A total of 518,000 people in Turkey applied to the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) for unemployment benefits in the first three months after the expiration of pandemic-related labor supports at the end of June, the Sözcü daily reported on Wednesday.
While 518,000 people applied for unemployment benefits in July, August and September, according to İŞKUR data, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits, which was 187,000 in June, increased to 248,168 in July, 324,372 in August and 359,876 in September.
Agency data further showed that while a total of TL 260.8 million ($28.8 million) was spent on unemployment benefits in June, the figure rose to TL 518.4 million (57.3 million) in September.
According to Sözcü, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) has been painting a pretty picture with its recent data on unemployment in Turkey, which said that it increased by only 0.1 percent in a month, reaching 12.1 percent from July to August, while İŞKUR data indicates a surge of more than 500,000 people.
Turkey’s financial troubles have increased since the country was hit by COVID-19 in March 2020, with a sudden surge in the number of suicides and closed businesses, mainly due to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s poor management of the pandemic.