April 24, 2011

TURKEY: ‘Turkey chance for aging Europe’

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ANKARA / Hurriyet Daily News / National / April 24, 2011

Anatolia News Agency

Photograph by Rana Mullan © UNICEF Turkey

Turkey’s young, dynamic, high-quality labor force has to ability to solve problems of the European Union as it strives to maintain its competitive power in the global economy, according to Turkey's Secretariat General for the European Union Affairs.

"The increasing number of people over the age of 65 and decreasing number of people at a working age are problems in the European Union that require urgent solutions,” the secretariat said in a statement. “According to the European Policy Center's report 'Temporary and Circular Migration: Opportunities and Challenges,' the active labor force will be down to 207 million in 2050 from today's 240 million. That number will decrease to 169 million if migration from the third countries to the EU-member states is not allowed. These figures should spur the European Union to review its migration policies," it said.

"Turkey with its young, dynamic and quality labor force has the ability to solve problems of the European Union in its efforts to maintain its competitive power in the global economy. While the European Union faces the threat of an aging and decreasing labor force, Turkey's working-age population has been increasing since 1980," it said.

"Today, Turkey's population is 74 million. People aged between 15-64 account for 65.2 percent of the total population. People aged between 0-14 account for 25.6 percent while people over the age of 65 account for 7.2 percent of Turkey's population. As Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and State Minister for European Union Affairs Egemen Bağış said on numerous occasions, Turkey will not be a burden to the European Union; to the contrary Turkey will ease the burden on the European Union," it said.

© 2011 Hurriyet Daily News