Intergenerational living arrangements in Turkey.
Background information describes Turkish family patterns as characterized by 60% nuclear families, 19% patriarchal extended, 13% transient extended, and 8% nonfamily households. The new republic, during the 1920s, modernized by adopting the Swiss Civil Code, improving the status of women, and becoming the first secular Muslim country. Important educational reforms included a shift to the Latin alphabet, which reduced learning time to three months, and universal education. By 1985 literacy rose for women to 68% and for men to 86%. Islamic traditions also prevailed in dress customs, arranged marriages, and religious education and weddings. This study assumes that the development of Turkey may follow a path different from Western patterns. Data from the 1988 Turkish Family Structure Survey among 12065 urban household heads and 6145 rural household heads are used to examine married male households, which include the elderly and their living arrangements. Independent variables include region, location, education, religiosity, employment status, and the financial resources of the elderly. Control variables are age, presence of children in the household, and migration status. 22% of the sample are found to coreside with elderly and 47% live nearby an elderly family member. Results support the hypothesis that coresidence is more likely in the relatively less developed regions of the east and among more traditional persons. Coresidence in the east is 1.7 times more likely than in the west, 1.9 times more likely than in the south, 1.5 times more likely than in the central region, and 1.6 times more likely than in the north. Urban residence reduces the likelihood of coresidence. The more educated are less likely to coreside. Coresidence or proximity of residence is 5 times more likely if the elderly member holds title to the housing of the head respondent. Regional development does not appear to affect the likelihood of coresidence. Coresidence is more likely among the more traditional respondents and those with lower levels of education. The conclusion is drawn that levels of development, secularism, and educational attainment have not resulted in a decline in family ties.