Regional demographic differences of Turkey’s poorest segments have been laid bare in a new ministry study
A study prepared by Turkey's Development Ministry has shed light on the regional distribution of Turkey’s lowest-income population, as well as the demographics of society’s most impoverished segments.
Around 16.3 percent of the Turkish population lives below the poverty line, calculated by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) at a total monthly income of 4,515 Turkish Liras for a four-member family across Turkey for 2012.
The study, penned by Development Ministry specialist Eda Doğan, also pointed to differences across regions, and said a number of provinces in eastern Turkey require urgent action and “intensive and multi-dimensional programs” in the fight against poverty.
“When the groups that are formed according to the human poverty index are investigated, it can be seen that [the eastern provinces of] Şanlıurfa, Ağrı, Muş and Şırnak are poor with respect to almost all indicators,” the study stated.
It found that 20 percent of Turkish citizens living below the poverty line say they cannot eat enough meat, chicken or fish regularly, while this figure is only 3.58 percent in Western Anatolia and 3.24 percent in the Western Black Sea
The percentage of those below the poverty line who say they can afford to go to on a one-week vacation is only 1.07 percent in Istanbul, and zero in all other regions across Turkey, the study found.
Meanwhile, access to technology is remarkably low among those below the poverty line outside Istanbul. While 41.8 percent of the poor in Istanbul said they had computers, this ratio was only 3.94 percent in Southeast Anatolia. Less than 1 percent of the poorest in Southeast Anatolia have Internet connections in their homes.