President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a video conference with youth from across Turkey, at an event organized to listen to their problems and boost their morale ahead of the weekend’s university entrance exams.
Answering students’ questions, Erdoğan promised legal regulations for safer internet and social media, stating that social media and other platforms have been “places where all types of lies, slander and perversity are circulating.” The president also assured the youth that there would be the creation of more jobs.
“Digital platforms and social media are not something we should neglect. If I hated social media, I wouldn’t use it so much,” Erdoğan, a prolific Twitter user with 16.2 million followers said. The president, however, criticized websites not removing misleading, false, defamatory content despite court rulings. “What if your phone is hacked and you have your private photos stolen and published on Twitter or Facebook? Every citizen should be entitled to protection of their reputation online. It is my duty to ensure all citizens can use social media efficiently and on a moral ground. We are preparing a strong legal structure to ensure it. Legal regulations will help our nation to access rich and trustworthy online content,” Erdoğan said.
The president also spoke on unemployment of university graduates. “We have around 8 million university students and the higher the education level, the later youth are able to launch their careers. Nowadays, this age is reaching to 30 if you include postgraduate studies. We need to change it and aim to create fields of employment in line with goals of the youth. Turkey has a great potential and we are determined to create jobs for every young person with experience and skills,” Erdoğan said. The president, meanwhile, warned that youth should not think that every university graduate will be employed in the public sector. “The real employment will be in private sector, in manufacturing, commerce and agriculture. I ask the youth to trust their skills and look for a future in the private sector,” he said.
Also speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic, Erdoğan warned of failing to comply with the rules. “We eased some restrictions but the number of new cases and fatalities did not drop to the level we desired. This points out that we should not abandon caution. The youth has a great responsibility to follow the rules. Any concession from the rules can lead to losses of adults. We see rules are not obeyed in many places, such as in picnic spots, we see people joining arms and hands (not complying with social distancing). This is a concern for us,” Erdoğan said.