Unemployment too high in Turkey, says main opposition leader

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Nov. 26 once again slammed the government over its employment policies, saying they are responsible for the highest unemployment rates in the history of the country.

“There is an unemployment problem. A woman cried [to me] saying she is hungry. Do those in the [presidential complex] know about this? Do they know about a father’s psychological struggle when he cannot give pocket money to his child?” Kılıçdaroğlu said, speaking at the parliamentary group meeting of his party.

“He says unemployment increased because people work with their families and do not look for jobs. This is not something one can rationalize,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu was referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks during the parliamentary group meeting of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“Previously, the working age population was not calculated in employment statistics because they were not looking for jobs or were working with their families. Now, nearly all of the working age population is looking for a job. [Increase in unemployment] is not because we cannot create employment. The thing is, labor force participation rate has increased immensely,” Erdoğan had said.

“With what logic are they ruling the country? They are responsible for the highest unemployment rate figures in the republic’s history,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also called on the unemployed population of Turkey to not vote for the ruling AKP.

“In the [presidential complex] there is no such thing as unemployment. They are all doing fine,” he said.

The CHP leader also questioned the upcoming expected minimum wage increase. He said at least 22.5 percent raise should be made because of the inflation level. “They should also be given shared prosperity,” he added.

According to the latest data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), unemployment rate stood at 14.0 percent in August. The unemployment rate climbed 2.9 percentage points on an annual basis, increasing the number of jobless people to 4.65 million, up 980,000 from August 2018.

Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate — the 15-24 age group — also rose 6.6 points on an annual basis to 27.4 percent in the month.

According to a report prepared by the CHP, more than a quarter of university graduates in Turkey are seeking jobs.

Hurriyet Daily News

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