Turkish labor minister rules out second minimum wage hike in 2024

Turkish Labor and Social Security Minister Vedat Işıkhan has ruled out the second minimum wage hike in 2024 amid tight monetary policy despite the last two year’s practice.

Duvar English

Turkish Labor and Social Security Minister Vedat Işıkhan on April 17 stated that there would not be a second hike in the minimum wage in 2024.

Responding to a journalist during the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Işıkhan said regarding the second hike that “We have no such agenda. We will continue as we decided at the beginning.”

Işıkhan’s remarks align with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's statement in December 2023. “As you already know, the minimum wage increase is made once a year. We have never subjected our citizens to inflation and we will not do so,” Erdoğan said and added that they will increase it once at the beginning of the year.

The Turkish government increased the minimum wage twice in 2022 and 2023 in July amid the soaring inflation and cost of living crisis as well as as an investment for the 2023 elections.

After the 2023 elections, Ankara's annual "medium-term programme" set a milestone in a broader policy U-turn summer after Erdoğan named a new cabinet and central bank chief. Since June, the new central bank has raised the interest rates from 8.5 percent to 50 percent, so far. 

Despite the loss of the AKP in the 2024 local elections for the first time in its 23-year history, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek and Erdoğan reiterated the continuation of tight monetary policy.

After the election loss, Erdoğan said they did not implement election economics in the last term, and “stayed away from all kinds of populist steps.”

In January 2024, the government increased the minimum wage by 49 percent to 17,002 Turkish liras. Since then the wage was eroded by about 56 dollars.