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Youth as a priority

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According to a report from 2008 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) entitled ‘Youth in Turkey’, Turkey must now focus on developing comprehensive policies for youth in order to ensure that the country has a healthy, educated, and skilled society to face the challenges of next 15 years and beyond. According to this latter report, Turkey has a 15-year window of opportunities to prepare today’s youth for the challenges ahead. After 15 years, about 70% of Turkey’s population will be of working age and the working-age population will be increasing, though at a decreasing rate, until 2040. If Turkey can give the right opportunities to its youth today, by investing in their education in order to prepare them for higher value-added jobs in the future, the demographic window of the opportunities of this big youth cohort can be utilized effectively. But if this opportunity is mismanaged, unemployment, poverty, and social unrest may lie ahead.