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Permanent departures from Turkey surge by 62.3 percent in 2022, official data reveal

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A significant increase in the number of people leaving Turkey was observed in 2022, rising by 62.3 percent, reaching a total of 466,914 individuals, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) on Monday.

The report said 55.7 percent were male and 44.3 percent were female. In addition 139,531 were Turkish citizens, while the substantial remainder of 327,383 were foreign nationals.

Conversely, the number of migrants arriving in Turkey during the same period dropped by 33.2 percent, totaling 494,052 people. Of these, 52.9 percent were male and 47.1 percent were female. Foreign nationals accounted for the majority, with 399,643 individuals.

The province with the highest volume of both migrants and departees was İstanbul, with 35.4 percent of all migrants and 39.5 percent of all departees, followed by the provinces of Antalya, Ankara, Bursa and Mersin.

Citizens of the Russian Federation made up the largest proportion of migrants to Turkey, at 25 percent, followed by citizens of Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. On the other hand, Iraqi citizens made up the largest proportion of foreigners departing Turkey, at 20 percent, followed by citizens of Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

This rise in departures from Turkey coincides with the findings of the “Turkish Youth Study 2023” conducted by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation. The survey found that 63 percent of Turkey’s Generation Z, those aged between 18 and 25, expressed a desire to live abroad if given the opportunity. Preferred destinations included Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Major reasons cited for this desire to leave the country included better living conditions, which were highlighted by 47.8 percent of participants, a perceived increase in personal freedom, safety concerns and improved employment opportunities.

The KAS survey also pointed out widespread dissatisfaction among the younger generation with the current governance and handling of refugees in the country. Nearly 71 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s style of governance. The country’s policies towards refugees were a particular point of concern, with 91.8 percent of participants deeming them incorrect and in need of change.

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