Report finds 73 percent of young people in Turkey want to live abroad

New research by a German polling company finds that 72.9 percent of young people in Turkey want to live abroad, largely as a result of the economic crisis.

Duvar English

The German research firm Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Association has released a “Turkey Youth Report 2021” that finds 72.9% of young people in Turkey want to move abroad, according to reporting by daily Sözcü. 

Most young people surveyed cited the economic crisis as the cause behind their desire to emigrate. 82.9% of the 3,243 people interviewed between May and September of 2021 said that income distribution in Turkey is unequal, while 87.3% cited high rates of unemployment in the country. 

Other primary reasons behind the desire to leave were runaway inflation, price increases, and economic collapse. 

Those surveyed also cited inequity in hiring practices as part of their desire to move abroad. When asked about the primary reasons for high unemployment in the country, the top reason cited was “nepotism.” 64.1% of young people surveyed do not believe that “people are treated in terms of competence and merit in recruitment.”

Many young people are also unhappy in the country. 55.2% of people said that they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their lives, while a full quarter of respondents – 25.8% – said they were dissatisfied and unhappy in Turkey. 

Of the 72.9% of people who said they would move abroad at the first opportunity, most wanted to move to western Europe. 30.6% of people said they would want to go to Germany, England, or France, while others cited the US, Canada, and Scandinavia as their preferred destinations. These are all countries that generally put a focus on rule of law and, excluding the United States, maintain strong social safety nets. 

Put simply, most of those surveyed said that “living conditions are better there than in Turkey.”

The desire to leave Turkey was also reflected in the respondents’ views towards the current political situation in the country. 48% of those surveyed said they “never trust” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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