Child Poverty and Youth Unemployment in Turkey

Bayırbağ M. K., Göksel A., Celik C.

POVERTY & PUBLIC POLICY, vol.10, pp.390-413, 2018 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pop4.228
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.390-413
  • Keywords: Turkey, transition country, goals-outcomes gap, comprehensive approach needed
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article investigates the nature, causes, and consequences of child poverty and youth unemployment in Turkey, which is a transition country between the East and the West. It is argued that this in-betweenness leads to a gap between the intended goals and outcomes of relevant policies. The article places a special emphasis on how the post-1980 neoliberal turn has shaped the policy orientation of successive governments, and transformed the nature of child poverty and youth unemployment in Turkey, making the socioeconomic inequalities worse while concentrating these problems into major urban centers. It is observed that Turkey still does not have a long-term policy outlook regarding the future of child poverty and youth unemployment, such that those two issues could be treated as parts of the same problem. The same observation is also made about the related policy implementation structure. It is concluded that there is a need for a comprehensive approach, taking into account the needs and problems of the individual at different stages of life as a whole; paying attention to the interdependencies across the outcomes of state intervention in different policy areas; and ensuring policy coordination within and across currently fragmented policy implementation structures in different fields.