Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Turkey||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||32||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||30||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||35||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||30||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||41||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
Of Turkish respondents, 32 and 30 per cent, respectively, think that the economic and political climate in their country has improved over the four years prior to the survey. These figures are 19 and 17 percentage points below the levels registered in the 2010 round of the LiTS survey but still higher than the averages for the transition region as a whole and for Italy. In addition, almost one in three Turks believe that there was less corruption in 2016 than four years before the survey, a figure higher than the averages for the transition region, Germany and Italy.
35 per cent of those surveyed say that their household lived better in 2016 than it did four years before the survey. Moreover, 41 per cent of respondents in Turkey report that they are satisfied with their personal financial situation. This figure is higher than the averages for the transition region (31 per cent) and Italy (33 per cent) but below the German level (55 per cent).
Turkey is at the lower end of the life satisfaction rankings, with only 42 per cent of Turkish respondents saying they are satisfied with their life, down from 50 per cent in 2010. This means that Turkey’s life satisfaction is now below the transition region average of 43 per cent. Only 29 per cent of those in the lower income bracket report being satisfied with their life.
Optimism about future generations is also relatively limited. 40 per cent of respondents think that children born now will have a better life than the current generations, a figure that is below the transition region average of 50 per cent. Optimism has fallen almost uniformly across age and income brackets since the last survey, but more so among those aged 60 or above and among those in the middle-income bracket.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Support for democracy and the market economy have increased slightly since the last survey, from 66 and 41 per cent, respectively, in 2010 to 69 and 42 per cent in 2016. Only 12 and 22 per cent of those surveyed do not prefer a specific political or economic system over another, while 19 and 36 per cent believe that an authoritarian system or a planned economy could be preferable under some circumstances. Respondents were also asked a hypothetical question about whether they would rather live in a country with full political liberties but weak economic growth (country B), or in one with fewer political liberties but strong economic growth (country A). As in most of the transition region, the majority (about 58 per cent) of Turkish respondents selected country A.
Only about a third of the Turkish respondents believe that basic democratic institutions exist in Turkey. For instance, 39 per cent of Turks believe that elections are free in the country, while 38 and 35 per cent, respectively, think that gender equality and freedom of speech are protected. In addition, another 35 per of cent of Turks believe that the court system is fair while only 33 per cent think that a strong political opposition is in place in the country. All these figures are lower than the corresponding ones for Germany and Italy and, except for the ones related to a strong political opposition and a fair court system, are also lower than the transition region averages.
Priorities for government spending
About 43 per cent of Turkish respondents think that education should be the main priority for additional government spending, the highest figure in the transition region, while 31 per cent would rather spend extra government funding on health care. Additional analysis of the LiTS III data shows that 57 and 59 per cent of Turkish people, respectively, would be willing to pay more taxes to improve the quality of their public health system and public education.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information are the television and the radio, used by 50 per cent of those surveyed, and internet and the social media, used by 38 per cent of the Turkish respondents. The use of the internet and social media has increased substantially since the last survey in 2010, when only 18 per cent of the respondents stated that they used the internet on a daily basis. Discussions with family, friends or colleagues are mentioned by only one third of the respondents as an important daily source of information. Lastly, newspapers are read at least once a day by 20 per cent of those interviewed, a number that is about twice the transition region average.
78 per cent of Turkish respondents consider their health to be “good” or “very good”. This is the second-highest figure in the transition region after Greece and a level of self-assessed health that is also significantly higher than the figures for Germany and Italy (68 and 54 per cent, respectively). Not surprisingly, health assessments are negatively correlated with age and positively with income in Turkey.
Quality of public services
Most Turkish people are satisfied with the quality of the public services provided in their country. However, the level of satisfaction for each service that respondents were asked about is lower than the corresponding numbers in the transition region, Germany and Italy. The only exceptions are the satisfaction with postal services and with the condition of local roads: 73 and 69 per cent of Turks, respectively, are satisfied with their postal services and their local road network, which is relatively high.
Social and economic mobility
When asked from a list of options what they thought were the most important factors for success in life in their country, 31 per cent of Turkish respondents chose “political connections”. This percentage decreases with the self-assessed income tercile. The percentages of people who opted for “effort and hard work” and “intelligence and skills” (37 and 28 per cent, respectively) are below the transition region averages and show little variation across income groups.
Attitudes towards women
Only about 62 per cent of Turkish respondents of either gender think that women are as competent as men as business executives, one of the lowest figures in LiTS III. This number is below the transition region average (78 per cent) as well as the Italian and German scores (89 and 69 per cent). However, only 24 and 30 per cent of female and male respondents, respectively, believe that men make better political leaders than women, two of the lowest percentages in the transition region. In addition, only 27 per cent of the population favours a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children, and 26 per cent of either gender think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working, again two of the lowest figures in the transition region.