Turkey should tax single people more to benefit families - columnist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan provoked a backlash last week when he spoke of his unease at the falling marriage rate among Turkish youths. But as critics questioned how youths could be expected to get married under the current squeezed economic conditions, Sabah columnist Mevlüt Tezel suggested adjusting taxes to benefit families over single people.

“Individual life has become a trend. Now people prefer to travel the world, focus on their careers to better their lifestyles and look after dogs or cats instead of having children,” Tezel said in his column on Monday. “More and more people don’t want to have children, even if their financial situation is good”.

“My proposal is that, if people with children are making sacrifices to ensure the continuation of the system, then single people should compensate for this,” he said.

The columnist pointed out that married couples with children pay roughly the same income tax as single people, while receiving a preferential rate in other countries like Germany and the United States.

“Of course, I’m not talking about unemployed bachelors, but let those who have good salaries and still don’t bring children into the world pay more tax,” Tezel said. “They go once a month to Europe, post pictures on Instagram from the nicest restaurants and go home in the evenings to wrap themselves in a blanket and stroke their cats. How nice for them!”