A report released on Monday by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) points to a marked trend among Turks of low engagement with cultural activities such as cinema, live performances, cultural site visits and live sports events.
The 2022 “Quality of Life Module” survey reveals that an overwhelming 85.3 percent of individuals aged 15 and over have not gone to the cinema in the past 12 months. Live performances experienced a similar lack of attendance, with 93.7 percent eschewing such events. Non-participation rates for visiting cultural sites and attending live sports events were also notably high, at 92 percent and 94.9 percent, respectively.
Interestingly, a lack of interest was cited as the main reason for non-attendance at the cinema by more than half (50.1 percent) of those not at-risk-of poverty or social exclusion.
Though material deprivation was a contributing factor for some, especially among those identified as poor or socially excluded, disinterest prevailed as the dominant reason for non-participation across all income groups.
The report also offers insights into other aspects of social life, such as personal relationships, financial satisfaction and reading habits. On average, satisfaction was highest with personal relationships (65.2 percent), compared to financial situations (46.9 percent) or the amount of leisure time (47.4 percent).
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.
The lira, which traded at 26.95 to the US dollar on Monday, has weakened 30 percent so far this year.