Global Affairs November 24, 2023 by

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Brain Drain Rain

Brain drain is pouring down on developing nations, sometimes washing away their hopes and future dreams.
According to the World Bank, brain drain is simply the migration of skilled and educated individuals from developing countries to wealthy ones. The widespread motives for it are better pay, living conditions, career opportunities, future uncertainty, and freedom.
However, although it can have both positive and negative effects on the source and destination countries, we see that fragile states definitely lose in the end.

Brain Power

The brain drain is one of the most controversial issues in Turkey and in the world.
Today, well-educated and well-trained people prefer to settle and work in their favorable countries.
The migration of qualified individuals is a loss of national wealth for some countries while a significant gain for some others.
It is obvious that developed countries, such as the United States, Canada, Germany, and Australia, are trying to attract the migrating brains in competition with each other, keeping their doors wide open with incentives such as visa facilitation and work guarantees. Meanwhile, this makes migration much more attractive.
The social cost of this dilemma is much higher than it seems in the source countries and of course, this matters closely to the welfare of the nation.


In this respect, if we look closely at the Turkish example, one can easily see all the aspects of brain drain.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, the economy-oriented labor migration that started in the 1960s later on turned into a qualified brain drain as a result of harsh periods of coups political and economic depressions.
Today, alarming numbers of scientists, doctors, engineers, IT programmers and even school-age students are searching for better opportunities abroad.
As long as the economic distress, unemployment, violence and concern for the future that push individuals to migrate cannot be eliminated, the nightmare may continue.
It is estimated that about 250,000 educated people have left the country in the last few years alone.
Architects, engineers, and academicians are at the forefront of the immigrant groups by occupation. In recent years, it has been seen that the health sector and communication and informatics programmers have been added to the list.
The number of doctors leaving Turkey has increased 50 times compared to 10 years ago.
The main reasons for the search for hope, which has turned into mass migration, are violence, low wages, working conditions, political pressure, and lack of professional development.
The vacuum created by those who left Turkey is ironically filled by doctors from neighboring countries to our east, who had to leave their country in the face of similar harsh conditions.

Brain Death

In short, it should not be ignored that countries that fail to prevent brain drain may face serious challenges in their development and sustainability like brain death.
Actually, brain drain does not necessarily cause brain death in all developing countries, but it can have at least a negative impact on their development, welfare, and national wealth. Thus, brain drain can be seen as a real threat to the development and sustainability of all countries, especially for the less developed, small, or conflict-affected ones.

Although some people claim that brain drain might be a win-win situation for both source and receiving countries; it is almost impossible in this case.

About the author

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Hasan Sevilir Aşan