Turkey lags behind world averages in 9 key areas including freedoms, education 

Turkey, under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), ranks close to last in nine development metrics, including education, gender equality, workplace deaths, health, press freedom, democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms, left wing daily BirGün reported on Monday.

Turkey ranked 99th out of 137 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Education Quality report for 2018, alongside Mozambique, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Cambodia, it said.

The top three countries were Switzerland, Singapore and Finland in the study that ranked countries based on the percentage allocated per student out of the total budget.

According to the annual Global Pension Index by Melbourne Mercer in Australia, Turkey ranked 35 out of 37 countries for best conditions for retirement. 

Turkey’s point total was 42.2, with Argentina ranking second-to-last with 39.5 points.

The highest-ranked country was the Netherlands, with 81 points, while Thailand came last, scoring 39.5 points. 

Turkey ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the annual World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

“Moscow and Ankara continued to set a bad example, and the region’s worst despots behaved even more appallingly,” the RSF said.

Turkey ranked third in the number of jailed journalists according to RSF’s 2018 data.

Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net report for 2019 listed Turkey as “not free,” saying that internet freedom in Turkey is “highly restricted.”

The report categorised Turkey as the only “not free” country in Europe, and pointed to the bans against political content as well as detentions, long-term arrests and imprisonment of content creators.

Meanwhile, Turkey ranked 130th out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report for 2018.

The top-ranking countries for gender equality included Iceland, Norway, Nicaragua and Rwanda, while the bottom ranks went to Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.

Data from the EU’s official body for statistics Eurostat and Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) show that 1 out of every 193 workplace accidents in Turkey include a death, with 3.4 workers losing their lives every day, BirGün said.

The Netherlands was the EU country with the fewest workplace deaths per capita in 2015 according to the Eurostat data.

Turkey spends the lowest percentage of its GNP for health out the 36 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member states, BirGün said citing an OECD report on health.

Turkey spends $ 1,227 per capita for health, calculated using purchasing power parity (PPP).

Turkey also ranked lowest in doctors and nurses per 1000 population, with 1.9 and 2.1 respectively. Among OECD member states, Greece has the most doctors per 1000 population (6.1), and Norway the most nurses (17.7).

Turkey ranked 152nd out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index 2019 for the most peaceful countries.

Surpassed by Palestine, Venezuela, North Korea and Sudan, Turkey scored 3.015 in the index, ranking between the Sudan and Pakistan.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2018 report placed Turkey 110th among 167 countries, based on electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. 

The report categorised Turkey as a hybrid regime, between a full democracy and an authoritarian regime, and cited insufficient checks and balances for the president in Turkey’s presidential system as one of the reasons for the country’s low ranking, BirGün said.