Turkish immigrants in Germany and their cultural conflicts


Essay, 2006
12 Pages, Grade: 2.1

Excerpt

Content

TURKISH IMMIGRANTS IN GERMANY AND THEIR CULTURAL CONFLICTS

A short history of Turkish Immigration into Germany

Turkish Immigrants and the German economy

Not welcomed in a closed society

Conclusion

TURKISH IMMIGRANTS IN GERMANY AND THEIR CULTURAL CONFLICTS

Nuri Sahin loves playing Football, and the 17 years old young man is fortunate, for he can actually make a living from this love. He is Germany's youngest professional player. Pundits regard the Borussia Dortmund forward as one of the greatest German footballing talents ever. However, if Turkey had qualified for the final round, Nuri Sahin would have been playing for them in the World Cup 2006 tournament in Germany. Although he was born in Germany and grew up in the small German town of Lüdenscheid, he still has decided to remain a Turkish citizen and play for Turkey rather than for Germany. “I am one hundred percent Turkish”, said Nuhin in a newspaper interview[1], “although there is undeniably a part of me that is German.”

He is by no means the only one. Other members of Turkey's national team who were born and who are still living in Germany have also decided against playing for the country of their birth.

Born in Germany, raised in Germany, educated in Germany and growing old in Germany, but still feeling Turkish rather than German – that sums up not only what Nuri Sahin sees as his identity, but also the way a significant proportion of the 1.76 Million[2] Turks currently living in Germany feel about themselves.

Turks constitute by far the largest group of immigrants in Germany. In the following text I will take a closer look into the situation of the Turkish Community in Germany, the way it has established itself and the problems and conflicts it experiences within German society.

A short history of Turkish Immigration into Germany

After the end of World War II West-Germany's badly damaged economy recovered rapidly and the process of rebuilding its industrial core required a workforce far larger than the country could provide for itself. So the West German government looked to the Mediterranean for a solution to her problem.

The basic idea was not to invite immigrants into the country but rather to invite guest workers. Guest workers were by definition labourers who would be contracted for a specific job for a certain time. This policy was not specifically German, but very much in line with employment strategies that the rest of Western and Northern Europe employed at that time.

Consequently governments of several south European and North African countries signed recruitment treaties with West Germany, Italy (1955), Spain (1960), Greece (1960), Turkey (1961 and 1964), Morocco (1963), Portugal (1964), Tunisia (1965) and Yugoslavia (1968)[3].

Germany established recruitment and employment centres in all of these countries. Newly recruited foreign workers from Non-EEC[4] countries such as Turkey were subject to a permit system by which they were initially awarded only one-year work permits. However, the German government never actually implemented an official “temporary” or “rotation” policy, a fact that both, workers and German companies exploited from the beginning by negotiating long-term permits with the residency-granting authorities.[5]

The situation changed in 1965, when Germany introduced the Foreigners Act, which directly effected the rights of entry and residence of non EEC- workers. The 1965 Foreigners Act was an attempt to steer immigration strictly according to the assumed interests of the German state. With its emphasis on restrictive hiring patterns it made 'guest' workers originating from non EEC countries highly aware of the fragility of their work situation in Germany. Matters went seemingly worse for them, when Germany's economy took a temporary downturn in 1966-1967. Non-EEC workers were anxious that they would not be allowed re-entry if they rotated in the way the short-time contract-system obliged them to and undertook therefore all necessary and possible steps to secure long term work contracts for themselves. Towards the end of the 1960s labour recruitment abroad had intensified again. Sociologist Barbara Freyer Stowasser had a look at the increase in numbers of Turkish workers from 1965 to 1990:

“In the case of the Turkish workers, the two factors of high recruitment rate and their tendency to remain in Germany resulted in an increase of Turks in the German labor force from 11 percent in 1965 to 23 percent in 1973, 29 percent in 1980, and 34 percent in 1990. By contrast, Italians, for example, represented 31 percent in 1965 but only 10 percent in 1990.”[6]

[...]


[1] quote from an interview Nuri Sahin gave the German Television Company ARD, http://sport.ard.de/wm2006/wm/news200510/09/nachdreher_deutschland.jhtml

[2] source: Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland, 31.12.2004, this figure does not include German nationals of Turkish descent. The number of Germans of Turkish descent is estimated to be around 700,000 (2005)

[3] Yazbeck Haddad, Yvonne (ed), “Muslims in the West”, Chapter 3, Barbara Freyer Stowasser, “The Turks in Germany: From Sojourners to Citizens”, p55, paragraph 1

[4] EEC = European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union. Member countries in the 1960ies were France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and West-Germany. The UK joined in 1973, along with Denmark and Ireland

[5] Yazbeck Haddad, Yvonne (ed), “Muslims in the West”, Chapter 3, Barbara Freyer Stowasser, “The Turks in Germany: From Sojourners to Citizens”, p55, paragraph 1

[6] Yazbeck Haddad, Yvonne (ed), “Muslims in the West”, Chapter 3, Barbara Freyer Stowasser, “The Turks in Germany: From Sojourners to Citizens”, p55, paragraph 2

Excerpt out of 12 pages

Details

Title
Turkish immigrants in Germany and their cultural conflicts
College
University of Manchester  (School for Languages, Linguistics and Cultures)
Grade
2.1
Author
Year
2006
Pages
12
Catalog Number
V70232
ISBN (eBook)
9783638615273
ISBN (Book)
9783638807067
File size
423 KB
Language
English
Tags
Turkish, Germany, Turkey, Immigrants, Turkish Community, Nuri Shahin, Turkish Culture, German economy, intercultural conflicts, second generation, BVB, identity, citizenship, Doppelpass, Dortmund
Quote paper
BA(Hons) Edgar Klüsener (Author), 2006, Turkish immigrants in Germany and their cultural conflicts, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/70232

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