Between Violence, Immigration and Suicide … Turkey’s Youth in Mill of Poverty and Politics

With the escalation of the file of financial and living crises in Turkey, the series of negative social problems and phenomena in society are increasing. These problems coincide with what the European Union Statistics Office reveals, about the high divorce rates in Turkey over the past two years, and the decline in marriage rates.

In its latest statistics, the office shows that during the year 2019, Turkey recorded a divorce rate of 1.9 per thousand married people. While the statistics on marriage registration decreased in the same period, according to the office’s confirmation.

It is noteworthy that Turkey is ranked fifth among the most countries in the Europe to register marriage, as marriage is a basic and common social phenomenon in Turkish society.

Search in poverty..

Given the high costs of marriage in Turkey, “Fatma Karaoglu”, a researcher in social affairs, links the decline in marriage and the high rates of divorce, and between living crises and the deteriorating economic situation.

“Many Turkish youth suffer from unemployment, poor income and lack of opportunities, which leads to abstaining from marriage or, delaying the age of marriage at best,” Karaoglu points out.

Karaoglu indicates that most of the social aspects that appear in a country can be considered a mirror of the economic situation in that country, not only at the level of marriage and divorce, but also at the level of high crime rates, for example, immigration, or even domestic violence.

“The deteriorating economic situation in Turkey is no secret. Poverty has turned into a real phenomenon that has resonated even in the largest Turkish cities, and is no longer confined to remote areas,” she adds.

The Turkish Trade Union Confederation revealed, at the end of last year, that the poverty line in the country had risen to 8,198 Turkish liras, for a family of four people, while the minimum wage is 2,324 Turkish liras net.

“How can a young Turkish man decide to marry while he is still living under the poverty line? I think that such a step would mean suicide under these circumstances,” the researcher Karaoglu asks.

At the same time, she indicated that the poor economic situation also stands behind the registered divorce cases, as it caused many family problems between husband and wife due to the husband’s inability to pay the basic needs of the home.

A survey published by the MetropollKK Center has revealed that one in four Turks is unable to pay their needs, while half of the population is still struggling to survive.

Other phenomena with government motives..

In addition to the bad economic situation, Sardar Omar, a researcher in Turkish affairs, talks about the existence of other factors that have produced negative social phenomena in Turkey, the first of which is violence against women, which has witnessed a significant increase over the past years, he says. Omar also indicates that this phenomenon is based on two main factors in Turkish society.

It is noteworthy that the WHO has confirmed that 38 percent of women in Turkey are exposed to violence from their partners, compared to about 25 percent in the rest of Europe.

Omar explains that the phenomenon of violence against women, with all its negative aspects, is spread by two factors, the first is poverty, which helps spread ignorance and increases the level of nervousness within the home between husband and wife, for example.

The second factor is related to the government through its procedures and decisions related to women’s issues, and the failure to secure full protection for them.

A few weeks ago, the Turkish government announced the withdrawal from the Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, or what is known as the “Istanbul Convention”, which was signed by 45 countries, and includes legislation against violence, marital rape, and female circumcision.

As for the issues of marriage and divorce, Omar believes that they will witness more vulnerabilities in light of the continuing deteriorating economic conditions in the country. He also indicates that a large percentage of young Turks are giving priority to immigration towards European countries in particular, which hinder marriage projects for them.

In the same context, Yasmine Yilmaz, the Turkish activist, considers that young Turks are living one of the worst periods of their lives within a century, due to unemployment, poverty and the lack of hope for an immediate improvement. She also points out that the phenomenon of suicide also reflects the tragic situation that youth have reached.

The Turkish Statistics Authority has announced that “in 2019, the percentage of working citizens at risk of poverty reached about 13.2%, after it recorded 12.8% during 2017, and during the same year the number of individuals at risk of poverty or social exclusion reached about 39.8%.”

As previously, the World Bank has warned of the exit of capital from the Turkish market and the rapid collapse of foreign exchange reserves, and the role of this in increasing external financing pressures on the Turkish economy. it also has indicated that millions of Turks will enter the list of extreme poverty.

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