Turkish minimum wage increases 50 percent to TL4,250

Turkey has increased minimum wage to 4,250 Turkish Liras, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Dec. 16.

urkey’s minimum wage has been increased by 50% for 2022, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Thursday.

The wage has been increased to TL 4,250 (around $270), Erdoğan told a televised address in the capital Ankara, making it the largest hike ever.

According to the country’s Social Security Institution, more than 40% of all workers in the country of 83 million earn minimum wage.

The announcement comes amid high volatility in the exchange rate as the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has slashed its benchmark policy rate by 500 basis points to 14% since September.

The CBRT has also intervened in the forex market four times in the last two weeks, selling dollars to prop up the Turkish lira.

The lira weakened as much as 3.57% after the CBRT’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting on Thursday to 15.34 against the U.S. dollar.

The monthly minimum wage for 2021 was TL 2,826, a figure that converted to $380 at the start of the year but has fallen to $186 amid the depreciation in the lira this year.

Erdoğan last month said the government will protect workers from price increases with a significant hike in the minimum wage.

He said the rise in inflation is temporary and will see positive results on this front toward the year-end.

Annual inflation accelerated to 21.31% last month, the highest reading since November 2018, with staples such as food and gas prices recently jumping.

According to the central bank, inflation pressure is temporary and necessary to expand economic growth and balance the current account.

The 15-member commission that determines the minimum wage is made up of five representatives from the Labor and Social Security Minister and unions representing employers and employees.