The Christian Science Monitor

When the economy’s bad and your leader’s an autocrat, do you go?

Turkish social entrepreneur Semih Boyaci, who plans to stay in the country, in the offices of Impact Hub-Istanbul, which he co-founded, Jan. 16, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. Source: Scott Peterson/Getty Images/The Christian Science Monitor

The tightly packed audience of well-off and well-educated Turks sat rapt at attention for two hours and forty minutes, without a break, as they heard the pros and cons of joining the growing exodus of their fellow citizens fleeing Turkey.

On everybody’s mind: Are the uncertainty and unhappiness of life under Turkey’s authoritarian and anti-Western president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, combined with shrinking economic prospects and an Islam-oriented retooling of Turkish society, reasons enough to leave their homeland behind?

Turkey’s so-called brain drain is accelerating, jumping 63.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 alone according to government statistics, and taking with it an educated and financial elite tired of grappling with chronic uncertainty.

“I am so unhappy I want to sell my car and move,” says one young woman in the audience. “I don’t have a child, but I don’t feel the motivation to have a child. I would want them to grow up

Erdoğan: Buy them a ticketThe country is losing‘Nothing is permanent’

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