LOCAL > 193,000 Turks come back from Germany in 4 years

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

In four years between 2007 and 2011, some 193,000 Turks living in Germany returned permanently to Turkey, mostly due to unemployment and discrimination, figures released by a study group show

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A group marches to protest killings of Turkish people in Germany. A study by TAVAK shows discrimination is a major factor in Turks’ leaving Germany.

A group marches to protest killings of Turkish people in Germany. A study by TAVAK shows discrimination is a major factor in Turks’ leaving Germany.

Some 193,000 Turks living in Germany returned permanently to Turkey between 2007 and 2011, according to a study conducted by the Germany-based Turkish European Foundation for Education and Scientific Studies (TAVAK).

Young Turkish origin migrants are increasingly returning to Turkey due to high unemployment, discrimination and better economic chances, said Professor Faruk Şen, the president of the board of TAVAK. He added that the figures indicated that Europe should not be concerned about a population flock from Turkey if visas restrictions are lifted.

“Returns from Germany to Turkey among young migrants increased considerably between 2007 and 2011. Even young Turks who have a profession and own property in Germany are returning. The biggest reasons cited are discrimination and unemployment,” Şen said in a phone interview with the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

According to the study, there are currently 2,950,000 people of Turkish origin living in Germany, of whom only 1,020,000 are in possession of German citizenship. Some 1,930,000 people keep their Turkish passports and hold foreigner status.

Not the whole story

Individuals of Turkish origin make up 31 percent of the nearly 9 million immigrants in Germany. Around 720,000 of these are tenants while 230,000 own their houses. Average household size is 3.9 and average income is 2,020 euros, meaning that the total income of Turks in the country amounts to 16.5 billion euros.

The unemployment rate among Turks in Germany is 30 percent according to TAVAK figures, compared with the overall unemployment rate of 5.90 percent. However these statistics do not tell the whole story, according to Şen.

“Nearly 2 million short term workers are not counted among the unemployed. In addition, nearly 1.5 million people taking vocational courses and the nearly 1.6 million women who have remained jobless for over 15 months do not have unemployed status,” he said, suggesting that the real overall unemployment rate in Germany was 14.5 percent.

The paranoia that Turks may flock to EU if Turkey becomes a member of the bloc and visas are lifted is unjustified, Şen also said, adding that Turkish citizens would not leave Turkey if unable to “find a job suitable to their skills and education.”

Şen also claimed that excluding Turks from professional life was a regular practice in Germany. “Firms do not want Turks or other outsiders that are suggested for their positions by the Labor-Employment Exchange Institute,” he said, adding his opinion that the reason behind this is rising “Islamophobia” and “Turkophobia,” especially in Germany. He said neo-Nazi attacks against Turks were concrete results of discrimination.

Some 44 percent of the Turkish migrant population lives below the national poverty line (372 euros per month) in the country, according to Şen. “These people do not know what to do, where to go. They are not considering returning to Turkey as they are afraid of not finding any jobs there either,” Şen said
However, Şen said some 55,000 or 65,000 people per year are expected to return to Turkey in the future if equal employment requirements are not met.

Turkey and Germany do not have a double citizenship agreement, which forces youngsters to make a choice between the two before the age of 23.


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Notice on comments


3/15/2013 6:51:36 PM

Hans-Joachim, you're missing my point to JRC, which isn’t that it's impossible for a Turk be a German citizen, but that British Indians had an advantage over the Turks of Germany because of the fact that many Indians had professions and language skills and were already British citizens when they arrived (so it was easier for them to feel as being part of the British family). My point, therefore, was that it wasn’t right to blindly compare the two cases. My argument was not about nationality.

Hans-Joachim "Terrorist" Zierke

3/15/2013 3:53:52 PM

Baris, of course this is possible, if older than 13. On the other hand, if you were born here, and visited school here, and hold a job, it is quite difficult not to qualify for citizenship, unless having collected a criminal record. The paperwork should be easier, yes.

mara mcglothin

3/15/2013 3:31:20 PM

ERIC When Turkey does something good, REDTAIL and myself are the first people to applaud. I can't speak for RT, but I am Turkish by marriage and love all things Turkish, just to clear that up. I so readily criticize the things I see holding Turkey back from its rightful place in the World, because I see all the possibilities that are often wasted. Simple.


3/15/2013 1:46:09 PM

Hans-Joachim Zierke, I didn't mean every Turk born in Germany is non German, many are, like Mesut Ozil and Cem Ozdemir. However, I am right in that there are third generation Turks in Germany today who are not German and were not born a German. Dual nationality is now given at birth but only applies till the age of 23, when one of the nationalities must be surrendered. My intention is not to criticise Germany but to point out that there are many variables in this problem.

Hans-Joachim "Terrorist" Zierke

3/15/2013 8:29:00 AM

Baris, check your facts now and then, and try to adapt to a changing world. Since 2000, kids are born here with a German passport. After 13 years, you should have got the message. ;-)

Hans-Joachim "Terrorist" Zierke

3/15/2013 8:23:54 AM

Agnostic Turk, you wrote: "While Europeans fear massive Turkish immigration if there is visa-free travel, data does not support this view." Of course not. Only dumb Europeans fear that. At least ... if nothing derails. After 1980, a six-digit number of Kurds and political opposition members fled to Germany, you can still see the bump in the immigration statistics.


3/14/2013 9:44:33 PM

(3) Yes, Turkish community’s under achievement is partly their own making but that is part of the story. Success takes time and there is a new generation of successful Turks growing up. Taking a single snap-shot in history does not tell the full story. Turks didn't "fail" because they were Turks and others "succeeded" because they weren’t. We are looking at different circumstances here. Sorry for the long reply but you raised several issues.


3/14/2013 9:43:32 PM

(2) Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 meant only professionals were allowed in until 1943. And until 1965 immigration was carefully controlled. This resulted in the successful Chinese community of today. Indian immigrants were already British citizens when they arrived to the UK for the first time (today a 3rd generation Turk born in Germany is not a German). Many came as ex-pats from third party countries and had professions and language skills. Their numbers are half as many as Turks in Germany.


3/14/2013 9:42:48 PM

No, JRC, Germany took those people in. It is in Germany that they have a problem. German government has the sovereignty in Germany. It is therefore up to Germany to fix it, with help from Turkey if necessary. Your suggestion is like asking the Jamaican government to fix the race riots in England. Chinese presence in America predates Germany's Turks by some 100 years. In the beginning they were seen as cheap labour too and did not integrate too well.

Antarc tica

3/14/2013 9:41:34 PM

A friend of mine told me how he was given bad scores deliberately when he was going to primary school in Germany. Then he got his rest of education in Turkey and UK. Now he is a leading scholar in a british university.
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