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Turkey’s senior citizens get their first university

Akdeniz University has launched Turkey’s first academic program for senior citizens as the problem of an ageing population looms large for the country in the coming decades.
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Turkey is a country that often boasts of its youthful population, but this advantage may not last long. According to the Turkish Statistics Institute, the country’s elderly — aged 65 and above — numbered 6.5 million in 2015, or 8.2% of the total population, up from 8% in 2014. Globally, elderly people make up 8.5% of the world’s population. So, Turkey is not that young, having an elderly rate close to the global average. Though it could hardly compare with nations such as Monaco, Japan and Germany, where senior citizens make up, respectively, 30.4%, 26.6% and 21.5% of the population, Turkey still ranks 66th among 167 countries in this category.

Only 11.5% of senior citizens participate in the labor force, which clearly demonstrates that the elderly are rarely employed. Shut out from productive life, they are in a sense left to await death, which brings about low spirits along with health problems.

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