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Majority of Turkey’s Gen Z wants to live abroad, KAS survey reveals

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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.

Titled “Turkish Youth 2021” and released in German and Turkish on Tuesday, the study is based on a representative sample of 3,243 young people who were questioned by pollsters in face-to-face interviews in 28 provinces between May 20 and Sept. 10, 2021.

According to the survey, 72.9 percent of Turkey’s Generation Z, which includes 7 million people, the majority of whom will be voting for the first time in the 2023 elections, said they would like to live in another country if given the opportunity.

When asked about their motivations for living abroad, 32.4 percent of participants said it was the living conditions in the country they wanted to live in, which they said were better than those in Turkey.

They also said the countries they want to live in are more developed than Turkey in terms of protecting human rights and freedoms, in addition to employment.

The majority of young people in Turkey tend to have a pessimistic outlook on the future of Turkey, especially as regards the economic situation and their own life, focused mainly on the cost of living, inflation and the fear of a potential economic collapse, the study found.

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.

The survey revealed that 62.8 percent of respondents “don’t see the future of the country well,” while 35.2 percent are “completely hopeless” about it.

According to the survey, 82.9 percent of participants think that wealth and income are distributed unequally in Turkey, and 87.3 percent said the country’s unemployment rate was too high.

The main reason for the widespread unemployment in Turkey is favoritism, according to the participants, who said that they think appointments of civil servants in the country weren’t based on merit.

When asked about the figures and institutions they trusted, only 19.4 of respondents said they trusted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while 11.9 percent said they trusted the justice system, 6.9 percent said they trusted journalists and 3.7 said they trusted politicians.

The survey further showed that 55.2 percent of respondents were “neither happy nor unhappy” with their lives, while 25.8 said they were “unhappy.”

According to the findings, 62.5 percent of participants said they weren’t happy with the management of the country, adding that it was “poorly managed” by Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, while only 5.9 percent stated that they were happy with its management.

When asked which party they would have supported if a general election were to have been held between May and September, 10 percent of respondents said they would have voted for the ruling AKP, and 4.4 percent said they would have supported its far-right ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Among the respondents, 23.9 percent said they would have supported the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), while 4.9 percent said they would have voted for its ally the Good (İYİ) Party, and 4.7 percent said they would have supported the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Those who said that they were “undecided,” they “would not cast a vote” and “did not want to give a reply to the question” made up 44.7 percent of participants, which reveals Generation Z’s distrust and lack of hope for the political institution, the survey said.

When asked about the leader they admire and appreciate the most, among the politicians who are currently political party leaders in Turkey, the reply “none of them” came first with 20.1 percent, the survey said, adding that Erdoğan came in second with 16.8 percent.

When given the option to name somebody not included on the list, 16.3 percent of participants answered Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş from the main opposition CHP.

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