Poverty turns to hunger:  Half of people in Turkey ‘eat less’ to make ends meet, shows survey

Amid the economic crisis, people have started eating less, using their cars and heating their homes less, a new survey by the Metropoll company showed.


In the survey conducted in February, 50.3 percent of the respondents said, “I reduced my meals,” 31.9 percent said “I am hungry sometimes” and 61.8 percent said “I stopped eating meat.”


Also, 53.7 percent of the respondents said they don’t heat their homes and wear thicker clothes and 57.9 percent said they wash their clothes less than before.


Three Scourges of Turkish Economy: Unemployment, Inflation, and External Deficit



Some 62.5 percent of the respondents who stated that they have a car said they stopped using their cars.


Food and fuel prices have sharply increased in Turkey since December, with the official inflation rate rising to a two-decade record of 61.1 percent in March.


The vicious cycle of higher inflation and fixed disposable incomes turning poverty into hunger is also confirmed by other surveys, like Aksoy Research Agency, which found that more than 68% of participants had to reduce the quality and quantity of foods they purchase for the traditional fast-breaking supper in Ramadan.


Children from low-income neighbourhoods in Turkey increasingly go to school hungry, which stunts their growth and slows their mental development, daily BirGün reported on Saturday citing experts in education.


A 2020 study by the Education Ministry showed that children in the country were only good at speaking their native language, while reading comprehension levels remained extremely low. Only 0.05 percent of students were able to answer all 20 multiple-choice questions correctly, while the average was found to be 10.63 correct answers. Majority of students clustered around 6 and 20 points for writing on a scale of 36 points, BirGün said.



While recently the Erdogan administration began to admit that rising inflation is hurting economic well-being, it has no remedies except to council patience. Finance Minister Nurettin Nebati told the press that inflation will start dropping in November, while President Erdogan claims the arrival of summer will reduce produce prices. He also claims that Turkey’s neutrality between Russia and Ukraine will allow the country to import food “cheaply”.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.