A main opposition lawmaker said that 1,143 university graduates were among 5,217 people who applied for nine cleaning staff positions in Turkey’s southeastern Adıyaman province, highlighting the rising unemployment in the country, according to a report by the Cumhuriyet daily on Friday.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry recently opened nine janitorial positions in Adıyaman through the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), the report said, adding that a total of 5,217 people applied for the positions in just four days.
Abdurrahman Tutdere, the Republican People’s Party (CHP)’s Adıyaman deputy, on Friday told Cumhuriyet that 1,143 university graduates, including 156 with bachelor’s degrees and 987 with associate degrees, were among the applicants.
”This is a result of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s [AKP] 18-year rule. No matter how hard they try to change it, poverty and unemployment are at the top of the agenda for the citizens of Turkey,” Tutdere said.
“According to Turkish Statistical Institute [TurkStat] data, there are at least 3,861,000 unemployed in the country. Adıyaman even has Turkey’s one and only ‘Association of the Unemployed,’ which is tragicomic,” he added.
According to the latest data provided by TurkStat, financial problems-related suicides went from 7.3 percent of overall suicides in 2018 to 9.4 percent in 2019.
Despite the suicides and deeply felt poverty, Turkey responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering cheap loans instead of directly supporting individuals and businesses, leading to a sharp increase in loans while thousands of businesses had to close their doors.
According to the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), in the first 10 months of 2020 a total of 12,206 companies shut down, representing an 11 percent increase over the same period of the previous year, while the number of individually owned businesses that closed rose by 14.39 percent, to 19,665.
A report by the SOL (Left) Party released on Friday showed that a total of 728,000 people have become unemployed in Turkey within the last year.