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Erdogan vows to attract Turkish scientists to reverse brain drain

Turkey’s Erdogan

Ankara, Turkey | Xinhua | President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Türkiye supports the youth to study overseas and works to attract Turkish scientists living abroad to return home amid a debate over brain drain in the country.

“We aim to make Türkiye a center of attraction for our scientists all over the world. We strengthen our science ecosystem and reverse the brain drain thanks to our researchers who return with the programs we have established for this purpose,” Erdogan said at a science awards ceremony of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TUBITAK) and the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA) in the capital Ankara.

Erdogan was elaborating on a recent debate in Türkiye on the trend of young Turkish citizens to study or work abroad.

“We are not against our young minds going abroad to improve themselves, we support this,” said Erdogan.

Taking China for example, the Turkish president said “one of the biggest reasons for China’s success is the contribution of young people who study abroad and return to their country with the experiences they have gained there.”

According to the data of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), the number of people leaving Türkiye has almost doubled from 2016 to 2019. A total of 330,289 Turkish citizens emigrated from Türkiye in 2019, nearly 40.8 percent of them aged 20-34.

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