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Struggling economy and crackdown boosts Turkish brain drain

Sep 29, 2018 by

The number of Turks with a college degree or higher who have moved abroad has increased threefold in the last 30 years due to concerns over the economy and government crackdown on dissent, analysts said.

The Turkish lira has fallen some 40 percent against the dollar this year due to concerns about stubbornly high inflation and unemployment. The fall has increased the cost of imported goods and raw materials and many businesses are struggling to pay off debts taken out in dollars or euros. Economists warn Turkey may be heading into a severe economic downturn.

“Turkey is not in a good place,” said Muhammet Hizmetçi, a graduate of Istanbul University who studied translation and interpretation. “When you look at the reports, the proportion of unemployed people with diplomas has increased incrementally. Those employed work under heavy exploitation. Our new graduates want to leave the country when they can’t find employment.”

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK) said in March the unemployment rate for people between the ages of 15 and 24 had increased 1.2 percentage points year-on-year to 20.8 percent.

“I was unemployed during summer break, and even this increased my anxiety. I’m staying in a dormitory in Kocaeli, and due to the lack of money, I came to the point of quitting school. My family isn’t in a very good economic situation. They say there’s free education, but we have to pay for dormitory fees and huge amounts for books,” said Uğur Çalişkan, a second-year student of banking and insurance at Kocaeli University.

Source: Struggling economy and crackdown boosts Turkish brain drain | Ahval

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