ECONOMICS > Turkish families deep in debt, 2 million may face levies: MP

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

The debts of Turkish families to banks is dangerously increasing, a study by the main opposition CHP lawmaker Aygün says. Consumer loans are the main concern

Print Page Send to friend »
Turkish citizens are trying to pay their debts to banks with new debts, as their spending exceed their income, a study by a main opposition party lawmaker says. Hürriyet photo

Turkish citizens are trying to pay their debts to banks with new debts, as their spending exceed their income, a study by a main opposition party lawmaker says. Hürriyet photo

Turkish families are deep in debt as their financial responsibilities have jumped 18 times in the past nine years while their income has only doubled in the given time, according to an opposition lawmaker, who warns about the risks of levy for millions.

The rate of family debt has exceeded 50 percent of spendable income and the ratio of debt to financial assets has hit 45 percent, according to a study revealed by Sinan Aygün, a member of Parliament from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who was also the head of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce for many years.

“Developments in the last 10 years show that the debts of families are growing like a snowball. A smaller debt rate compared with some European countries should not fool anyone. Turkey is approaching European countries in this field. Citizens are financing their expenditures with debt, and trying to pay debts with new ones as their real income keeps falling,” he said. “More than 2 million people are facing risks of levy because of their debt to banks.”

Figures provided by Aygün mainly compare the current situation with the period before Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule, which began in 2002.

Spending remains stable
The final spending of households remained unchanged in the first quarter of this year when compared to the same period a year earlier, according to official gross domestic product figures and data by the statistics body TÜİK, Aygün said in a statement yesterday. Despite the stagnation in domestic demand, the financial debt of families kept increasing, he said.

Households’ consumer loans increased by 7 percent in the first seven months of the year, Aygün said, referring to figures by the BDDK, the banking regulator. The rate goes up to 15.1 percent for credit card loans and 12.3 percent for arrears to banks, he said.

The amount of consumer loans reached 180.2 billion Turkish Liras as of the end of July 2012, Aygün said. Credit card loans on the same date totaled 63.3 billion liras, as the lingering debts of loans and credit cards stood at 7.5 billion liras. Debts to consumer financing companies amounted to 5 billion liras.

These figures show that the debts of households reached 256 billion liras in July 2012, up from 234.6 billion liras at the end of 2011.

This figure does not include the debts to TOKİ, the state-run property developer, and non-performing loans to asset management companies, which would push the total figure to over 270 billion liras. This figure stood at 251.9 billion liras at the end of 2011.

The Central Bank estimates 2011 total household spendable income at 487.2 billion liras, which puts the financial loans at some 51.7 percent of the total. This rate was 5.5 percent in 2003, Aygün said in the statement.

“Despite the fact that the ratio of the debts of Turkish families to their spendable income and GDP is below [that of] European countries, the large gap between the acceleration of borrowing and the rise in incomes in the last nine years shows that the Turkish people are going deep into debt.”

The interest rates in Turkey have been going down but in this given period the amount of interest Turkish families paid jumped by nearly 5 percent, reaching 23.1 billion liras in 2011. This figure was only 4 billion in 2003, Aygün said.


PRINTER FRIENDLY Send to friend »


Notice on comments


8/21/2012 7:22:43 PM

Because of economic mismanagement, the AKP need the very high taxes on goods that people want, to run the economy. With such high prices for goods that people desire to call themselves European (as the AKP insist Turkey is), it's no surprise they turn to credit to finance their lives. Smoke and mirrors are the AKP's favourite tools, and with Turks blind to this there is a disaster on the way.

Red Tail

8/21/2012 12:00:55 PM

This is sad. A lot of people in Turkey live on very little money. It must be very tempting to get a card and to get some extra funds. But then it will just turn out to make things even worse. We all have them around us. The guy driving our servise busses to work for example. The cleaning staff. The guys serving tea and coffee. They are nice people but have almost no money at all and not sufficent understanding of how credits etc work.


8/21/2012 10:41:06 AM

When visiting a super market I see Turkish people paying with credit cards, If you watch their wallets at least 10 of those cards are there. They even pay a newspaper with a credit card! And what do you think about all those new cars rushing around? They are all on lease or on credit. The bubble is there and will explode/implode.

Tayyar Abi

8/21/2012 5:08:27 AM

@Tori Egger. I had the same reaction when Turkey went bananas on credit cards and started handing them out like candy. My first thought was that"this is going to lead to big trouble. Average Turks used to work and save diligently to advance their station in life and were not used to easy credit.

Tevfik Alp

8/21/2012 5:04:00 AM

The result of artificial wealth; pseudo economy, very expensive consumer items and unsatiafactory wages, substandard living conditions. Something has to give in, sooner or later.

Mark Tak

8/21/2012 1:49:49 AM

Turkey will be like Greece even worse, no EU to come to rescue Turks will be devistated, this AKP made credit easy and everyone os barrowing, buying foreign goods like there is no tomorrow, ,they will slap Turkey so hard that it will take 50 years to come out of this mess, and Turks will be renters in Turkey for foreign bankers, shame on you all not seen this comming, it is closer than you think,look at Greece, that is nothing to what will happen to Turks

Fr Grey

8/21/2012 1:35:10 AM

It is a serious warning! Debt in USA in 2006, leads to financial crisis. Debt in Japan in 1980s has been holding Japan from any economical growth for over 20 years. Debt in Turkey this time may cause recession at least 10 years, if the debt goes uncontrolled. Suggestions: 1. over 50% repayment for credit card is needed. 2. Increase interest rate. 3. Print more money to increase the liquidity, to ease the tension in all sectors. Good Luck!

Tori Egger

8/21/2012 12:54:50 AM

Is it a coincidence that the debt level for a Turkish family has risen so high? 10 years... hmmmmm It is exactly 10 years ago that the credit cards were handed out like şeker on bayram.. I was astonished when I first noticed the availability of them. I had been visiting Turkey since 1996 and I thought it was a big dangerous change then.. Sadly, I have a friend that did not know how to manage and did open one card to pay another and would not listen to my warning.. lost everything!
< >


AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency