Workers’ Istanbul, Istanbul’s Workers
Wealth Tax
Changing Society, Changing Professions
June, 15-16 Incidents

Economic Life

Wealth Tax

The government issued the Wealth Tax act on November 11, 1942 with the intent of taxing high profitability in order to lighten the harsh economic conditions resulting from the World War II. The rates designated by provincial treasury offices were different for Muslims and non- Muslims. The period of payment for the tax was determined as 15 days. Due to the high levels of taxes for non-Muslims, many properties passed into other hands in a few weeks, the majority being purchased by Turkish people, most of whom migrated from Anatolia.

Wealth Tax is of special importance for Istanbul. Around 34.000 of 114.368 wealth tax payers around Turkey used to live in Istanbul. This situation stroke non-Muslim minorities doing merchandizing and business in Istanbul and caused the majority of them to leave Istanbul after the war. 1229 of these Istanbul dwellers, who were not able to pay the high taxes, were sent to Aşkale to work physically as a compensation for their unpaid taxes, and 21 of them died in the working camp. After ten months of exile, in December 1943, the debts were released entirely and the exiles were sent back to their homes.


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