Turkiye to look again at inflation, situation of workers in July: President
This summer, government will protect country from burden of unfair price increases, says Recep Tayyip Erdogan
In the middle of this year, Turkish officials will reassess the situation of workers in light of inflation, the nation’s president said on Wednesday.
"This coming July, by looking at the inflation rate and the conditions, we will reevaluate the situation of our workers," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group.
The remarks come just weeks after Erdogan announced a 50.4% minimum wage hike to 4,250 Turkish liras ($307) as of Jan. 1, a move praised by many as a balm against recent high inflation.
Civil service salaries were also increased by 30.5% and the lowest retirement pension was increased about 66% from 1,500 Turkish lira to 2,500 Turkish lira ($180).
Erdogan said the current bump in the country’s inflation rate – much like a rise in foreign exchange rates – "does not match the realities of our country or economy."
"Hopefully, we will eliminate this swelling as soon as possible and prevent our nation from being under the burden of unfair price increases," he added.
Turkiye posted a 36.08% annual rise in consumer prices in 2021, the highest in 19 years, the country’s statistical authority said on Jan. 3.
In November, consumer prices posted a yearly increase of 21.31%, TurkStat said in a routine data release.
On a monthly basis, inflation rose by 13.58% in December, up from 3.51% in November.
Turkiye will begin to see the fruit of its recent economic efforts “in the coming summer months," Erdogan predicted.
Erdogan earlier this month said that “the worst is over” in economic problems that came after the government pressed ahead with a low interest rate-based policy.
The year 2023, “the 100th anniversary of the founding of our republic, will turn into a truly historical turning point and an unforgettable holiday year for Turkiye," Erdogan said.
"We are determined to make our country a part of the economic champions league," he added.
Lawmaker slammed over photo with terrorist
Erdogan also criticized an opposition lawmaker who posed for a photo with a PKK terrorist who was later killed in a Turkish military airstrike.
"We do not want to see extensions of the PKK terrorist organization in our parliament," Erdogan said, referring to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which the deputy belongs to, a party the government has charged is little more than a PKK front.
"The PKK-led party is waiting for the approval of the MP's armed lovers in the mountain to decide what to say," he added, referring to the terrorist group’s mountainous hideouts.
Photos of HDP lawmaker Semra Guzel with PKK terrorist Volkan Bora were widely circulated in the Turkish media on Sunday.
Bora was neutralized in 2017 by the Turkish armed forces in Turkiye’s southeastern Adiyaman province.
A report for the lifting of her immunity has been submitted to the Parliament Speaker’s Office, paving the way for her to face terrorism-related charges.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
In a case before Turkiye’s highest court, state prosecutors are also seeking the closure of the HDP and political bans for its members, saying the party is just the public face of the terrorist PKK.