Turkish integration in Germany

Here's from the FT:

In the past decade Europe’s largest nation has embraced its foreign population of 15m, and [soccer] team and country seem to have benefited.

“Joachim Löw’s team reflects the Germans’ greater sense of belonging together,” says Maria Böhmer, chancellor Angela Merkel’s minister for immigrant issues. “We’ve never had as much integration as we have in Germany today.”

The article offers anecdotal evidence for that view.  A little more on the scientific side:

A new report by Germany's Advisory Council for Integration and Migration says immigrants are fitting into German society better than first thought. The council found a high level of trust between Germans and immigrants…

Ines Michalowski from the Social Science Research Center in Berlin said…"This report and the research that is behind this report actually shows that there is more optimism and that people are pretty much used to immigrant neighbors and immigrants are used to having people without immigrant backgrounds as their neighbors," she said. "People are actually used to living together."

The survey also showed that most people who were questioned approved of, rather than disapproved of, the integration policies of the German government. Michalowski said this is because integration is not a central political issue in the country.

Here is much more.  I found this bit interesting:

The council canvassed more than 5,000 people, including immigrants and Germans, for its integration barometer. Both groups were asked how they perceived the other group, with nearly two-thirds of immigrants responding that they either "more or less" or "completely" trusted Germans. Astonishingly, only 54 percent of Germans reported trusting other fellow citizens.

Two out of three immigrants also said they felt Germans were interested in their social integration.

Here is a good general discussion of some relevant issues.  Keep in mind, the question is not whether Turks do as well as Germans or other immigrants.  Usually the Turks in Germany start off with much less education so as a group they have not caught up.  The real question is whether the costs from the migration are so large as to overwhelm the gains from trade reaped by both sides.  I say no.

Here is an article on the döner bratwurst.  The döner kebab, by the way, was invented in Berlin, not Turkey.  It is now popular in Istanbul.

Here is some basic summary information.  I should add that Berlin is a safe city throughout and also that large parts of Kreuzberg (the major Turkish section) have been gentrified.  It is now less common to hear talk of the subway train through that section as "the Orient Express."  If your working mental model for multicultural Berlin is Paris, you are making a mistake.

Berlin is in terms of the numbers a major "Turkish" city in its own right, but it almost always feels remarkably German.  


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