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Turks view immigration negatively, survey says

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 8/24/2011 12:00:00 AM |

A recent survey shows that Turkish people are developing a negative attitude toward immigrants in their country. Accordingly, some 61 percent of Turks think there are too many immigrants in the country

Turkish people are developing an increasingly negative attitude toward immigration and immigrants in their country, according to a recent survey by Ipsos KMG.

Some 61 percent of Turks think there are too many immigrants in the country, while 6 percent of the population believes immigrants are having a positive effect on the country, said the survey, which was conducted in 24 countries, including the United States, Germany, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, among 19,000 respondents.

On average, 52 percent of respondents believe there are too many immigrants in their home countries, while 48 percent believe immigrants make it more difficult to find jobs. By contrast, 61 percent of Turks believe migrants negatively affect the job market.

Eighty percent of those surveyed believe the number of immigrants to their countries has increased in the last five years, while only 21 percent believe immigrants have a positive effect on their country.

[HH]Positive views

While Turks had the most negative opinion on immigrants, it was closely followed on the score by Hungary at 8 percent and Belgium at 9 percent. On the opposite end of the scale, 43 percent of Indians viewed immigrants as positive, followed by Canada at 39 percent and Saudi Arabia at 37 percent. In Japan, meanwhile, only 15 percent thought there were too many immigrants in the country.

Ultimately, immigration and immigrants raise concerns in many countries, the survey said, adding that tensions can particularly rise during economic crises.

According to economist İbrahim Arslan, author of a book called “Economy of Immigration,” the effects of immigration depend on the quality of the people entering a country and should not always be evaluated negatively.

“Many people consider immigration’s effects as negative in the sense that it will raise unemployment and crime rates but it may not be so depending on who and where the people are coming from,” he said.

Arslan said many people from the ex-Soviet and Balkan countries immigrated to Turkey in the 1990s and added that people from the Middle East and Asia were not set to replace them. “In the past Turkish people used to go abroad but now Turkey is drawing immigrants, it is a growing subject,” Arslan said, adding that in order to integrate people into society, Turkey should establish immigration integration centers. k HDN

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