Unemployment in Turkey dips to 22 month low according to murky state data

Turkey's unemployment rate allegedly dropped to its lowest level in 22 months in September, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported through data that once again raised eyebrows. The data is internally conflicting, as it shows a drop in both unemployment and employment.

Fishermen on Istanbul's Galata Bridge are seen in this file photo.

Duvar English

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) has reported the lowest unemployment rate in 22 months of 12.7 percent in September, raising eyebrows as experts once again slammed the credibility of state data. 

Many analysts noted the internal inconsistencies in TÜİK data, where the numbers show a dip in unemployment at the same time as a two-percent decline in the total number of people with jobs. 

"In the last year unemployment decreased, unemployment rates decreased, employment decreased, employment rates decreased, the workforce shrank, and the working population grew. The question is: find Y!" economics expert Prof. Veysel Ulusoy said. 

Economist Mustafa Sönmez said that TÜİK was once again presenting data based on a narrow definition of unemployment, meaning they didn't include unemployed individuals who were no longer seeking employment because they'd lost hope of finding a job.

"The four million unemployed number is really 9.3 million. The supposed 12.7-percent unemployment rate is really 28 percent," Sönmez said. 

More than 50 percent of the unemployed population in Turkey have been without jobs for more than a year, and half of them for more than two years, according to TÜİK data.

"The population increased, the workforce shrank, employment decreased, and those not included in the workforce increased in number, THE RESULT: the unemployment rate dropped to 12.7 percent! Congratulations TÜİK, only magician David Copperfield could have pulled off something like this," said social security expert Özgür Erdursun.