02/18/2022, 10.00
TURKEY
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Challenged and eager to leave: young Turks against Erdogan

Research carried out by the German organisation Kas reveals 73% of those questioned (aged between 18 and 25) would like to leave the country if they had the chance. Forty-eight per cent had no confidence in the president. Very little trust in politicians, parties and the press. Over 90% are in favour of premarital relations, 80% for gender equality. 

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - Pessimism towards the future, a desire to flee abroad and a deep mistrust in the country's leadership, especially in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is the picture that emerged from the "2021 Report on Young People in Turkey", published in recent days by experts from the German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Kas) institute, founded in Bonn in 1955. A picture that raises more than one alarm for Ankara's leadership: around 73% of respondents said they would like to live abroad if they had the opportunity; 48% said they "have no confidence" in the head of state who has been in power for two decades.

The study examines data on the attitudes, opinions, expectations, preferences and compositions of boys and girls, which generally show a "pessimistic outlook" within a framework of "dissatisfaction and frustration". The respondents surveyed by Kas are aged between 18 and 25, around seven million out of the total of over 84 million that make up the country's overall population; more than 100 questions were asked in the presence of 3,243 young people spread across 28 provinces. Among the topics covered were local and international politics, activism and cultural, religious and social preferences. 

With regard to the ruling class, 48% said they had "no confidence" in Erdogan; added to those who "do not believe" in him, the figure for those who are unhappy at various levels reaches 58.5%. Asked about their favourite political leader, 20.1% (the highest figure) said "none", with the president in second place with 16.8% of preferences. In addition, the vast majority (80.4% of respondents) criticised the government's refugee policies and called for them to be changed, and over half (56.8%) wanted Syrian refugees to be repatriated. 

As for the future, the outlook is pessimistic: 62.8% of respondents say they do not see Turkey "well", while 35.2% say they are "completely distrustful" of the country's prospects. The economy, inflation and the possibility of personal fulfilment are all causes for concern. "A significant majority, 72.9%, said they would like to live in another country if they had the chance. There is no trust in politicians (only 3.7%), political parties (4.4%) and journalists (6.9%), while scientists (70.3%) and the army (61.8%) are held in higher esteem. There is also low esteem and consensus around the presidency (19.4%) and the judiciary (11.9%). 

The vast majority (80%) believe that women and men are equal; for 92.3%, premarital relations - between men and women - are normal, confirming a rather liberal and open-minded youth. The family (96.6%) and friends (82.9%) are the most important institutions and elements for the respondents, in a society made up of nationalistic young people, who consider symbols such as the flag (89.7%), the republican institution (87.4%) and being Turkish (71.6%) as preponderant elements. For 70.5%, being Muslim is very important, although 29.8% said they were devout, while 56.9% said they believed in God but did not consider themselves devout. 

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