Turkey's minimum wage falls $70 short of hunger threshold in September

Turkey’s hunger threshold reached 13,334 Turkish liras ($486) in September, surpassing the minimum wage (11,402 liras, $416) three months in a row, data from the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) revealed.

Duvar English

The Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) reported that the hunger threshold in Turkey, signifying the minimum funds required to prevent a four-member family from starving for a month, reached 13,334 Turkish liras ($486) in September which is $70 higher than the minimum wage. 

The hunger threshold surpassed the minimum wage for three consecutive months after the government’s hike. The minimum wage was raised by some 34% to 11,402 lira ($416) for the second half of 2023. The minimum wage also eradicated by $13 in one month due to raging lira depreciation. 

Country’s poverty threshold increased to 43,433 liras ($1,584) in September, four times of 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 17,336 liras.

Kitchen inflation rose by 9.31% on a monthly basis, surged by 84.04% over the past 12 months, and soared to a yearly increase of 106.8%.

From January 2021 to September 2023, the monthly food expenditure for a family of four has increased by 5-fold.

Based on 200 grams of white bread sold for seven liras, the monthly bread cost for a family of four was 735 liras in September.

The union stated, ''The increase in indirect taxes, and the gradual rise in income tax rates in recent months have further eroded the income of wage earners.''