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Hunger line surpasses Turkey’s minimum wage in July: labor union

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Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş) data released on Monday showed the hunger line, which refers to the amount a family of four has to spend on basic food expenses, to be TL 11,658 ($432) in July, overtaking the minimum wage, which was raised 34 percent earlier this month to a net 11,402 lira, $483 at the time but currently valued at $423.

The minimum wage, expected to be deposited into accounts today, was equal to $483 when it was raised by 34 percent on July 1, but had fallen to $423 by the end of the month due to rapid depreciation of Turkish lira against the dollar. The lira, which traded at 26.9 to the US dollar on Monday, has weakened 30 percent so far this year.

The poverty line, which also includes the cost of rent and utilities for a family of four, is TL 37,974 ($1,408), according to Türk-İş figures.

According to Türk-İş data, the hunger line was TL 10,373 ($384) and the poverty line was TL 33,789 ($1,253) last month.

Over the past several years Turkey has been suffering from a deteriorating economy, with high inflation and unemployment, as well as a poor human rights record. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is criticized for mishandling the economy, emptying the state’s coffers and establishing one-man rule in the country where dissent is suppressed and opponents are jailed on politically motivated charges.

The lira, which traded at 26.9 to the US dollar on Monday, has weakened 30 percent so far this year.

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