More than half of Turks can only meet basic life needs

Over half of Turkish people can only just meet their basic everyday living costs, according to a May survey by MetroPoll, a leading local polling firm. 

The survey showed that 54 percent of Turks barely survive financially, while 26.6 percent cannot even meet their basic needs such as nutrition and shelter, Özer Sencar, the head of MetroPoll, said in a post on Twitter on Monday.

Metropoll said the amount of people who only just get by financially rose by 5 percentage points from April last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic, double-digit inflation and a slump in the lira’s value is hitting living standards in Turkey, putting many people into poverty.

People who say they can easily meet all their living needs constituted 17.2 percent of those polled. The proportion fell by 8.8 percentage points from April 2020, MetroPoll said.

Inflation in Turkey accelerated to 17.1 percent in April from 16.2 percent in March, according to official data published on May 3. Turkish inflation exceeds annual price increases in all major emerging market economies except crisis-hit Argentina.

Inflation is accelerating after the lira dropped against the dollar.

The lira has lost almost a third of its value since the beginning of last year, meaning imported goods such as televisions, mobile phones and some food has become more expensive.

The currency has fallen by more than 10 percent against the dollar since mid-March when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed the governor of the central bank after he raised interest rates to help slow inflation.