Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Dec. 22 that the net monthly minimum wage will be 8,500 Turkish Liras ($455) starting from January, with an increase of 54.66 percent.
“If we come across an unexpected situation, we do not hesitate to make an interim adjustment as we did last year,” Erdoğan said during a press conference at the Presidential Complex.
“As a government that has increased the income and welfare of our workers, we do not allow anyone’s rights to be lost. We exist for our nation,” he added.
The minimum wage in Turkiye was increased by 30 percent in a midyear adjustment to a net of 5,500 liras in July. The increase came on top of the 50 percent hike in January,which brought the minimum wage to a net of 4,250 liras.
“As it is known, the minimum wage, which was 184 liras in 2002 in our country, has increased 30 times in nominal terms and 142 percent in real terms in our period,” Erdoğan said.
“At the beginning of last year, we had increased the minimum wage by 50 percent to a net of 4,253 liras, taking into account the conditions of those days. Not only that, we abolished the income and stamp tax from the minimum wage. In July, we increased the minimum wage to 5,500 liras. Thus, we achieved an 80 percent increase in the minimum wage and a cumulative 95 percent increase during the year,” Erdoğan said.
The president said his government is pursuing a policy protecting both rights and balances.
“We have started to reap the fruits of our struggle to get our country out of the grip of interest, exchange rate and inflation,” Erdoğan said.
“This month, we will witness a rapid decline in inflation rates,” he added.
“We are determined to reduce inflation to 30 percent in the middle of the year and 20 percent at the end of the year. We ask everyone from all walks of life to make their calculations according to this goal. If we come across an unexpected situation, we do not hesitate to make an interim adjustment as we did last year. As a government that has increased the income and welfare of our workers, we do not allow anyone’s rights to be lost.”
Labor and Social Security Minister Vedat Bilgin said the decision on the minimum wage concerns around 37 percent of Turkiye’s total workforce directly and the rest indirectly.
“This means that the new figure will bring all employees to a new wage scale where they will receive a share of welfare,” he added.
“It is an attitude befitting the growth of Turkiye. It will integrate Turkiye’s economic development and enable them to participate more efficiently in the production process.”
Özgür Burak Akkol, president of the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK), said his organization has three priorities during the process to determine the minimum wage.
“Sustainable welfare of our country, protection of employees against inflation and ensuring continuity in production by keeping our businesses alive,” he said.
“I express that we are against the discrimination between the state, the worker and the employer. At the end of the day, we believe that the main thing is unity and togetherness. Our goal is to increase the average wage together.”