|AUTHOR||Nesrin Hocaoğlu, Sema Hosta and Tunya Celasin|
|TOPIC||Economic crisis and recovery|
The economic slowdown, through lower incomes and higher unemployment, has affected the lives of the majority of families in the five largest urban centers in Turkey: Adana, Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Kocaeli. A new survey of living conditions in these cities shows that almost three quarters of families report reductions in income between October 2008 and June 2009. Among the poorest families at the onset of the crisis, more than 90 percent reported such a decline in their income. One third of the interviewed poor families have fallen behind in utility payments, and 9 percent have lost their electricity connection, at least temporarily. Families report they adjust to lower incomes by reducing food expenditures so that other vital expenses – like education – can be protected. Many poor urban families say they have mobilized support from neighbors, friends, family, their community, and public programs to make ends meet. And quite a few families say they have borrowed money. Yet families state that these survival rings are becoming thinner. About one-fifth of the poorest families say they have been left without any support.