More than 85,000 Turkish small firms went out of business so far this year
Official data from the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK) confirm the crisis. Last year, about 81,000 businesses closed. The decline began with the COVID-19 pandemic, and is bound to continue. An inflation rate of 85 per cent is a major factor, impacting rental costs of commercial properties (+70 per cent). Erdogan raises the minimum wage for 2023.
Istanbul (AsiaNews) - In the first 11 months of this year, at least 85,785 craftspeople have had to close their business, this according to data provided by the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK).
This figure is symptomatic of the crisis that is gripping the country. In November alone, 8,951 businesses closed, highlighting a trend that has not stopped since 2021, when 81,159 businesses shut down.
Speaking about the numbers, Bekir Başevirgen, an MP for the main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), said that, “the number of people who locked their shops in a year increased by 20 per cent”, so that “The destruction that tradespeople started to experience during the pandemic continues.”
Things will not change in the near future while inflation remains a heavy burden for small businesses, Başevirgen said.
Since December, shopkeepers have faced a 70 per cent rent increase on commercial properties. Whatever craftspeople earn, now goes to pay the rent, the lawmaker explained.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the minimum wage by 55 per cent for next year in an attempt to allay widespread dissatisfaction among voters, and maintain support ahead of next year's presidential election,
The minimum monthly wage will just be over 8,500 lire (around US$ 455), 55 per cent higher than in July and 100 per cent higher compared to January 2022.
On an annual basis, inflation is running at 85 per cent, but seems to have slightly eased recently.
Erdogan decided to jack up the minimum wage because unions and employers could not reach an agreement; however, businesses are now concerned that a higher minimum wage will increase production costs and affect productivity.