Turkey’s minimum wage at lower end of OECD spectrum

The minimum wage in Turkey was ranked 20th out of 26 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to the organization’s recently released report.

The report, titled “Minimum wages after the crisis: Making them pay,” analyzes minimum wages according to the dollar at purchasing power parities. Based on 2013, the report shows that Turkey fell behind most OECD countries, only beating Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Chile and Mexico, with the latter having the worst figures.

“Although economic output is now well above 2007 levels in a large majority of countries, employment and wage gaps persist, especially amongst disadvantaged groups,” said the report. “In more than one out of three OECD countries, pay in the lower part of the wage spectrum was still lower in 2013 than it had been six years earlier.” The report analyzed minimum wages in OECD countries before and after the major global financial crisis that struck in 2008.

Turkey has been a member of the 34-state OECD since 1961. Its current minimum wage stands at TL 949, which today corresponds to just over $353.

Additionally, Turkey has by far the highest proportion of employees working very long hours among all OECD countries, coming last in a work-life balance index prepared by the organization.

According to the latest OECD statistics, close to half — 43.3 percent — of all employees in Turkey work 50 hours or more a week, far more than the average — 9 percent — across all OECD members. While the proportion of men spending extra hours at work in Turkey is 47 percent, the same figure for Turkish women is 33 percent. The corresponding OECD averages are 12 percent and 5 percent, respectively.