Society Migration and populations

Germany: 50 years of Turkish immigration

1 September 2011
Presseurop
Die Tageszeitung

Die Tageszeitung, 1 September 2011

"Neues Deutschland," reads the Tageszeitung headline over a photograph of a Turkish couple who have made a success of their lives in Germany. In the heydey of the former GDR, “New Germany” was the name of the official newspaper of the ruling SED party, which was supposed to represent the spirit of the socialist relaunch of the country in the wake of the Second World War. TAZ reminds its readers that at the time, changes were also afoot on the other side of the Berlin Wall: on 1st September 1961 West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed a deal to welcome Turkish “guest workers.” “Çok yasa, CDU!" (Thank you, CDU), ironically remarks the alternative daily, which notes that "the Turkish workers contributed to the creation of a Germany that was less German – [...] a feat of arms in the battle for civilisation!"

For the newspaper, "the history of Turkish immigration has been a success. The indigenous population and the immigrants get on well, better than they do in many neighbouring countries. The number of Turkish graduates is on the increase, the Turkish middle class continues to grow, there are Turkish MPs in many of the country’s regional parliaments, and the leader of the Green Party is Turkish.” In short, TAZ concludes, the Turks “have changed the face of Germany.”