Turkey raises monthly minimum wage by 55% for 2023

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony to mark an increase in capacity at a natural gas storage facility in Silivri near Istanbul, Turkey, December 16, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

ANKARA, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Turkey's monthly minimum wage will be 8,506.80 lira ($455) in 2023, the presidency said on Thursday - a 55% increase from the level determined in July and a 100% hike from January.

Speaking at a news conference earlier, President Tayyip Erdogan said the minimum wage may be hiked again throughout the year if necessary. Annual inflation soared above 85% in recent months but has begun to ease slightly.

Erdogan said the employer and employee unions could not reach an agreement and the government stepped in to determine the number. Representatives of the employee union did not attend the announcement at the presidential palace.

The latest hike to the minimum wage has caused concern among businesses in Turkey since it would increase the cost for employers, according to Ramazan Kaya, president of the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers' Association (TGSD).

"After the latest increase, the minimum wage's cost for employers is now 11,758 lira ($630). Before the latest increase, it was $410. So with this cost increase, it is impossible for us to keep prices the same as before," Kaya said.

Global customers of Turkish businesses will prefer Turkey's rivals for production due to rising costs in Turkey, he said.

"We don't have the chance to compete with our rivals such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, India or Cambodia. We will lose customers. And this will result in job cuts," Kaya said, adding the textile sector was expected to lose 10% of its jobs.

($1 = 18.6721 liras)

Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu; additional reporting by Ceyda Caglayan; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen and Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Jonathan Spicer, Alison Williams and Mark Heinrich

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