Turkey’s poverty threshold hits nearly three times of new minimum wage

Turkey’s hunger threshold was 14,431 liras ($485) while the poverty threshold exceeded 47,000 liras ($1,578) in December 2023, according to the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş). The new minimum wage to be implemented at the end of January was set to 17,000 liras ($571).

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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 (hunger threshold) increased to 14,431 Turkish liras ($485), according to the results of Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions’ (Türk-İş) research for December 2023.

The total amount of food expenditures and other compulsory monthly expenditures for clothing, housing (rent, electricity, water, fuel), transport, education, health, and similar needs (poverty line) increased to 47,009 liras ($1,578) and the cost of living of a single employee increased to 18,796 liras ($631) per month.

The increase in the minimum expenditure amount that a family of four living in Ankara should make for food was 2.89 percent compared to the previous month. The twelve-month rate of change was 77.50 percent.

While the former minimum wage implemented was 14,402 liras ($483), the minimum wage for whole 2024 was determined as 17,002 liras ($571) with a 49% increase. The poverty threshold hit nearly three times of the new minimum wage.

The workers will receive their updated salaries at the end of January. While the new minimum wage was 578 dollar when it was announced on Dec. 27, it eroded by seven dollar in one week due to severe depreciation of lira before the workers receive their salaries.

Turkey's official statistical authority, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), reported the annual inflation rate as 64,77% for 2023 and a monthly inflation rate of 2.93% in December.