The healthy share of young people in Turkey’s population shows the country’s strength and potential in the decades to come, said Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on Tuesday.
Speaking during his party’s parliamentary group meeting in the capital Ankara, Bahçeli noted that Turkey has a population of some 13 million young people aged 15-24.
He explained: “15.6% of our population consists of young people. Turkey’s young population rate is much higher than the young population of EU countries. This picture is basically clear evidence of our potential and comparative and strategic strength.”
Dismissing the demographic categories of generations X, Y and Z, Bahçeli said, “We do not analyze them in this way,” adding that soon other letters of the alphabet would be needed, and there would be no end to this.
In 2019, Turkey’s youth boasted 15.6% of the population, inching down 0.2% percentage points on a yearly basis, according to the country’s statistical authority.
But the young population is projected to drop in the coming decades, down to 14.8% in 2023, and later to 11.1% in 2080.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has encouraged married couples to have at least three children to avoid Turkey’s population growing older.
The MHP is the partner of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in an election alliance of the People’s Alliance.
In the 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections, the alliance got a majority in Parliament, while their presidential candidate, Erdoğan, also won the election with 52.6% of the votes. Since both parties consider the results of the June 24 elections as successful, they continued their alliance in the 2019 local elections. The People’s Alliance received 51.6% of the votes and won more than 700 municipalities in the March 31 local elections.
Erdoğan recently expressed confidence about winning the elections in 2023, saying that it will be a year of victory for the People’s Alliance.
The AK Party has consistently denied rumors of early elections, despite speculation by opposition parties. Turkey is expected to hold presidential elections in June 2023.