Netherlands: Situation of Turkish youth is alarming

Netherlands: Situation of Turkish youth is alarming

The position of Dutch-Turkish youth in society is particularly worrying, according to a letter published in Dutch newspaper Volkskrant by ten Dutch-Turkish professionals, researchers, teachers and policy advisers. The sharp social climate and the lack of leadership in the Turkish community, lead the youth to apathy and to feel less connected to Dutch society. They are therefore more susceptible to crime and Muslim radicalization.

"All in all, there's starting to be a growing group of youth who are feeling out of place," according to the writers of the manifest. "they don't feel welcome in Dutch society. Some withdraw into their own (religious) community, others isolate themselves and are at threat of becoming lonely, developing seriously psychological problems or becoming susceptible to the seduction of radicalism or crime."

The ten professionals call the government, industry, educational and Turkish organization to give higher priority to the youth problems. "they should get the feeling that their future is in the Netherlands," they say.

The Alliance of Turkish immigrants in Holland (Inspraakorgaan Turken in Nederland) says it generally agrees with the manifest. "What they say is mainly right," says policy adviser Harm van Zuthem. "The analysis that many youth will turn their backs on society and will thereby lack opportunities, is right."

According to the recently published annual report on integration by Statistics Netherlands, Turkish-Dutch youth are behind in many fields. In the 2009-2010 school-year, 80% of the Turkish youth in their 3rd year of secondary education were in the vocational track. 20% were in the academic track.

In 2009, 18% of Turkish-Dutch aged 15-25 were unemployed. 40% of the Turkish youth aged 12 in 1999 were suspected of a crime between 1999 and 2007.

Turks are the largest immigrant group in the Netherlands. In 2010 there were 384,000, 49% of which were 2nd generation.

Source: AD (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Moroccans call Moroccan community to assume responsibility for youth crime