CHP doubtful of jobless data, Central Bank policy

CHP doubtful of jobless data, Central Bank policy

ISTANBUL-Hürriyet Daily News
CHP doubtful of jobless data, Central Bank policy

Employees work at the assembly line of a car parts maker in İzmir. Turkey’s real unemployment rate is at least around 14 percent, according to the main opposition party. DHA photo

Turkey’s official unemployment figures do not reflect reality and have been tweaked by the country’s statistical institute, main opposition Republic People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said March 24.

“When I look at the unemployment data, I believe that the Turkish Statistical Institute [TÜİK] is playing with the numbers,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, who pointed to the agricultural sector to back up his argument.

“They say that agricultural employment has gone up. Agricultural production has gone down, however.
There are millions of unplanted acres of farmland. How can agricultural employment be up? There is no answer to this.”

Kılıçdaroğlu made the comments to journalists prior to the Socialist International meeting at the Istanbul Hilton Hotel, berating the government for its economic program, saying it was unable to meet its economic targets and manage the country’s economy.

Many of Turkey’s farmers are unemployed, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that if their numbers were added to the official figures, unemployment would reach 14-15 percent instead of the 9.8 percent recently announced by TÜİK.

The CHP leader also believes unregistered unemployment is as high as 42 percent in Turkey, according to daily Milliyet.

“This number is embarrassing. Unregistered unemployment is a crime against humanity,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The unregistered economy totals only 2 percent in England, 6 percent in Germany and 21 percent in Romania, according to Kılıçdaroğlu.

Kılıçdaroğlu was also extremely critical of the $12.4 million inflow of money in the net errors and omission item in the country’s balance of payments.

“If you are unable to account for $12 million in money coming into the country, then this means that your unregistered economy has surpassed your registered economy,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

If the government is unable to disclose the source of this money, then it cannot possibly be doing a good job in managing the economy, he said, adding that such mismanagement would never be possible in a well-planned economy.

In reference to Turkey’s Central Bank, Kılıçdaroğlu complained that in recent years the institution had lost its independence and had increasingly become dependent on the government.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s economic advisers, Faik Öztrak Aydın Ayaydın, Mevlüt Aslanoğlu, Aşkın Türeli, Müslüm Sarı, Bülent Kuşoğlu, Kazım Kurt, Musa Çam and Gökhan Günaydın, also joined the discussion with reporters.

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