Turkish civil servants applying to move away from metropolises amid skyrocketing rents, says union

Amid skyrocketing rent prices in Turkey, the number of civil servants looking to move away from metropolises to smaller cities has tripled this year compared to the previous years, said the president of a leading public sector union.  

Duvar English

The number of Turkish public servants who have filed applications to transfer from metropolises to other cities has increased this year by about three times compared to the previous years, according to statistics shared by Memur-Sen (Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions).

Memur-Sen president Yusuf Yazgan said that this was the result of the exorbitant increases in rent prices in metropolises. Yazgan warned that such a situation will cause the “public cadres to decrease” in metropolises and most probably cause problems in the functioning of the public system.

“Rent prices are beyond 5,000 liras in (capital) Ankara. In (the western province of İzmir), they have exceeded 6,000 liras and in Istanbul 7,000 liras. If we consider that the average salary of a public servant is 10,000 liras, our colleagues living in metropolises don’t have money left for other items such as food and education,” he was quoted as saying by broadcaster NTV.

Calling on the government to give compensation to public servants living in metropolises, Yazgan said: “It should be at least the case that half of the rent prices of public servants should be covered (by the state). This issue of compensation should be discussed with the unions and then finalized (by the state).”

Soaring housing prices and rents have left Turks in a difficult situation this year, with several of them unable to pay their rents and forced to move out.

The parliament in June passed a new regulation limiting rent increases to a maximum of 25 percent for a year until July 2023, but experts have pointed out that there is a need for a deep-rooted solution to the housing crisis.