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Poverty line stands at 38,273 Turkish lira, exceeds 3 minimum wages combined

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Turkey’s poverty line, which refers to the total amount a family of four needs to live without feeling deprived of food and other expenses such as rent and utilities, has risen to 38,273 Turkish lira ($1,445), exceeding three minimum wages ($429) combined, according to the Public Service Employees Union (Birleşik KAMU-İŞ), the Bold Medya news website reported Friday.

The poverty line increased by $232 over the past year. Meanwhile, the hunger line, which refers to the amount a family of four has to spend on basic food expenses, has risen by $102 compared to a year ago, according to the union.

Birleşik KAMU-İŞ’s research unit, KAMU-AR, calculates the poverty line by considering the expenditures needed for a family of four to adequately sustain their nutritional needs, along with rent and utilities, all while maintaining their dignity and avoiding a sense of deprivation.

Price hikes have accelerated across sectors, including food, transportation and housing, following the May elections. These increases are contributing to the growing risk of hunger and poverty in Turkey.

Data collected from major supermarkets in Ankara showed that the monthly expenses necessary for a balanced diet including meat, fish and eggs increased by 112 lira ($4) compared to the previous month and 1,842 lira compared to the same month in 2022, reaching 3,658 lira ($138).

In August expenditures for clothing and shoes reached 1,272 lira ($48); housing costs, including rent and utilities, were 4,864 lira ($184); expenses for household items were 3,271 lira ($123); and healthcare costs amounted to 1,083 lira ($41). Various other goods and services expenses were detailed as well.

Inflation has become a pressing issue in Turkey, reaching an annual rate of 47.83 percent in July, according to official data. A recent survey conducted by ASAL research highlights the concern, with 70 percent of Turks identifying inflation as the most serious issue in the country.

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.

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