Turkey raises minimum wage around 14 percent to 1,603 liras
Turkey will increase its minimum wage by around 14 percent in 2018, for a monthly minimum wage of 1,603 liras ($423.30), Labor Minister Jülide Sarıeroğlu said on Dec. 29.
However, the new minimum wage is below what was demanded by labor unions and opposition parties.
“We have made a 52 percent raise in the minimum wage on a cumulative basis over the last three years,” said Sarıeroğlu in a televised broadcast on the evening of Dec. 29.
The new gross minimum wage, before deductions such as social security premiums and income taxes, is 2,029 liras ($534.6).
Minimum wage negotiations started in early December with the participation of employer unions, worker unions and the government. The final wage was determined after a round of four sessions in total.
Türk-İş, one of the leading workers’ trade union confederations in the country representing the employees’ side in the negotiations, had earlier announced its 2018 official wage demand as 1,893 liras ($498).
The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) said the minimum wage should be raised to 2,300 liras ($605).
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) submitted a motion bill urging the government to hike the minimum wage to 2,000 liras ($527).
The Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK), which represented the employers’ side during the negotiations, wanted a rise of just 7 percent.
Minister Sarıeroğlu also announced that the government will also continue its 100 lira minimum wage support to employers in 2018. As part of this program, ongoing since 2015, the Treasury has given minimum wage support to employers to help them reduce employment costs.