Turkey’s poverty threshold hits four times minimum wage

Turkey’s poverty threshold reached 44,718 Turkish liras ($1,559) in October and hit roughly four times the minimum wage (11,402 liras, $397) data from the United Metal-İş Research Center (BİSAM) revealed. While the hunger threshold was 12,928 liras ($450), Labor Minister Vedat Işıkhan stated that there were no Turkish citizens experiencing "extreme hunger or poverty."

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The data from the United Metal-İş Research Center (BİSAM) indicated that Turkey’s poverty threshold increased to 44,718 Turkish liras ($1,559) in October, four times the minimum wage (11,402 liras, $397). 

The poverty threshold demonstrates 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 poverty threshold increased by 1,095 TL in solely one month.

The hunger threshold, signifying the minimum funds required to prevent a four-member family from starving for a month, reached 12,928 liras ($450) in October which was $53 higher than the minimum wage. 

The hunger threshold surpassed the minimum wage for four consecutive months after the government’s hike. The minimum wage was also eradicated by $19 in one month due to the raging lira depreciation.

BİSAM also stated that the daily cost of a healthy and balanced diet exceeds 430 liras.

The monthly equivalent of the foods that an adult man should consume for a healthy and balanced diet was 3,538 liras. This value was 3,387 liras for an adult woman, 3,639 liras for a young person aged 15-18, and 2,365 liras for a child aged 4-6.

State-owned Student Loans and Dormitories Institution (KYK) loans and scholarships for undergraduate students is 2,000 liras whereas it is 4,000 liras for Master’s students. 

According to BİSAM's report, the milk and dairy products group constitutes the highest cost group in daily expenditures in September with an requirement of 138 liras. The minimum expenditure amount for meat, chicken, and fish group was 82 liras.

The daily expenditure for vegetables and fruits reached 89 liras while it was 33 liras for bread and 24 liras for oils.

Labor minister claims no one faces extreme hunger or poverty

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Ömer Fethi Gürer on Nov. 16 asked Labour and Social Security Minister Vedat Işıkhan about the situation of those living under the hunger and poverty threshold during the meeting where the budget of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for 2024 was discussed.

Işıkhan responded, "In our country, there is no person working within the scope of minimum wage and living in extreme poverty or below hunger threshold."