, rose by 4,905 liras in March to 57,280 liras ($1,782).

The amount of expenditure required for a family of four to meet their needs except food "without feeling deprived" also climbed to 37,182 liras in March.

In the last one year period, the hunger threshold increased by 9,207 liras, the expenditure required for needs except food increased by 18,524 liras, and the poverty threshold increased by 27,731 liras.

According to the prices compiled from the most frequently shopped grocery stores in Ankara, the amount to be spent monthly on meat, fish, and eggs for a balanced diet increased by 527 liras in March compared to the previous month and by 2,770 liras annually to 5,740 liras.

The amount to be spent for bread, flour, and pasta has increased by 89 liras since the beginning of the year and 432 liras in a year, reaching 1,498 liras.

Compared to the same month of last year, the money to be spent for fruit increased by 1,452 liras to 2,167 liras, and the expenditure on vegetables increased by 1,398 liras to 2,797 liras.

In March, expenditures for clothing and footwear for a family of four surged to 1,663 liras. Housing costs, including rent, climbed to 8,466 liras, while household goods expenditures reached 4,752 liras, and health expenses climbed to 1,606 liras. 

Transport costs reached 11,782 liras, while communication expenses rose to 1,166 liras. Spending on entertainment and culture reached 1,139 liras, with education expenses at 721 liras and holiday and hotel expenditures totaling 3,859 liras.