Erdogan reduced Turkey to hunger, poverty limit exceeds 4 times the minimum wage
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the crazy military missions abroad, the Erdogan’s waste of public money to finance extremist groups and media propaganda campaigns in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood,Turkey’s poverty limit exceeds 4 times the minimum wage.
In its last report, Household Labor Force Survey, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) the total number of unemployed in the country among over 15-year-olds has reached 3,971,000, a 573,000 decrease compared to the same period of last year but economic experts, analyzing the data in details, found out that the government manipulated the report in an effort to hide the COVID-19’s impact on the economy as social opposition grows in the working class to the Erdogan’s response.
The institution’s definition of unemployment also helps hide the rapid growth of joblessness. To count a person as an unemployed, TurkStat requires that he or she has to have looked for a job without finding one in the previous month. So, those who have lost hope of finding a job are not considered unemployed. On June 10, after the research of TurkStat publication, the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey Research Center (DİSK-AR) released a report based on International Labor Organization (ILO) methods, refuting Turk Stat’s figures.
The “June 2020 Unemployment and Employment Report: The COVID-19 Earthquake in Employment” stressed that TurkStat’s unemployment data does not reflect the truth. It also states that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to at least 6 million job losses in Turkey and that the number of unemployed using a broader definition exceeds 13 million. The revised broadly defined Turkish unemployment rate has become 39 percent.
Hundreds of thousands of workers who have been forced to take unpaid leave receive only 1,170 Turkish liras (about US$172) per month from the state unemployment fund. This corresponds to less than half of Turkey’s minimum wage of 2,325 TL (about US$343). According to the research conducted each month by the pro-government Türk-İş union, the starvation line for a family of four was 2,438.24 TL in May, while the poverty line is 7,942 liras. These figures show the unpaid leave allowance is even below starvation line.Thus, millions of workers and their families are struggling to live with a pittance while the 100 richest people in Turkey have more than US$100 billion.
The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to force employees to work at the expense of their health and lives during the health emergency. With a relative fall in the number of cases, the Erdoğan government has rapidly begun to remove its limited measures since May, accelerated its “normalization” process and reopened almost the entire economy to boost the profits of the banks and major companies.While state officials accuse people of not taking personal precautions, the impact of Erdogan’s criminal policy has soon emerged as a sharp increase in the number of new daily infections. The number of new cases, which had fallen to around 700, rose to around 1,500 again last week.
A poll by the Metropoll Research Company in early June found that while 53.5 percent of people said that their living conditions have worsened in the last year, those who said “Turkey’s biggest problem is the economy and unemployment” reached almost 50 percent. The increase was 12 percent. The research found that 39 percent of AKP voters stated that their living conditions have deteriorated.
While all recent studies reveal that masses of workers have been condemned to growing unemployment, hunger and poverty during the pandemic, the Erdogan government continues to transfer billions to the Turkish bourgeoisie. The Treasury borrowed 67.2 billion liras on financial markets in April, after announcing that it would borrow 28.2 billion. This amount rose to 76.5 billion liras in May. As around the world, as billions are pumped into the coffers of the ruling class with low-interest rate loans and stimulus packages, this debt will be paid by the working class with increased exploitation.
Erdogan’s party of Muslim Brotherhood is using the coronavirus as an opportunity to transfer massive amounts to their coffers and intensify its social attacks on the working class, leading to an inevitable increaseof demonstrations.
Millions of Turks are starved and have lost their hopes. Unfortunately, Erdogan’s speeches about God seem only a distant memory and reality becomes more unbearable every day. To date, Erdogan has managed to maintain power thanks to the strong repression campaign against journalists and media operators, but the next wave of protests could markhis wicked political career.