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Turkey's Kurdish Arithmetic

Image Of all the variables that dictate the fate of nations, demography might just be the most decisive. The pace of populations—how they grow, change and decline—helps shape a country’s political outlook, its internal makeup, and its place in the world. It can also provide useful insights into a nation’s foreign policy priorities. Turkey is a case in point. In late April, TurkStat, Turkey’s official statistics agency, released its latest survey of the country’s population. That study found that the national fertility rate, at 2.08, remains more or less stable. The trend, however, isn’t uniform. In the country’s west, birth rates generally fall significantly below the 2.1 live births per woman needed for “replenishment.” Births in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast, by contrast, are significantly higher. In other words, Turkey’s Kurdish minority is growing, while the rest of the country is not.
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