Turkey’s Erdoğan raises his salary despite vows to fight squander

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's salary will be increased to 100,750 liras ($10,915) in 2022 as part of a budget proposal submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, Sözcü newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Erdoğan’s pay rise alone amounts to more than four times the minimum wage in the country.

As Erdoğan’s salary rises from $9,500, the Presidential budget will be lowered to 3.89 billion liras ($420 million) from 2021’s 4.39 billion.

The budget for Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) will continue on its upward trajectory if the budget is approved, steadily rising from 16.1 billion liras in 2022 to 18.6 billion liras in 2023 and 20.7 billion liras in 2024.

The top religious body in the constitutionally secular country has been criticised for its growing influence under Erdoğan’s governments since 2002.

During the AKP’s 18 years in power, Diyanet’s budget quadrupled, sparking criticism that the organisation was being used by the Islamist government as a vehicle for soft power.

In the meantime, Erdoğan’s Presidential Communications Directorate will see a budget increase of 60 percent, taking it to 680 million liras ($73 million), with staffing costs to reach 121.8 million liras.

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