Turkish opposition critical of poverty record

Kemal Kilicdaroglu says unemployment is at the 'highest level' in Turkey

Kemal Kilicdaroglu says unemployment is at the 'highest level' in Turkey

ISTANBUL – The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party, CHP, has accused the government of failing to fix poverty and unemployment in the country.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu was speaking to media in Istanbul on Friday after meeting a panel of academics, politicians and columnists to discuss social policy.

“Poverty and unemployment are at the highest level in Turkey,” Kilicdaroglu said.

“We [the CHP] canvassed opinion from valued experts to take this problem off the agenda in Turkey agenda completely and solve it,” he added.

The CHP leader had been engaged in a two-hour meeting on “social policy and alleviating poverty” organized by an Istanbul-based think tank called the Progressive Thought Institute.

One of the panel, Bogazici University professor Ayse Bugra, said poverty and inequality were much more severe in Turkey than in other OECD countries.

“Social expenditure has increased over the last decade,” she said. “But it is still lower than the OECD averages.”

Pointing out the importance of social assistance Bugra added: “Turkey is a country where female employment is one of the lowest in the world.”

Her comments come after Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced earlier this month new incentives for working women to have children, such as the ability to work part-time with full pay. 

Davutoglu also announced that the government would allocate 300 Turkish liras ($130) for a first child, 400 Turkish liras for the second and 600 for the third.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency