Turks leave in droves: New York Times

Dunya Executive - - BUSINESS -

New York Times published an article on Turks “leaving the country in droves and taking talent and capital with them in a way that indicates a broad and alarming loss of confidence in Mr. Erdogan’s vision” based on government statistics and analysts.

“In the last two to three years, not only have students and academics fled the country, but also entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and thousands of wealthy individuals who are selling everything and moving their families and their money abroad,” it said.

More than a quarter of a million Turks emigrated in 2017, according to the Turkish Institute of Statistics, an increase of 42 percent over 2016, when nearly 178,000 citizens left the country.

“Turkey has seen waves of students and teachers leave before, but this exodus looks like a more permanent reordering of the society and threatens to set Turkey back decades,” Ibrahim Sirkeci, director of transnational studies at Regent’s University in London, told the New York Times.

“The flight of people, talent and capital is being driven by a powerful combination of factors that have come to define life under Mr. Erdogan and that his opponents increasingly despair is here to stay,” said in the article.

“They include fear of political persecution, terrorism, a deepening distrust of the judiciary and the arbitrariness of the rule of law, and a deteriorating business climate, accelerated by worries that Mr. Erdogan is unsoundly manipulating management of the economy to benefit himself and his inner circle.”

“The result is that, for the first time since the republic was founded nearly a century ago, many from the old moneyed class, in particular the secular elite who have dominated Turkey’s cultural and business life for decades, are moving away and the new rich close to Mr. Erdogan and his governing party are taking their place.”

“Applications for asylum in Europe by Turks have also multiplied in the last three years, according to Mr. Sirkeci, who has studied the migration of Turks to Britain for 25 years. He estimates that 10,000 Turks have made use of a business visa plan to move to Britain in the last few years, with a sharp jump in applications since the beginning of 2016. That is double the number from 2004 to 2015,” the story noted.

“Applications by Turkish citizens for political asylum also jumped threefold in Britain in the six months after the coup attempt, and sixfold among Turks applying for asylum in Germany, he said, citing figures obtained from the United Nations refugee agency. The number of Turks applying for asylum worldwide jumped by 10,000 in 2017 to more than 33,000.”

“At least 12,000 of Turkey’s millionaires — around 12 percent of the country’s wealthy class — moved their assets out of the country in 2016 and 2017, according to the Global Wealth Migration Review, an annual report produced by AfrAsia Bank. Most of them moved to Europe or the United Arab Emirates, the report said. Turkey’s largest business center, Istanbul, was listed among the top seven cities worldwide experiencing an exodus of wealthy people. “If one looks at any major country collapse in history, it is normally preceded by a migration of wealthy people away from that country,” the report said.”

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