People of Turkish descent integrated in Europe, survey shows

People of Turkish descent integrated in Europe, survey shows

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
People of Turkish descent integrated in Europe, survey shows

Photo shows Cologne Central Mosque in eastern Germany. The first generation of Turkish migrants have become “an integral part of Europe,” according to the survey. AA photo

Nearly 70 percent of Turkish people in 11 European countries see the countries they live in as their permanent home, according to a recent study conducted by a Turkish university.

People of Turkish origin who migrated to countries in western Europe since the beginning of the 1960s, that is the first generation of migrants, have become “an integral part of Europe,” concluded the survey, conducted by Hacettepe University Migration and Politics Research Center (HÜGO) in March 2013.

The survey analyzed a sample of 2634 persons over the age of 14, in countries where 100,000 or more people of Turkish origin were residing. This list included nine EU countries (Germany, France, the Netherlands, England, Belgium and Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland) as well as Switzerland and Norway.

The population of Turkish origin living in Europe did not encounter any problems in their integration to the country they lived in, according to at least 82.5 percent of respondents, the survey said.

The primary indicator of this was the duration of residence, 91 percent of the population of Turkish origin, who still reside in Europe, were either born there or had been living there for more than 11 years, the survey found.

Another indicator of the residence was “citizenship.” Half of the population of Turkish origin living in Europe, that is 2.5 million, are today citizens of the country in which they reside, meaning that a majority have become EU citizens, according to the study. “Approximately half of this population also maintains their citizenship of the Republic of Turkey. In this sense, trans-national migrant identity is clearly seen.”

Some 34 percent of respondents identified themselves as “Turkish-Muslim” while 7 percent identified as “both German and Turkish,” in Germany. Despite the increase in Turkish people remaining in Europe, the sense of belonging in Turkey and belonging to “Turkishness” was also strengthening. Turks also said they were open to multicultural belonging.

Participants were asked where they would vote if they had to choose one country. Twice as many, 24 percent, would opt to vote in Turkish elections than those selecting their country of residence, 12 percent. A majority of 74 percent of respondents said they would go to the polls for Turkish elections.

The perception of discrimination in Europe was widespread, the survey determined. Even those who had not been subjected to discrimination had observed this ‘”perception.” A majority of 70 percent said that there was discrimination in Europe, while 80 percent believed that there was Islamophobia.

The Hacettepe University Research Center on Migration and Politics (HÜGO), conducted a “Euro-Turks Barometer” survey which shows that the “workers” who moved to Europe 50 years ago are on the way to becoming a “diaspora” now. There are nearly 6 million people of Turkish descent in Europe according to estimations.