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200,000 Europeans employed in Turkey

13 June 2011 [15:00] - TODAY.AZ
Migration into Turkey from Europe, where a number of members of the euro common currency area have been struggling with serious debt crises since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, has greatly increased because of still-present economic difficulties, the Turkish Sabah daily said on Sunday.

In its report the newspaper quoted a leading professor from İstanbul Bilgi University and claimed that there are now 200,000 European Union citizens employed in Turkey.

"Now even German citizens are leaving their homeland to seek jobs in Switzerland, Austria and Turkey. In the past few years, Turkey has become a popular destination for the foreign labor force and those who want to build an alternative life because [Turkey] was less affected by the [global] financial crisis, it does not have problems due to hot money inflows," said Professor Ayhan Kaya, head of Bilgi's European Institute.

The global financial crisis, which first emerged in the US mainly as a result of the credit crunch in the summer of 2008, had a huge impact on the European continent. The countries which were struck the worst were Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain, which are now collectively referred to as PIIGS. People living in those five countries in particular observed their leaders trying to assure markets that their countries were solvent and had the means to repay their debts without outside help. Yet time has proven those leaders wrong, and so far Ireland, Greece and Portugal have all received massive bailout funds from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Turkey, on the other hand, experienced major economic growth, with almost 9 percent last year, and also managed to decrease inflation and unemployment rates. 2010 was also a year of major achievements for the Turkish economy as its budget deficit /gross domestic product (GDP) and public debt/GDP ratios were much better than those of most EU member states.

As a result of that contrast, the country has also started to attract people from EU countries for employment purposes, Sabah reported, underlining that in fact much ado was made on the prospect of Turkish worker influx into the EU once it becomes a full member of the union.

"The migration in the opposite direction started when the EU countries failed the test when it came to dealing with the [economic] crisis," the daily notes, drawing attention to how realities have turned out to be exactly the opposite of prior expectations and fears. In the daily's report, Kaya also noted that more people from overseas are expected to come to Turkey to seek their fortunes in the years to come.

Turkey was officially recognized as a candidate to join the EU in 2005 and is now continuing accession negotiations with the 27-nation bloc. Those talks, however, have developed at a snail's pace, and so far the country has been able to open only 13 of 35 negotiation chapters. Turkey says the process was politically hindered by certain EU governments, including Germany, France and Greek Cyprus. The 74-million majority Muslim nation also contends that anti-Turkey circles within the EU are using scaremongering tactics to rally public support against Turkish membership.


/World Bulletin/
URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/88068.html

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