INTERNAL MIGRATION PHENOMENON AND URBANIZATION IN TURKEY
Migration is a fact that plays an important role in the period of human history, such as tribal migration that is heavy human migration to Europe between 350-850 years. Migration was a turning point in the history for some empires or states. Migration means the movement of certain population from a specific territory to another. There are many consequences of migration such as social, economic, cultural and physiological factors. Migration is categorized into two parts namely internal and external migration. Internal migration refers to the movement of habitation within the state boundaries which involves cities or villages. External migration refers to movement of residents of a particular country to another country. There is a significant difference between these migrations in terms of boundaries.There has been rapid and intense migration from villages to cities (internal) in Turkey in the nineteenth century in search of job opportunities and a better life style.
This report aims to investigate the facts of Turkey's internal migration, distribution of population over the country during these years and the issues caused as a result of urbanization due to irregular increase or decrease of population in a specific territory. The report also analyzes the educational and career opportunities of Turkey. It also explains the issues related to infrastructure of the country.
Irregularly changing population may lead to positive cases in some ways but at the same time it leads to several severe problems. For example, unauthorized constructions set up in a short time called "gecekondu" has been a major issue in Turkey. This has lead to limited job opportunities, healthcare, education and lack of infrastructure due to growing population.
2. Unauthorized construction set up in a short time called "gecekondu"
2.1. History of gecekondus
In Turkey, during the 1960’s. People from rural areas started to migrate to larger cities in large groups. The cities were not developed either economically or physically to receive the migrants. Even the capital of Turkey, Ankara lacked houses for low-income people. In such a situation, the new migrants had to build their gecekondus which in Turkish mean illegal houses. Gecekondus were put up both in the city centre and the inaccessible areas of the city such as slopes of a hill. As time passed away, the need for cheap labor increased and the low income people was employed to work in the industries. Thus, gecekondus became a permanent part of the city.
2.2 Development of gecekondus
With their growing standard of living, people living in gecekondus wanted good services including water, transport, electricity and household commodities. Their economic standard saw the rise of new domestic markets. Brokers and speculators took the advantage of gecekondus and slowly transformed the small houses into multistorey buildings and apartments. The new gecekondus have all facilities which were desired by the residents.
2.3 Population of migrants in gecekondus
As of 1955, the population living in gecekondus was approximately 250,000 which was 4.7 percent of the urban population in the country. By 1960, the same population increased up to 1.2 million, contributing to 16.4 percent of the urban population. The gecekondus were established mostly in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara and the financial hub of the country, Istanbul. With the establishment of factories in Istanbul, the city’s population doubled and dramatically increased from around 861,000 in 1945 to 1,467,000 in 1960. And by the year 2000, the urban population in Turkey reached 66 percent that is high. This was the root cause for hampering of socio-economic conditions in the country.
3. Factors contributing to limited job opportunities in Turkey
One of the basic reasons for limited job opportunities in Turkey is low literacy rate. Turkey’s labor force has a low level of schooling. More than half of the country’s population has formal education of less than eight years. There is a high difference between the skills acquired by formal education and the skills needed in the job market. Another factor is that the Turkish population of the working-age does not enter the labor market due to low wages. The last factor being about 35 percent of the female population of Turkey neither work nor study. Based on the figures cited in the Tenth National Development Plan from Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), the key labor market indicators for Turkey for various years is shown below in the table.
The majority of the population of Turkey was limited to rural areas and was restricted to the agricultural sector. They had only about five years of education until 1997 when it was made mandate to pursue eight years of formal schooling. Uneducated males mostly worked in the fields, construction and tourism. Internal migration saw large uneducated groups coming to cities from the rural areas and the uneducated workers are reluctant to take part in the urban labour market. They took up self employment. Some of them started tourist agencies as tourism is one of the fields that get huge earnings in Turkey. Since better jobs in terms of wages and working environment require university degrees and high quality of education, the chances of employment would only increase with the increase in educational institutions and universities in Turkey.
4. Healthcare and educational problems in Turkey
4.1 Healthcare problems in Turkey
Despite the Health Transformation Program started in Turkey in 2002, the country still continues to face the shortage of doctors and nurses. The mortality rate due to coronary heart diseases has increased to a great extent. Prevalence of diabetes has also doubled in the past decade. Obesity is one of the most common issues faced by the country. People suffering from high blood pressure lack good pharmaceutical treatment. Child and infant mortality rate is also high in the country. The country also imposes charges for cost-effective pharmaceutical treatments which are not a good practice. There was also discrimination in terms of medical treatment done between the Turkish and the non-Turkish speaking minorities. During the 1970’s and 1980’s attempts were made to establish good health governance systems with the help of public and private funding. Due the country’s bad economic situation, the plan failed.
4.2 Educational problems in Turkey
The education system in Turkey is centrally managed in accordance to the laws set up in 1923 at the time of Republic. The Ministry of National Education is the governing body of the education system in Turkey. Turkey provides free education to its students. Until 1997, it was only a five year compulsory education. With the new law that came into effect in 1997, eight years of education was made mandate. In 2012, another law came into effect that extended the eight year period to twelve years. However, the quality of education in Turkey is very poor when compared to other countries. Due to lack of awareness in the migrants who came from rural areas, education is considered to be of very less importance. There are also many schools that lack minimum necessities like blackboards. In some places, there are no roads to schools and due to insufficient facilities; the students are reluctant to study. Another factor is the exam-oriented system at every stage of education.
5. Lack of infrastructure with increasing population
There are several factors that contribute to the lack of infrastructure in Turkey. The first factor is unplanned migration within the country. The unplanned migration has led to social and economic challenges. The unplanned constructions have worsened the infrastructure of the country to a great extent. Turkey frequently experiences natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and landslides. It is one of the first countries in the world under the risk of earthquakes due to its geographical location. Between 1980 and 2010, the statistics show the number of people killed in earthquakes is more than half of the people killed in other disasters.
The 1999 earthquake in Izmit, Turkey, took the lives of around 15000 people and more than six million were left homeless. The great damage could have been avoided provided if the city had well-planned buildings. Most of the buildings were not properly designed and were built on the coastal areas which are highly prone to floods. The foundations were not strong enough to withstand the earthquakes. Poor transport system in remote areas has led to the poverty of the rural people as they have no facilities to pursue education.The roads are very narrow and congested. Corruption and poor public administration are also prevalent in the country. Lack of coordination between the government and the disaster management team has contributed to a major percent of loss. The following is a table that better explains the situation.
The report provides an overview of the internal migration and its consequences in Turkey. It explains the concept of gecekondus, the unplanned construction of houses in Turkey, how and when they have emerged and the result of their emergence there after. The report also provides various reasons for non-participation of youth in the job market, especially women. It showcases the education system on the whole and how it has transitioned from old schooling f five years of education to compulsory twelve years of schooling. The report analyses the causes for low literacy rate among the children and the steps that need to be taken care of in order to improve the literacy rate. It portrays the reason behind the failure of healthcare system in Turkey. It explains various challenges faced by the governance that takes care of the healthcare system. The report points to the areas that should be taken care of so that only negligible amount of the population is affected during disasters. It figures out the most dangerous incidents that occurred in the country and the human contribution towards it. The report also explains the consequences faced by the rural people who have migrated to urban areas, their challenges and way of living. It proves the irresponsibility of the government and its malpractices which indirectly hamper the economic growth of the country.
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