Looming questions over Turkey’s mysterious population growth - columnist

There is a discrepancy in Turkey’s population growth between 2012-2017, with millions of people who appear to be neither not born nor have migrated to the country,  wrote İbrahim Kahveci in his column on Monday for Turkish moderate conservative Karar newspaper.

Statistical estimations in the past would suggest that Turkey’s population would never hit the 100 million mark, Kahveci wrote, however, the current scenario suggests that it’s population, currently 79.8 million, will exceed 120 million.

However, just how Turkey is expected to hit that number remains a mystery, the Karar columnist says.

Kahveci points to a discrepancy in Turkey’s population by sharing the following statistics for the country by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK):

  • Total births between 2012-2017: 6,086,000
  • Total deaths between 2012-2017:  2,395,000

“We would expect the population growth for this period to be some 3,692,000 if we were to subtract the death rate from the birth rate,” Kahveci wrote. “But our population increase for those years is reported as 7,878,000, pointing to an additional increase of 4,187,000 people.”

The Karar columnist looks into where this population increase is coming from, zooming in on 2016-2017.

“The population is recorded to have increased by 2, 603,000 for those years,’’ Kahveci wrote. “Even if we take into consideration the 416,000 migrants who arrived in Turkey over those years, as recorded by TÜİK, then that would take us to a population increase of around 1,637,000 between those years, a long cry from 2, 603,000.’’

Noting that there are some 966,000 people who appear to be neither born nor have migrated to Turkey in 2016 and 2017 alone, Kahveci asks, “Who are these people?”