Study reveals 61 percent of Turks don't want refugees in country

Twenty-nine illegal migrants, who were captured by the police while travelling en route to Europe in the Keşan district of the northwestern province of Edirne, are seen in this 2011 photo. (Photo: Cihan)

September 11, 2012, Tuesday/ 16:53:00

A recently released study conducted by the Barem Research Company and its global collaborator WIN/Gallup International Association has revealed that 61 percent of Turks do not want refugees in their country.

With a recent increase in the number of illegal immigrants and of refugees seeking shelter from unrest in their own countries, or due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes or famine, Barem Research has conducted a study titled “The Views of People on Global Immigration” to determine the way people regard migration across the world.

The study was conducted with the participation of 1,000 people in Turkey and a total of 50,000 people from 59 countries. According to the study, 38 percent of people around the globe consider migration negative and do not like immigrants, while 34 percent of people are positive about migration.

In Turkey, the perception of migrants is highly negative in terms of the global figures. According to the study, 61 percent of participants in Turkey said they did not want refugees in their country, with only 15 percent stating that they would invite migrants into their country. The remaining 24 percent had no strong positive or negative feelings about the issue.

However, while Turks proved generally negative about migrants in their country, they are among the nationalities most prone to migration themselves. Turkey sends the third-highest volume of migrants to other countries worldwide, and, considered on a per capita basis, Turkey is at the top of this list. Over 6.5 million people from Turkey, a country with a population of over 72 million, live in other countries around the globe, in particular Germany.

According to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), around 3 million more people entered Turkey to live than left to live abroad between 2000 and 2011.

The study also reveals that the high rate of migration is largely due to financial causes. Most migrants leave their countries to live in another country in order to have access to better economic opportunities.

Nigeria is the country that is most supportive of migration, the study suggests, followed by Pakistan and Armenia. Countries least favorable to global migration are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Turkey.

According to data from the International Migration Research Center (UGAM), the country that sends the highest number of migrants abroad is China, with 55 million people living outside the country, followed by India, with 35 million emigrants. India is followed by Turkey with 6.5 million emigrants.

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