Majority of Turkey’s Gen Z wants to live abroad, German foundation survey shows


A survey conducted by the Turkey office of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation, has revealed that the majority of Generation Z in Turkey, which includes people between the ages of 18 and 25, wants to live abroad, Turkish Minute reported, citing Deutsche Welle Turkish service.

Titled “Turkish Youth Study 2023” and conducted under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ali Çağlar from Hacettepe University, the survey is based on a representative sample of 2,140 young people who were questioned in 16 provinces between December 2022 and January 2023.

According to the survey, 63 percent of Turkey’s Generation Z said they would like to live in another country if given the opportunity, with their top three choices being Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, while only 37 percent stated that they would like to live in Turkey.

When asked about their main motivations for living abroad, 47.8 percent of participants said it was the prospect of better living conditions, followed by 20.7 percent who said they believed there’s more freedom where they want to live, 16.8 percent who “don’t feel safe in Turkey” and 14.7 percent who “can’t find a job in Turkey and believe it would be easier to find employment in that country.”

The research also revealed that 61.3 percent of young people in Turkey have faced economic difficulties during their time in school, with 84.4 percent stating that they have limited their expenses and only 12.6 percent saying they haven’t faced any financial difficulties while receiving an education.

The survey was conducted amid a deteriorating economy in Turkey, where high inflation and a slump in the lira’s value are affecting the standard of living, putting many people into poverty.

According to the survey, 98.4 percent of participants stated that they see other problems in Turkey, such as terrorism, unemployment, nepotism, corruption, bribery and security issues in addition to problems with the legal and education systems.

The survey further revealed that 70.4 percent of participants expressed dissatisfaction with the style of governance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The rate of those who disagreed with the government’s judicial practices was 81.2 percent, while 73.3 percent criticized its human rights practices. Moreover, 75.7 percent found the government’s education policies to be incorrect and 83.8 percent expressed their dissatisfaction with its economic policies.

The research also revealed young people’s negative views about refugees in Turkey. While 91.4 percent expressed their “discomfort” with the high number of refugees, 90.1 percent stated that refugees “disrupt Turkey’s population structure” and 80.8 percent of participants believed that refugees “pose a threat to Turkey’s future.”

Moreover, 91.8 percent of participants said they found the government’s policies and practices towards refugees to be incorrect and in need of change.

Turkey hosts nearly 3.5 million Syrian refugees who have fled civil war and were registered under temporary protection as of April 2023, according to official figures.

Ahead of the May elections Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who long pursued an open-door policy toward refugees, signaled a change in stance, saying his government is making efforts for the dignified return of Syrians to their homeland.

Last year Erdoğan announced that his government was working on a new project to ensure the “voluntary” return home of 1 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. He reiterated this promise in a live television interview last week.

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