Center for American progress has released an extensive research on European Turkish diaspora in December. The study has found out that the integration of Turks are much more successful in countries like the Netherlands and France which grants dual citizenship rights.
The Washington-based think tank surveyed total of 2,357 people in Germany,Austria, France and the Netherlands where most of the Turkish diaspora live. Nearly half of the respondents were Turkish immigrants in Germany.
The study underlined that young, educated Turkish-descend immigrants with higher income are much more better integrated into the society they live in comparing to those less educated older ones one of the criteria for integration being speaking the language of the country. Younger Turks in Europe tend to follow the news of their current residence than their native country, Turkey.
Most important part of the study is that Turkish immigrants in France and the Netherlands identify themselves more European or hybrid comparing to those in Austria and Germany. Center for American Progress report stresses that this difference in belonging caused by dual citizenship right. According to the report, in France and the Netherlands where dual citizenship is allowed, Turks tend to identify themselves more France or Dutch while in Germany and Austria which don’t allow dual citizenship diaspora members place their Turkish identity first.
Turks have started immigrating to Germany 1960s after the two countries signed a labor agreement in 1961. Around 5 million Turks have immigrated to Germany over the years some 1 million ending up opting for German citizenship despite losing Turkish passport. German have never accomplished integration after five decades of EuroTurks. Turkish-descend people have been experiencing discrimination at every aspect of life, according to the reports and NGOs. Germany, however, could ease the integration issue by a simple political step: Granting dual citizenship for millions of Turks whom have been living in the country for generations now. Reports have shown that tens of thousands of Turkish-descent youth in Germany don’t even speak fluent Turkish despite having only Turkish citizenship.
Another important detail about Turkish-German community from the rest of the European diaspora in the 50 page-long report was the difference in political inclination of Turks. Most Turkish immigrants in Europe tend to support leftist parties while majority of German-Turks support right-wing CDU and its leader Merkel. German chancellor Angela Merkel stepped down from CDU leadership last week as she had announced that she wont be running in the upcoming elections either. North Rhine Westphalia premier Armin Laschet won the CDU leadership laschet is known for his good ties with Turkish-German community so it seems that Turkish immigrants in Germany would be supporting CDU in post-Merkel era as well.
Germany currently allows Turks under certain conditions to acquire dual citizenship after the relevant law has been amended in 2014. However, restriction still leave millions unable to gain dual citizenship.