Despite the government’s commitment to raising wages and “improvement” in the face of high inflation and the high cost of living, and the frequent declarations by AKP and MHP leaders that “it will be held at the time of elections”, electoral debates anticipated does not leave the political agenda.
In opposition parties, preparations for a further increase in the minimum wage in July, student amnesty, 3,600 additional indicators, the inclusion of adults on the government agenda are seen as “signs of elections” and the expectation of early elections in the fall. is expressed.
According to political scientist and political strategist İbrahim Uslu, as these measures will not yield results, the government bases its electoral strategy on “victories” that can be won in the field of “security and international relations”, not in the economy.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and government spokesmen often say that measures will be taken to relieve wage earners in the face of rising cost of living and inflation.
The ruling party, which offered an additional budget of 880 billion lire to Parliament, put on its agenda the increase in civil servants, workers and retirees in July, as well as the regulation of 3,600 additional indicators, as well as a further increase in the minimum wage in July.
‘It will be close to 40 percent’
AKP Vice President Numan Kurtulmus also appeared on the television show in Haberturk last night, saying: “In July, including our retirees, a 40% cap will be reached. Likewise, a salary cap will be made. minimum.” announced the preparation of a further increase in wages.
Kurtulmuş also said that EYT members are at the government table:
“I don’t want to tell a story and cause anticipation, but as I said, this is on the government’s table.”
What options are being discussed?
There are different options for a further increase in the minimum wage.
One of the options is to convene the Minimum Wage Determination Commission and make an adjustment proportional to inflation.
Another express formula is that the State assumes the premium of around 750 lire paid by the employer and that the deduction of around 150 lire is not deducted from the unemployment fund and these are reflected directly in the net salary.
It is argued that a proportional increase in the minimum wage may be preferred if there is consensus in the commission, as it does not require separate legal regulation.
‘Electoral investment’, according to opposition
The opposition sees the measures taken by the government on AET issues, which it has resisted for many years, and a further increase in the minimum wage, which marked the beginning of the year, as a sign of early elections.
It is argued that the government will not be able to bear the heavy burden of the economy and may bring forward elections in the autumn, given the positive environment created by rising wages and falling fruit and vegetable prices in the summer.
Some CHP party executives, including the minimum wage, claimed that raising wage earners will not be a solution to inflation and the cost of living, adding: “If wages go up, demand will go up and that will drive up inflation, whoever wants to he brings to the forefront of the economy, he cannot recover the economy, he cannot get results because Erdogan is personally managing the economy and we see the results”, he comments.
AKP sources, on the other hand, claim that all calculations, including the Election Law passed by Parliament and economic measures, are made in accordance with a timely election, and that holding the elections without the effects of the measures taken against the cost of living will also pose a risk.
Behind the scenes of the AKP, it is said that the elections could take place in the middle or last week of May, at the latest, taking into account the calendar of university exams and the second round of the elections, which does not mean an early election.
‘The government does not decide early elections on the basis of economic success’
Political scientist and political strategist İbrahim Uslu, on the other hand, is of the opinion that an increase in wage earners will not have a permanent effect on the electorate and therefore the government will not establish an early electoral strategy based on “economic success”.
Responding to BBC Turkish’s questions, Uslu points out that inflation is extremely high and that salary increases will aim to reduce complaints rather than “improve” them.
Noting that Erdogan has already pointed to the end of the New Year for the fall in inflation, Uslu believes that the government’s electoral strategy is based on security and the “victories” to be achieved on the international stage:
“The president’s statement, ‘Inflation will drop after the New Year,’ is important. It means ‘We will end this year with more than 70 percent inflation, inflation will not decrease, price increases will continue.’ I don’t see the probability too high.
Recalling that a significant part of the revenue comes from VAT and SCT when looking at the additional budget, Uslu says that the achievement of the budget targets means that these taxes will start to increase, and says: “It was slightly reduced during the pandemic period, now shows that they will increase.”
Arguing that it is unreasonable to hold early elections at a time when tax increases are being considered, Uslu continues as follows:
“There is inflation, you have increased taxes, but at the same time you go to early elections because there is a relief in the economy. They contradict each other. Therefore, I think that the government’s electoral strategy is not planned accordingly in the field of economics , but in areas outside the economy; security, international relations and victories to be gained in these areas”.
‘If a flag is planted in Kandil, if the Syrians are sent back…’
Uslu points out that if tensions rise in the Aegean Sea, the operation to be carried out in Syria and the subsequent deployment and resettlement of some Syrians to their countries, or significant successes in the operations to be carried out against the PKK, this could reflect on the behavior of the PKK. voter in favor of the government:
“The operation to be carried out in Syria, the tension in the Aegean Sea, perhaps the sending and resettlement of some Syrians living in Turkey, the victories to be won in northern Iraq. Even some commentators say the aim is to raise the Turkish flag in Qandil. If that happens, then “there will be a suitable atmosphere for an early election.”
Stating that there are no indications that the ruling bloc is currently unable to achieve a presidential election or a parliamentary majority, Uslu says that the government is “trying to buy time” to obtain results both in the field of cross-border operations and in the economy:
“The tension in the Aegean Sea won’t grow much. But if the Syrians start to retreat, something else will happen. Imagine you’ve been watching these images for weeks. Imagine the Turkish flag or large PKK camps were captured in Qandil. effect. For example, the capture of Öcalan in 1999, Bahçeli and Ecevit was very helpful.
“Without this success story, the government cannot win the election, whether in November or June. Therefore, it tries to prolong the process and buy time, on the one hand, there are relations with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Or a victory story through of these operations, or financial, there is a strategy of going to the elections after the reliefs, and there are not many options.