THE TURKISH MIGRATION TO GERMANY
“For us to work in Germany is cruel, cruel. The Germans insult Turks viciously. But money
talks. No one says a word back. The Turks live in Germany like animals and make Germans
rich”. These are the words of a Turkish male migrant in Germany (Suzuki, n.a., ¶8). However,
what forced Turks to migrate to Germany? How did the process go on?
There were a few reasons for Germany to accept Turkish migration. Probably the most
important reason behind allowing migration was the lack of manpower to improve the
German economy (Şahin, 2001). Şahin goes on to say that after the Second World War,
Germany’s population fell greatly (2001). Therefore, Germany needed sufficient manpower to
reconstruct itself and to re-start and continue the industrial evolution (Şahin, 2001). For these
reasons, Germany tried to find a way to acquire cheap, healthy and young work force to
achieve its goals. Firstly, they signed work force pacts with Greece, Spain, Portugal,
Yugoslavia, and Tunisia beginning from 1954 (Şahin, 2001). The first manpower pact
between Turkey and the Federal Republic of Germany was signed on 30.10.1961 (Gökdere,
1978, p.275) called “the Verbal Note”.
This essay shows that in terms of economic aspects migration was positive for the first
migrants compared to their origin country. However, it is negative compared to the host
community. In terms of social aspects, the migration became negative for the first migrants.
On the other side, it can be said that the migration became positive for the host community in
terms of economic aspects, but negative in terms of social aspects. To explain this idea, the
essay is divided into three parts: Patterns of migration, to what extent has it been positive and
negative for the migrants and for the host community. Firstly, brief information will be given
about what is the meaning of “migration”.
According to Cengiz Şahin (2001), “migration” is the movement of large numbers of people
between two countries or regions because of economic, political or cultural reasons. He adds
that migrations made in the last decades may be described as the movement of people
between two countries to find jobs, to create better economic conditions for his/her family.
Ahmet Gökdere expresses another definition for “migration” as the movement of people for a
relatively long time between relatively far places (1978). Gökdere describes “relatively long
time” as at least one year lived in the host country (1978). In addition to this definition, he