In a sunny park next to the Aegean Sea in Izmir, people are complaining about how hard it is to save money.
"Forget about savings! I barely make ends meet. I have to take care of my family. Whatever comes in goes out!" says Ihsan Coskuner, sitting with his grandson. Not far away, Ahmet Baykal agrees. "I earn a minimum wage, I can barely make it! When I get paid, my money goes for food and for rent."
According to the World Bank, household saving in Turkey fell significantly in the last decade. Economists say that rising prosperity and cheap, easy credit sent Turks out shopping, spending instead of saving.
Spend Now, Save When?
Of course, Turkish families do have a strong incentive to save. Unemployment or a health crisis could wipe out small savings. Heads of households who are employers or self-employed tend to save more; wage earners less. The relatively low number of Turkish women in the workforce also inhibits saving, and families with young children put away the least.