Youth Survey
Youth Perspective on Turkey's Future

by Istanbul Economics Research
Istanbul Economics Research
© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

The research study, carried out with 3000 young people between the ages of 18-30 in 81 provinces across Turkey, sheds light on how young people look into the future. Approximately 56% of the relevant group did not vote in the 2018 general elections by cause of being underage, meaning they will be first-time voters in the upcoming general elections.

“People all around the world are trying to understand young people and their views. Especially the technology they were growing up with compared to the older generations distinguishes them from each other as perhaps never before in history. The proportion of young people in Turkish society is another factor that makes them even more important for politics and business. According to estimates in 2020 there were approximately 13 million people between the ages of 18-30 living in Turkey.”

The study revealed that young people are not as reckless as they are thought to be. When asked "What would you consider doing to live in a better society in the future?", 81 % replied with "I give importance to my personal development, and I invest in myself."  3 out of 4 young people replied "I vote" whereas only 24 % consider joining a political movement or party.

Furthermore, the way how young people follow politics and the political agenda brought forward striking facts. Most of the young people follow the political agenda on Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and Youtube, respectively. According to the research, Instagram is the most used social media platform across all education level groups. As the education level decreases, the use of Youtube decreases, while the follow-up of the political agenda on TikTok increases. Another compelling fact comes to the fore in the field of print media: newspapers are the medium that young people spend the least time with following the political agenda, and more than half of the sample does not follow newspapers at all.

Other significant findings of the study are as follows:

  • “How important is it to you to live in a country where freedom of expression is guaranteed?” 83% of the participants answered “Very important”. As the importance given to freedom of expression increases, so is the preference for participatory democracy.
  • While politics is mainly unreliable, young people consider the Turkish Armed Forces and civil society as the most reliable institutions.
  • Most of the young people between the ages of 18-30 view the cooperation with the USA-NATO and the European Union positively in the near future, while the vast majority considers the collaboration with the Middle East, Russia and China negatively.
  • Youth Perspective on Turkey's Future

    You can download the full report here (in Turkish language).