The government is considering reducing weekends to one day and starting the official work day earlier on the grounds that it will save energy.
“The work day may start at 6 or 7 a.m.,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said during a return flight from Brussels to Istanbul on Oct. 14.
“Almost 70 percent of Turkish people are already working on Saturdays,” so it would be normal to limit the official weekend to Sunday, he said.
The minister also advised Turkish people to go to bed earlier in order to start their work days earlier.
“This way we can save more energy. Many shopkeepers in Anatolia already wake up early and start work. We can well do it in the cities,” Anatolia news agency quoted Yıldız as saying. “If they make an early start to work, they will finish the work earlier and sleep earlier.”
To develop and become more prosperous, Turkish people have to work more, the minister said.
Turkey’s official unemployment rate stood at 9.2 percent in June, according to data from Turkey’s statistics institute, TÜİK.
A recent survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) made public on Oct. 13 found that Turkish people were not happy in general because of longs hours for low pay.
The official figure of nearly 2.6 million unemployed people does not include the jobless citizens who have given up looking for work.
Turkey ranks as the hardest working nation among OECD countries at an average of 49.3 hours per week, followed by South Korea at 45.9 hours, according to official 2010 data.