Poverty on the rise in Turkey as food prices soar, says TURK-IS report

THE RATE of poverty has massively gone up in Turkey in recent months as the country continues to battle a lack of economic growth and the shedding of jobs across several industries.

The Turkish Lira is also weakening against major, foreign currencies.

The hunger limit has increased by 20 Turkish Lira and reached to 2028 Lira, according to the Turkish Confederation of Workers’ Unions (TURK-IS).

TURK-IS gave an example of how a four-member family needs 2028 Lira for food expenditure so that they have sufficient nutrition. The report shows how inflation on basic foods has risen by one percent monthly, meaning in total it was 23.97% in the last year.

According to the Union’s data, a family’s expenditure has increased by 392 Lira, compared to last year’s February prices. Since the beginning of the year, families in Turkey spent 88 Lira more on food compared to the last year.

“Price increases on basic foods, which have a significant weight on monthly expenditures of wage workers, low-income earners, and the fixed income employee negatively affect the purchasing power. In particular, the Turkish government tried to settle the price increases seen in vegetables through ‘Tanzim’, the method of selling food products directly to the public, but the government couldn’t control the market yet.”

“The Turkish government also lost the positive impact of the ‘full-fledge war on inflation’ in the food market,” said the Union. TURK-IS’ report, prepared after research was done in Ankara, also shows how the poverty line has reached to 6609 and the cost of living of a single employee is 2478 Lira.

The report indicates how soaring food prices impact the daily life of Turks as the hunger limit increased from 1637 Lira to 2009 lira and poverty line skyrocketed from 5331 Lira to 6543 Lira, since last February.

The report further said: “Although the price of milk and yogurt remained the same, the cheese package was previously weighed one kg but now reduced to 800 grams. The average vegetable price per kilogram, which was calculated as 7.00 Lira with an increase of 25.90 percent last month, has increased by 4.71 % and reached 7.33 Lira this month.

“The average fruit price per kilogram reached is now at 4.64 Lira with an increase of 4.74 Lira. The fresh fruit and vegetable prices also increased sharply from 6.22 Lira to 6.58 since the last month.”

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