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Jobs abroad, suicide googled the most by Turks in 2019-2021 period: opposition MP

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An opposition lawmaker has found that the phrases searched for by Turks the most on Google between 2019 and 2021 involved working abroad and how to commit suicide, the Kronos news website reported on Monday.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Abdurrahman Tutdere studied Google search data between July 4, 2019 and July 4, 2021 and found that Google searches for jobs overseas and suicide increased more than 5,000 percent during the period in question.

Tutdere listed some of the most google’d phrases as “job abroad,” “unskilled jobs abroad,” “İŞKUR [Turkish Employment Agency] job ads,” “How can I commit suicide?” “I want to die,” and “suggestions for suicide.”

Tutdere said the results are evidence of the desperation of Turks who have lost all hope of finding a job in Turkey and who feel helpless in the face of unemployment and poverty.

Over the past several years Turkey has been suffering from a deteriorating economy, with high inflation and unemployment, as well as a poor human rights record. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is criticized for mishandling the economy, emptying the state’s coffers and establishing one-man rule in the country where dissent is suppressed and opponents are jailed on politically motivated charges.

Turkey’s financial troubles have increased since the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a sudden surge in the number of suicides and closed businesses.

“Brain drain is caused by high unemployment, low wages, a misguided salary structure, unqualified officials and a lack of opportunity for young people. Therefore, skilled young people choose to move to other countries in search of better opportunities, higher wages and an improved quality life,” Tutdere said.

A high cost of living has become the new normal in Turkey, where recent increases in food and utility prices are pushing up inflation, further crippling the purchasing power of citizens.

Tutdere noted that the highest rate of emigration was seen among people aged between 25 and 29 in 2019, adding that according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data, of 330,289 people who moved to foreign countries, 50,154 were between the ages of 25 and 29.

Although TurkStat announced a 10.7 percent unemployment rate in February, down from 22.9 percent a month earlier, many believe the institution tends to paint a politically motivated rosy picture and view its statistics as unreliable.

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