Turkey's hunger threshold surpasses minimum wage two months in row

Turkey’s hunger threshold reached 12,198 Turkish liras ($459) in August, surpassing the minimum wage (11,402 liras, $429) two months in a row, data from the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) revealed.

Duvar English

Turkey’s hunger threshold, which indicates the minimum amount of money needed to save a four-member family from starvation a month, became 12,198 Turkish liras ($459) in August, according to the monthly report by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş). 

The hunger threshold surpassed the minimum wage for two consecutive months after the government’s hike. The minimum wage was raised by some 34% to 11,402 lira ($429) for the second half of 2023.

Country’s poverty threshold increased to 39,733 liras in July, more than three times the minimum wage. The poverty threshold indicates the money needed for a family of four to feed itself sufficiently and healthily, and it also covers expenditures on basic necessities such as clothing, rent, electricity, water, transportation, education, and health.

The cost of living of a single employee, on the other hand, reached 15,813 liras ($595)

Food inflation continues to affect Turkey

The rise in the minimum expenditure required by a family of four in the capital Ankara for food was reported at 4.63 percent in comparison to the previous month. The cumulative increase over the past 12 months was also computed at 77.04 percent.

During August, there was a 12 percent rise in milk prices, a 14 percent increase in yoghurt prices, and a 26 percent surge in cheese prices. Private label milk prices reached 21.5 TL/L and cheese 117.5 TL/kilo.

Calculated on the basis of 200 gram white bread sold for 6.5 TL in Ankara, the monthly bread cost of a family of four was 682.5 TL.

The average price per kg of vegetables was 25.50 TL and the average price per kg of fruit was 34.69 TL.

Within a month, olive oil, butter, margarine and sunflower oil saw price increases of 24%, 22%, 8% and 5%, respectively. The price of private label sunflower oil reached 40 TL/kg and butter 220 TL/kg. Olive oil exports were suspended until 1 November due to rapidly increasing domestic prices (average of 251 TL).

Salt experienced a 20 percent price increase, while jam saw a 15 percent rise, honey and sugar both went up by 13 percent, and tea prices rose by 3 percent.

Despite the Turkey's new economic administration's claims over how their U-turn to orthodox policies would curb inflation, the country's long-standing inflation problem has not yet improved.