Turkish guest workers transformed German society (1960s)
Treaty of Friendship Between Germany and Turkey (1941)
Turkey's economic boom lures German workers (2010s)
Treaty of Friendship Between Germany and Turkey
18 June 1941
Germany and Turkey bind themselves mutually to respect the integrity and inviolability of their territories and will take no measure that is aimed directly or indirectly against the other contracting party.
Germany and Turkey bind themselves in the future to communicate with each other in friendly manner on all questions affecting their common interests in order to bring about understanding on the treatment of such questions.
The foregoing treaty will be ratified by articles of ratification, which shall be exchanged forthwith in Berlin. The treaty enters into force on the day of signature and is effective from then onward for a period of twenty years.
Turkish guest workers transformed German society
According to the recruitment treaty, Germany was able - with the support of the Turkish government - to set up a liaison office in Istanbul. The office functioned as a foreign bureau for the German Ministry of Labour through which German companies could fill their demand for workers.
For Turkey, the export of large numbers of male Turkish workers to Germany had several advantages.
A treaty signed by the two states on October 30, 1961 established the conditions for the guest workers.
There had previously been recruitment treaties between Germany and Italy in 1955 as well as with Spain in 1960. After Turkey, treaties were also signed with Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia and Yugoslavia until 1968.
The employment of Turkish workers was meant to be for a limited time just like with the Greeks, Italians and Spaniards that had previously come to Germany as guest workers.
After two years, the Turkish workers were expected to return home, and then a new group of workers was supposed to be recruited. The goal was to prevent the Turkish guests from becoming immigrants. Originally, the workers were not allowed to bring their families with them.
Turkey's economic boom lures German workers
Since 2006, more people have been leaving Germany for Turkey than the other way around. In 2011, about 33,000 people left Germany for Turkey - 2,000 more than came to Germany from Turkey.
The total number of people leaving Germany for Turkey has remained about the same since 1991. But what's changed, is that more educated people are leaving.
Number ! motivator: Turkey's economic boom. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Turkey is set to become one of the top 10 economies in the world, nearly tripling Germany's average growth rate.
Land of Immigrants
An economic recession triggered by the global oil crisis in the early 1970s followed Germany's economic miracle, and in 1973 the recruitment of foreign workers came to a stop altogether. Between 1961 and 1973, around 2.7 million Turks applied for a job in Germany, but only around 750,000 were actually accepted.
Today, around 2.5 million people with a Turkish background live in Germany, meaning either they or their parents were born in Turkey, making them the largest migrant group in the country. Around 700,000 Turkish migrants have German citizenship. In contrast to citizens of EU countries, Turks cannot have dual citizenship. If they possess both, they must choose between Turkish and German citizenship by their 23rd birthday.