The hunger threshold in Turkey — a metric indicating the minimum cost of food for a family of four — has reached 14,542 Turkish lira ($534), exceeding the monthly minimum wage by nearly 3,000 lira, according to data released by the Public Service Employees Union (Birleşik KAMU-İŞ).
The union’s research unit, KAMU-AR, revealed that the hunger threshold increased from 13,701 Turkish lira ($503) in August to 14,542 Turkish lira in September. This rise puts further strain on families struggling to make ends meet on the minimum wage of 11,402 Turkish lira ($419).
The monthly expenses necessary for a balanced diet that includes meat, fish, and eggs increased by 390 lira over the previous month. The cost of dry legumes alone saw a rise of 19 Turkish lira in the same period.
Turkey is grappling with soaring inflation, which reached 85 percent last year and was recorded as almost 60 percent annually last month.
Birleşik KAMU-İŞ uses these thresholds to measure the minimum amount a four-person family needs to spend to maintain a balanced diet and cover other essential expenses. The data serves as a critical barometer for gauging the economic health of the average Turkish family.
The spike in the hunger threshold is part of a larger economic crisis affecting Turkey, marked by high inflation and unemployment. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan faces criticism for economic mismanagement and the suppression of dissent, including the jailing of opponents on politically motivated charges.