November 13, 2014: Turks in Germany: Citizens or Sojourners
Barbara Freyer Stowaswer, 'Turks in Germany: From sojourners to Citizens' in Y. Yazbeck
Haddad, ed. Mulsim in The West, From Sojourners to Citizens, Oxford University Press, 2002,
pp. 52- 71. http://www.oxfordscholarship.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/
- The then exclusivist FRG 1965 Foreigners Act stipulated that rights of entrance and residence of
foreign workers depended on “the interests of the German state”
- German policies, with their own original, restrictive hiring patterns
- this was especially true during the 1966–7 temporary downturn in the German economy, when labor
migration from abroad was largely halted.
The essentially political concept of French nationhood developed within the territorially and
institutionally centralized framework of the pre- as well as post-1789 French state, where French
political unity provided the basis for the deﬁnition of French cultural unity, including policies of
assimilation of cultural minorities and foreign immigrants.
- Germany developed its notion of national identity “between supernational Empire and the subnational
profusion of sovereign and semisovereign political units,” where “the conglomerative pattern of state
building in polycentric, biconfessional, even (in Prussia) binational Germany was the historical matrix
for a more differentialist self- understaning.”
- legal notion that citizenship is based on blood ties, that is, descent from German parents—ius
sanguinis as opposed to the ius soli, under which citizenship is based on something more “territorial,”
such as birth, residence, or other circumstantial criteria
- Large numbers of immigrants from neighboring countries arrived in Germany during the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, partly to escape religious persecution at home and partly to ﬁnd land and
work made available by the rulers of the many German principalities and kingdoms
- Swiss, French, Austrian, Bohemian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, and other immigrants were given
- In the nineteenth century, Germany's economic development and rapid industrialization intensiﬁed both
internal migration and also immigration from abroad
- Between 1945 and German uniﬁcation in 1990, nearly twenty million people migrated or immigrated
into the Federal Republic, the former “West Germany.”
- The second wave of postwar migrant, legally nonimmigrant populations arrived between the mid-1950s
and the early 1970s. They were the foreign laborers whom the German government recruited abroad
to meet the needs of its expanding economy.
- That ordinance permitted non-EEC foreigners with a ﬁve-year employment record to apply for special
ﬁve-year work and residence permits.
The period of ofﬁcial German foreign-labor recruitment lasted until the “recruitment
halt” (Anwerbestopp) of November 1973, itself a function of a major decline in the German economy in
the wake of the oil embargo.
- The halt was accompanied by a program of ﬁnancial incentives designed to motivate the foreign
workers to leave Germany.
- By 1990, 34 percent of all foreign workers, and 32 percent of the foreign resident population, were
Turks. In the early 1990s, almost two million Turkish citizens lived in Germany.
- Contrary to what the German legislators had had in mind, the 1973 recruitment halt actually increased
the number of foreigners in Germany. It also transformed the status of the original migrant laborers into
that of resident aliens and changed the national and social proﬁle of the foreign community as a whole
- Since the 1970s, generous social support services such as unemployment beneﬁts, children's
allowances, medical insurance, access to vocational training and the like rendered residence in
Germany ﬁnancially attractive to the guest workers.
- To many Germans, these workers represented a drain on the German budget that the original
architects of the recruitment system had not foreseen. - It has also been argued, however, that by 1973–1974 the migrant/immigrant workers were no longer
merely an industrial reserve but had become structurally integrated into the labor market, paying back
more into the system than they received through social services and public facilities.
- The fall of the German Democratic Republic in 1989 and German reuniﬁcation in 1990 only temporarily
lessened the intensity of the national debate.
- The Turkish migrants who arrived in Germany between the early 1960s and the mid- 1970s were
largely urbanized or semiurbanized, skilled and semiskilled workers.
- Their exodus from cities and towns in Turkey was contrary to the intention of the original Turkish
planners, who had anticipated a system of direct rural-to-foreign migration of unskilled labor.
- Overcharging of foreign worker renters for poor or substandard housing by German landlords has
continued to the present.
- Turkish families in metropolitan areas still live predominantly in inner