Turkey’s minimum wage for 2022 was announced by Turkish president Erdoğan on Thursday as 4250 Turkish liras.
Although this is an increase of 50%, its real value against the euro is actually 11.6% lower than the previous minimum wage at the time of its announcement.
The minimum wage in January 2021 was worth 310 euros, but after the increase on 16 December 2021 its real value is worth 274 euros. Of course in the midst of a currency crisis it is difficult to predict what it will be worth by the time workers actually receive it at the end of January 2022.
The level of the minimum wage is particularly important in Turkey as 42% of the workforce is on the minimum wage.
The chair of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DİSK), Arzu Çerkezoğlu, has denounced the increase, indicating that the new minimum wage is not sufficient for the living costs of a family of four. “It has to be revised again by the spring,” she said.
Nazmi Irgat, general secretary of the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk İş), the largest trades union confederation, which is traditionally distant to labour action, said, “It looks like the increase is up to expectations.”
It was widely speculated earlier that a relatively high increase in the minimum wage, reaching or exceeding 400 TL as this one does, could be interpreted as a signal of Erdoğan’s intention to call an early election in 2022.