In this article we look at the educational levels of  foreigners settling in Turkey.

We wanted to know about the educational background of the members of our sample but, due to different systems in different countries, the results were inconclusive with the exception of university graduates.  Combining first and higher degree holders 145 people in the sample had university education.

Almost 60% of the sample was retired.  We included the ‘retired, no income’ category to test the belief that foreigners in their late 40s and 50s were coming to settle in Turkey where they would live on interest from their Turkish bank accounts.  We were surprised when 109 people, over a fifth of the sample, placed themselves in that category.  The questionnaire did ask people to give their average monthly income in Euros but the response was poor, perhaps because the majority of the sample, British citizens, were not familiar with the Euro or else they were unwilling to reveal personal financial information.

People taking part in the survey could also write individual comments on the questionnaire form and several mentioned their desire to work here if only work permits were available.  Others wrote about their willingness to work voluntarily and underlined the need for greater cooperation with Turkish local authorities.  The activities of FIG were included in the final Turkish report as a model of a voluntary organisation involving a mix of nationalities working to carry out a range of projects to benefit the local community.

The questionnaire did ask respondents whether or not they supported Turkey’s bid to become a member of the EU and 278 out of 480 who answered the question said that they did.  This seems low as full EU membership would imply work permit issues should be resolved.  Interestingly in reply to the question ‘Do you think there are a lot of common points between Turkish culture and civilization and European culture and civilization?’ a larger number, 304 out of 480 concurred.

To find out people’s reasons for settling in Turkey, and other results, watch out for Part 4.