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Turkey slides further in World Happiness Report, ranking 106th

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Turkey has dropped two spots in the World Happiness Report 2023, ranking 106th among 137 countries in a continuation of its downward trajectory over the past several years, Deutsche Welle Turkish edition reported.

The report, the latest edition of which was released on Monday on the occasion of the International Day of Happiness, is issued annually by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network and draws on global survey data from people in more than 150 countries. It ranks countries on happiness based on their average life evaluations over the three preceding years, in this case, 2020 to 2022.

Turkey, which had a ranking of 79th in 2019, 93rd in 2020 and 104th in 2021, continued its poor performance in the 2023 report.

The report lists income, health, having someone to count on, having a sense of freedom to make key life decisions, generosity and the absence of corruption as parameters that play strong roles in supporting life evaluations.

According to the report Finland is the world’s happiest country, for the sixth year in a row, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Israel and the Netherlands, respectively, while war-torn Afghanistan is at the bottom of the list at No. 137, with Lebanon being one rank above.

The report says that global happiness did not take a hit in the three years of the Covid-19 pandemic, with life evaluations from 2020 to 2022 being “remarkably resilient” and global averages basically in line with the three years preceding the pandemic.

“… the share of countries engaging in repression … has been on an upward trend since 2006, with almost 10 percent of countries carrying out some form of political purges,” the report further said, listing Turkey among the countries that saw “higher repression” linked to a democratic recession over this period.

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 Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared a state of emergency following an abortive putsch on July 15, 2016 that remained in effect until July 19, 2018. During the state of emergency the AKP carried out a purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight by issuing a number of government decrees purging 130,000 civil servants from their jobs due to their real or alleged connections to “terrorist organizations.”

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