Having tripled the size of its economy over the past decade, Turkey is invariably held up as an economic success story. But behind this outward tale of success lies a much darker backstory, one featuring a deepening income gap and crimped workers’ rights.
In 2012, the Ministry of Family and Social Rights revealed that nearly 40 percent of Turkey’s population of over 75.6 million lives at or below the monthly minimum wage of 773 liras, or about $415.19. A further 6.4 percent live below the designated hunger line of 430 liras ($237.95).
At the same time, 63 percent of the country’s bank deposits belong to a mere one-half of a percent of all account holders, according to Turkey’s financial watchdog, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.
Such disparity is causing concern even among government supporters. “There is [a] big social gap between rich and poor. Poverty is getting deep[er] everyday,” warned Akif Emre, an influential columnist for the pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak.
To read the full story
Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.