Turkey sees more than 1,300 suicides due to poverty in five years - report

A total of 1,370 people have committed suicide because of poverty since 2015, according to official figures kept by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), with 566 suicides happening in the last two years.

The total number of poverty-driven suicides since 2002, when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, has been recorded as 4,801 people.

Poverty was the reason for 7.3 percent of suicides in Turkey in 2018, and the ratio increased to 9.4 percent in 2019, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Friday.

According to advocacy group Worker’s Health and Workplace Safety Council (İSİG), 54 people have committed suicide in the first eight months of 2020.

“Worker suicides will increase this year due to the working conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” İSİG member Kansu Yıldırım said.

Musicians and performance artists union MÜZİK-SEN reported some 100 suicides among musicians due to economic reasons since March, when the pandemic was first recorded in Turkey.

According to official figures announced by the Health Ministry, a total of 9,584 people have died due to COVID-19 since March 11, and 355,528 people have contracted the novel coronavirus to date. There are still 45,501 active cases in the country.

The Turkish lira lost 28 percent of its value in 2018, following a currency crisis ripping through the financial markets in August of that year, and an additional 12 percent in 2019. Since January, the Turkish lira has lost nearly 20 percent of its value against the dollar, which started the year at 5.94 liras and currently trades at 7.97 liras.



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