Over 5 million in Turkey facing unemployment due to pandemic - opposition party

Over 5 million people in Turkey are facing permanent or temporary unemployment due to measures taken to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported, citing a study by the main opposition party.

Some 144,690 workplaces have been temporarily closed in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19, leaving around 5.19 million facing unemployment, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) study said.

Turkey, which reported its first coronavirus case on March 11, has increasingly ramped up measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.  Some measures taken in the country, whose death toll reached 501 on Saturday, include the closing of businesses, calling on people to stay at home and tight restrictions on travel.

Around 500,000 of the country’s shopping centre employees, 259,000 for coffee shop workers, 150,000 staff working in school cafeterias, dormitories and universities and dormitories, 360,000 drivers, 1,900,000 restaurant and diner workers, 500,000 people working in courier delivery, 1 million household workers and another 1 million street vendors have lost their jobs, the CHP said. 

Turkey has an unemployed rate of 13.7 percent. Youth unemployment in the country rose to 25 percent in January from 24.5 percent the previous month. It had hit a record high of 27.4 percent in September.