“Social Cohesion in Turkey” report, written by researchers Aysen Ataseven and Çağla Bakış representing INGEV with findings acquired from 1514 face to face interviews is published with an executive summary drawn up by Fuat Keyman. The report takes on issues such as the scale and the current status of social cohesion in Turkey. Social Cohesion Index, generated within this study, will make it possible to follow these issues in the future as an important chart related to social life.
The research was conducted to measure social cohesion level of Turkish society in the latest period in which political polarisation has risen. To understand the situation more clearly, a “Social Cohesion Index” was reported within this framework. Social cohesion, within its cognitive framework, was examined under three main topics:
- Social Relations
- Collective Interest Understanding
Phenomena subjected to social cohesion were determined and based on this, question sets were written up.
The model used in this study was modified from the social cohesion models of European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) and Bertelsmann Stiftung.
From the preface written by Fuat Keyman;
“Lately, during Turkey’s transition process in the fields of economy, technology, urbanization as such, we are facing a Turkey where the polarisation gets bigger, the culture of living together in peace weakens, although people feel safe individually they can’t trust different individuals. Turkey looks like an “individuals’ land” which is weak in creating collective norms, in taking a part in civil society, and in trusting different individuals. In this perspective, it’s appropriate to say we live in the “Individuals’ Turkey” not in the “Norms’ Turkey”.
How can this general statement be grounded, which factors lay the groundwork for “Individuals’ Turkey”, is polarisation affects every level of social life or are there different effects? To answer these kinds of questions, we have to look at social cohesion status which is an important field of research and in which there is a rising interest. Social cohesion researches conducted by examining social correlativity, social relations, and, collective interest understanding; in general social life in a country, yield important findings related to “living together” and “social trust” relations or levels in that country. The countries with high social cohesion are the countries that are against polarisation, low in conflicts, and has high levels of living together and social trust. The research here is examining social cohesion in Turkey who is experiencing issues such as security risks and conflict areas lately.
General Social Cohesion Index in this study was measured based on sub-indexes Correlativity, Social Relations, and Collective Interest Understanding. According to this, social cohesion in Turkey is at medium level (55/100).