Current Discussions in the German Integration Debate

O. Can Ünver
2006 Revue européenne de migrations internationales  
Contemporary discussions with regard to Turkish migrants integration in Germany are heavily penetrated by popular culturalist ideas, signifying methods through which the Turks should be adapted to the society, to a society that still discusses identity nuisance even in the 45th year of Turkish labour migration. The content of this kind of discussion is so pervasive that many observers find it disgusting and in some way depressive. As a matter of fact, the thriving conquest of culturalist
more » ... in this field seems to be the basis for those, who claimed all through the years of migration history to the main host country for Turks, that a successful integration would suggest more cultural amalgamation than a certain degree of equity in the education, labour market and earnings between the migrants and the natives. Despite the legal and political efforts of the host country's governments since the very beginning, the relative success to pave the way to an improved atmosphere for the comprehension of integrating Turkish migrants need to be scrutinized under the premise of a new perception of social equity in the welfare state and trans-national developments. 2 The culturalist approach hinders a logical and a free-from-emotions-debate, which could demonstrate the appropriate methods of a factual integration into the host society. Main centre of attention is generally put on religious and national identities. The issues such as professional and social mobility are extensively being ignored and the alleged cultural distinctiveness of the migrantplays the most significant part in this debate. The paradigm of parallel society dominates the migration discussions through the media to the political decision making in Germany. To this end, publications by some authors of Turkish origin with a trendy upshot prejudiced the debate blaming a poor defined Turkish culture, especially the religious belief, as the handicap for integration (Ateş, 2005; Kelek, 2005 and . They generally claim that the majority of the host society shows in fact a higher quality of willingness to integrate those with their different and outlandish culture.
doi:10.4000/remi.3241 fatcat:chvg6cjcjvc7do7aesqdpt2hs4