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Antalya is a popular choice among internal migrants

23 December 2009 [10:03] - TODAY.AZ
An automated population count using an address-based registry system first introduced in 2007 has freed Turks from house arrest on census days and made it easier to keep track of migration figures.

The Turkish Statistics Institute’s (TurkStat) Address-Based Birth Recording System (ADNKS) now allows for easy tracking of nationwide migration, population density and province and district population numbers.

According to TurkStat data for 2008, 2.2 million people have migrated from their place of origin to another part of the country. Antalya province received the largest net number of migrants in 2008. Although it received some 92,000 migrants, approximately 55,000 left the province last year. With 36,000 net migrants, Antalya leads the list.

Although İstanbul is migrants’ first choice, it places fifth in terms of net migration numbers. İstanbul is first in terms of receiving migrants. With respect to net migration numbers, the provinces of Antalya, Bursa, Ankara, İzmir and İstanbul received the most migrants, in that order.

Sociologist Ercan Tatlıdil says the new Antalya residents come from a qualified labor force. “People move to big cities to establish a workplace or a new life. Antalya receives many migrants because of tourism. Furthermore, retired people prefer Antalya. They move here to save themselves from the chaos in İstanbul.”

Attempts at reducing İstanbul’s population burden have resulted in the Return to the Village project. In 2008 alone, 375,000 people settled in İstanbul while some 348,000 left the province. Most İstanbul residents leaving the province have opted to go to Antalya, which saw an influx of 10,000 people from İstanbul. Antalya has also received a considerable number of migrants from Ankara, Isparta and Mersin.

The İstanbul Municipality covers the expenses of anyone wanting to return to their villages. The municipality has covered the expenses of 30,000 people who moved back to their villages over the past 11 years. İstanbul Police Chief Mustafa Tahmaz says the city pays the travel costs, including logistics, involved in moving people back to villages. “We send migrants who fit criteria we have established back with their belongings,” Tahmaz said, noting that the police see this process as a social responsibility. “We urge reverse migration on every platform,” he said.

İstanbul received 375,000 migrants in 2008. Ankara came in second, with 156,000 migrants. Last year, İzmir and Adana received 117,000 and 45,000 migrants, respectively.

İstanbul also tops the list of provinces from which people leave. Over 348,000 people left İstanbul. Ankara follows in second place with 126,000, İzmir with 89,000 and Antalya with 55,000 residents leaving to continue life elsewhere.

/Todays Zaman/

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