More than half of Turks want to live or study abroad: survey

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Fifty-three percent of Turks would like to live or study abroad, according to a survey recently conducted by the Ankara-based MetroPoll. 

The results of the section titled “Living Abroad” in “Turkey’s Pulse — January 2022” were published Wednesday on social media.

When asked “Would you like to live or study abroad?” 53.0 percent of respondents said yes, while 44.8 percent said no. 

Only 2.1 percent of respondents said they had no idea or chose not to answer.

The survey found that voters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), were less inclined to live or study abroad, with only 21.4 percent of AKP voters and 29.7 percent of MHP voters saying they would choose to live or study in a foreign country.

The rate was considerably higher among supporters of opposition parties, with 76.1 percent of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters, 57.1 percent of İYİ (Good) Party supporters and 62.5 percent of Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) voters opting for life or education abroad.

The rate was highest among the supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), with 82.3 percent of them saying they would prefer to live or study abroad.

The survey further found that age was an important factor in people’s decision, as 64.3 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 34 said they would like to live or study abroad.

The rate declined as the age of respondents increased. Thus, 48.4 percent of respondents aged between 35 and 54 were inclined to leave Turkey, while only 43.4 of those aged above 55 said they would like to live or study in a country other than Turkey.

“Our people’s choice for living or studying abroad,” Özer Sencar, MetroPoll’s founder, tweeted.

The pollster had asked the same question one year ago and found that only 47.3 percent of respondents said “Yes,” while 45.9 percent answered “No.” The remaining 6.8 percent of respondents had no opinion.

The clear increase in the number of Turks seeking to live or study abroad over time may be due to the country’s worsening economic performance and increasing unemployment under AKP rule.

Under pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and despite high inflation, the central bank has slashed interest rates by 500 basis points since September, triggering a currency crisis that saw the lira plunge last month to 18.4 to the dollar, its weakest level ever.

Inflation has jumped to a 19-year high of 36 percent, seriously eroding earnings, especially of working and lower middle class Turks who form the electoral base of Erdoğan’s AKP.

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