The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has published a report regarding the brain drain plaguing Turkey which revealed that the government’s authoritarianism, nepotism, incompetence and hostility to divergent lifestyles are driving the youth out of the country, the daily Cumhuriyet reported on Nov. 23.
According to the report that was prepared based on interviews with the people who left the country, human rights abuses, distrust in elections and state institutions, a decline in press freedom, state pressure on social media, nepotism and corruption, a lack of meritocracy, gender inequality and hostility towards divergent lifestyles and identities are the main factors that lead to brain drain.
Women, in particular, said that they're not feeling adequately protected by the judiciary and security forces in the face of male violence.
The interviews were attended by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
When asked under which circumstances they would return to Turkey, the respondents said they would return if they saw signs of increasing welfare, freedom of opinion, sexuality not being a taboo, a change of government, the advent of a merit-based system, a trustworthy judiciary apparatus and positive developments regarding education, the economy and politics.
The CHP report revealed that those who leave are below the age of 40 and those from large cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Antalya are mostly well educated.
A brain drain phenomenon has plagued Turkey for the past couple of years: According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), 69,326 citizens left Turkey in 2016, 113,326 in 2017 and 136,740 in 2018.
Research carried out by the Turkish Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV) in 2020 also showed that 62.5 percent of young people in Turkey wished to live abroad if they had the opportunity to do so.