Minimum wage in Turkey is one of lowest

In Turkey, the minimum wage is currently 2324 TL (~296$), which is one of the lowest minimum wages in Europe. A minimum-wage worker can allocate a maximum of 22 TL (~2.8$) daily to feed a family of four. For transportation, this amount is only 2.31 TL (~0.3$).
Monday, 21 December 2020 09:51

In Turkey, a single-income family of four with the minimum wage can allocate a maximum of 22 TL (~2.8$) daily to food. It means one has only 1.85 TL (~0.23$) for one meal.

The Centre for Research on the Class of the United Metalworkers' Union of Turkey (BİSAM) made a “Minimum Wage Research” and shared the results.

The study shows striking results. According to the research; a minimum wage worker can allocate 725 TL (~92$) per month for rent, water, electricity, and gas. The money s/he can spare for education per child is only 10 TL (~1.3$). Also, a minimum wage worker must work 96 months to buy a refrigerator.

The research of BİSAM based upon the statistics of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT), Consumer Price Index (CPI), TURKSTAT Consumption Expenditure Research, and Ministry of Labour and Social Security Minimum Wage Statistics.


A single-income family with the minimum wage is among the poorest 20 percent.

A single-income family of four with the minimum wage has a daily allowance of 22 TL (~2.8$) for food from the whole wage of 2324 TL (~296$).

The minimum wage worker must spend 2,439 TL (~310$) in order to have a healthy diet with his/her family. The expenditure s/he can do is 667 TL (~85$). People with minimum wage skip a day with one meal.

According to TURKSTAT, the average rental price in Turkey is 1,113 TL (~142$) as of November 2020. However, the amount that the minimum wage worker spare for rent is only 464 TL (~59$).

Data shows that the minimum wage worker has to live in an unhealthy environment with minimum welfare services, in houses under earthquake risks.


Even access of the minimum wage worker to the workplace is a big problem if the workplace where s/he works has no transportation service. Turkey’s average of a single bus ticket is 2.8 TL (~0.36$). The daily amount that the minimum wage worker can spare for transportation is only 2.31TL (~0.3$), with this amount only one-way tickets can be purchased.

The amount that can be spared for cultural events and activities is 6 TL (~0.8$).


Even buying a pencil or notebook is straitening for the minimum wage worker. It is impossible to provide proper education to a child with an amount of 10 TL (~1.3$) per month. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is impossible to even reach the technological devices required for distance education.

In order to buy a refrigerator with an average price of 3,561 TL (~454$) in November 2020, a minimum wage worker must work 96 months by allocating 37 TL (~4.7$) per month for household appliances.