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Jobs Seen at Risk as Erdogan Legacy Morphs to Middle-Income Trap

  • Election setback forced AK Party U-turn over raising salaries
  • Services industry, biggest creator of new jobs, hit hardest

Turkey’s decision to raise the minimum wage risks becoming a hollow victory for millions of workers, as more businesses warn of hiring freezes and layoffs to keep their labor bills down.

“My overall costs rose by a fifth because of the wage increase,” Caner Aktas, owner of a travel agency in the center of the capital Ankara, said of the boost to the lowest legal salary by a third to 1,300 liras ($446). “We were planning to add to our headcount, which is now 40. We’ll have to postpone.”