Reasons of anti vaccination in Turkey

According to research, one out of every two people in Turkey has a family member who has had coronavirus. Anti-vaccination has reached 17 percent. What are the reasons for the anti-vaccination in Turkey?

With the rapid spread of the delta variant all over the world, the Covid-19 epidemic started to rise again. However, the rapidly developed Covid-19 vaccines changed the course of the pandemic, which was predicted to last for years, according to the data obtained in the first place.

Vaccines, which reduce the risk of serious illness and death caused by Covid-19, slowed down although they could not completely prevent the contagiousness of the Delta variant.

The fact that vaccines have been developed very recently and at an unprecedented pace in the world of medicine and biotechnology, and the lack of adequate data and information gathering about their side effects, make some people doubt the safety of vaccines.

In particular, the danger of infertility of vaccines, the ignorance of its possible effects on pregnant and lactating women, various side effects such as rare heart muscle and membrane inflammations or blood coagulation, and rumors or unknowns such as anesthesia and DNA changes fuel anti-vaccination opposition.

Some anti-vaccine opponents act under the influence of information and messages circulating on social media or for political reasons.


According to the data of the Coronavirus Outbreak and Community Survey published on 28 June in Turkey and conducted by Ipsos, 65 percent of individuals who have not been vaccinated so far intend to be vaccinated.

The rate of the people who are undecided about the vaccine is at a higher rate compared to other countries. Accordingly, 19 percent of the population in Turkey express that they are undecided about whether to have the vaccine or not. As a reason, it shows the possible side effects of vaccines in the future.

According to the research, the rate of those who state that they are anti-vaccine among those who have not been vaccinated so far is 16 percent. The most important reason for the opposition to the vaccine, which is at the same rate as Italy, is stated as the belief that the vaccine will not protect them against the coronavirus.


A research site named Açık Beyin published a study examining the opposition to vaccines in Turkey through social media. Dr. Tuğba Aydın Öztürk is the advisor of the research committee, which consists of Ferhat Çetin, Aycan Akgül, Burak Bulut, Nilüfer Korkmaz, Zahid Erkılıç and Yasemin Mert.

Stating that anti-vaccination is carried out effectively, especially on Twitter, the researchers stated that they limited the scope of the research to Twitter.

There are more than 60 million social media users in Turkey. 15.6 million of them use Twitter. In this context, Twitter is the fifth most popular social media platform in Turkey.

Anti-vaccine and tweet analysis studies in the literature include categorizing the posts with determined word groups and similar variables. The posts collected about a certain subject are classified with the help of artificial intelligence. Thus, it can be calculated how much percentile the determined variables occupy in a post set. Then, social and scientific inferences are made on the subject. If necessary, in the light of these inferences, variables are changed and new hypotheses are established.

In the research, the "5G Virus News" profile, which has the most followers on the subject of anti-vaccine and represents a platform rather than a person, was taken as a source. Afterwards, the most used tags were determined by examining the posts shared through this profile. The most popular posts shared using these tags were identified and analyzed.

When the controversial posts about the vaccine are examined, the idea that "the vaccine is part of a fiction planned by global powers" stands out. It was determined that the words conceptualized in this context, system, order, fiction, plot and game are widely used.

The relationship between anti-vaccination and globalization is the hypothesis that these processes are controlled by global capitalists. The idea that multinational capital gains unlimited power and cannot be controlled even by states in line with its interests is the basic starting point of anti-globalization. Therefore, it can be thought that anti-vaccination may be directly related to anti-globalization.

There are some names targeted by anti-globalization. These people are often among the richest in the world. Bill Gates is at the top of the target list. One of the reasons for this may be that he is known as the richest person in the world. Therefore, if there is talk of a global plan, it can be said that the founder of this plan is global actors.

One of the factors of global actors in post analysis is the transformation of an abstract concept such as anti-globalization into concrete form. In this respect, global actors fulfill the concretization function.

It is also known that anti-vaccination has historical roots. It seems that this attitude has come from the first vaccine, the smallpox vaccine, to the present day.

The group that the anti-vaccine group defines as "sold officials" is an important target for the group they identify with. These authorities are thought to be serving the corona conspiracy. In this respect, either the authorities are too ignorant to be aware of the harms of the vaccine or they are people bought by global capital. Therefore, these officials are often among the targets of anti-vaccination opponents. In addition, it was stated that there were references to the authorities on each label.

At the beginning of the thoughts that feed the opposition to the vaccine is the claim that the corona virus epidemic is a fiction. In this regard, the pandemic is called p(l)andemia. This is a very common word on labels.