Fulfillment of economic pledges litmus test for AK Party

Citizens are looking forward to the fulfillment of economic pledges made by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which won a landslide victory in the snap election of Nov. 1.
The most significant promise made by the AK Party prior to the election was to hike the minimum wage to TL 1,300 per month. Turkeyand’s current minimum wage of TL 1,000 (roughly $352) is at the lower end of the spectrum of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members.
Speaking to Sundayand’s Zaman, economist Seyfettin Gandursel said that the AK Party might choose to fulfill its electoral pledges, which will cost the state an extra TL 21 billion, by spreading them out over time.
and”The bill [of economic pledges] was not included in the state budget passed in Parliament for 2016. This constitutes one of the difficulties [for the AK Party in fulfilling its economic promises]. The state deficit will rise to 3 percent [of GDP] or even more. Some of the pledges may be postponed to 2017,and” said Gandursel.
In September, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek announced that the budget showed a fiscal deficit of TL 14.1 billion.
The former deputy prime minister responsible for the economy, Ali Babacan, told media on Oct. 13 that a commission is at work deciding how much the wage increase will be. It is expected that the increase will come at the beginning of 2016.
The commission that decides the minimum wage every six months comprises 15 members, five each from labor and employer unions and five from the government.
That increase would bring an extra burden of nearly TL 1,000 per employee to businesses. As a result, company owners and employer unions are expected to challenge the government effort, although market experts say a last-minute change in decision would be hard for the new government to make.
On Tuesday, Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) President Nurettin andOzdebir called on policymakers to and”reconsiderand” an anticipated minimum wage hike, suggesting it is not a sustainable plan for job-providers and will dent their competitive power.

h2New ministers will determine fate of pledgesh2 It remains to be seen whether Babacan, who was in charge of the economy for many years, or Berat Albayrak, Erdoganand’s son-in-law and an AK Party deputy, will be appointed minister of the economy.
Gandursel noted that if Albayrak is chosen as the new minister, he will likely be quicker to realize electoral pledges than Babacan, in a bid to earn the affection of citizens before a possible referendum to switch to a presidential system.
In a press conference on Wednesday Erdoganand’s spokesperson, ibrahim Kalin, hinted that a referendum may be held to change the Constitution to create an executive presidential system. Albayrak is more of an Erdogan loyalist regarding several issues, like the transformation to a presidential system.
As well as an increase in the minimum wage, the AK Party promised a TL 100 increase in pensions every month and an annual bonus of TL 1,200 to pensioners. It has also pledged to sell homes built by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKi) on an installment basis with TL 250 monthly payments.
In accordance with AK Party election pledges, a regulation is also expected that would alter the status of subcontracted workers working in the public sector. These workers will have their status upgraded to that of a salaried employee, guaranteeing them official benefits such as health insurance and social security, which subcontracted workers are unable to obtain.
Police and muhtars (neighborhood leaders) will also receive raises, according to the governmentand’s pledges. Monthly salary indicators for specially trained military officers will rise from TL 2,200 to 3,000, while the mutharsand’ salary will increase from TL 950 to TL 1,300 per month.
Taxes on feed and fertilizer will be removed to support farmers, according to the pledges, while a project seeks to distriA Turkish court has decided to punish a man who murdered a TRT station singer after she rejected his marriage proposal in 2014 with a life sentence instead of an aggravated life sentence, on grounds that the killer stabbed the singer because of his “passionate love.” Orhan Munis stabbed 33-year-old singer Hatice Kamaz 16 times in an Ankara park in September of last year. Police opened an investigation and soon arrested Munis after using local sec
A Turkish court has decided to punish a man who murdered a TRT station singer after she rejected his marriage proposal in 2014 with a life sentence instead of an aggravated life sentence, on grounds that the killer stabbed the singer because of his and”passionate love.and”
Orhan Munis stabbed 33-year-old singer Hatice Kaandcmaz 16 times in an Ankara park in September of last year. Police opened an investigation and soon arrested Munis after using local security cameras and witness statements to identify him.
According to the manand’s statement, Kaandcmaz had rejected his marriage proposal. He went to speak with her and claims that he lost control of himself. Munis had previously spent time in prison for battery.
Even though an aggravated life sentence was originally sought, Ankaraand’s 1st High Criminal Court decided to punish Munis with a life sentence on Nov. 9. The Ankara court came to the conclusion that the murder of the singer could not be considered and”deliberate homicideand” as and”the murderer acted under the influence of sentimentalism and rage that was derived from excessive love and passion.and”
Singer Kaandcmaz had lost her husband three years previously in a car crash, leaving her a single mother of a young daughter. To earn money, she took to singing at weddings and other events. She would also appear on TRT and sing folk songs.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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