Transnational Politics: Turks and Kurds in Germany (Transnationalism)

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London: Routledge, This book seeks to explain how migration leads to the politics of one country being played out in another by examining experiences of immigrants and refugees from Turkey in Germany.

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The author argues this is a paradigmatic case for assessing transnational political practices of migrants--and perceptions of those practices--in a European context because migrants and refugees from Turkey are the largest immigrant ethnic minority in Europe and constitute the largest group of immigrants in Germany, which is in turn the most important destination in Europe. This case is also compelling because of Turkey's domestic political context, Turkey's relationship with the European Union EU , Germany's exclusive incorporation regime, and heterogeneity among immigrants from Turkey.

Ostergaard-Nielsen, in Author: Nedim Ogelman. Date: June 22, It implies that the initially ethnic bound Islam detaches itself from its cultural roots and strongly develops itself to a universal belief.

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Neither the history of the group, which was born of Islamist movements in Turkey, nor its Islamist symbols and goals, which are an obvious contradiction to public integration requests, are discussed today. On the one hand, the association strives for a legal recognition as a religious community and, on the other hand, it fights for the recognition of Islamic religious education as a school subject. This cooperation mainly takes place within the scope of the Islamic conference , , organized by the federal Home Office.

Even though Alevism was created as a kind of Shia, it maintained the pre-Islamic cultural elements and newly articulated them in an Islamic form.

Similarities Between Turkish and Kurdish

Without going into detail of the history of Alevism, it has to be mentioned that the institutionalisation of Alevitic organizations in Turkey has only been possible since the mids. It is worth mentioning that the Alevitic movement could count on the support of the European public because of its lasting disadvantages in Turkey.

At the same time, the specific type of believe can explain the missing mistrust of Alevites in Europe: The Alevitic religiousness distances itself from some of the basic elements of majority Sunni Islam, such as the division of gender, veiling, five-times prayer in the mosque or the prohibition of alcohol, etc. Therefore, the Alevitic way of living does not give grounds for everyday life relevant, symbolically charged conflicts. The political preferences of Alevites, though, can be located in the left or rather social-democratic, laical camp.

The association cooperates with other Alevitic organizations in Turkey, especially concerning the central question of an institutionalisation of the Alevitic belief in Turkey. Even though Alevites in Turkey and Europe work closely together, there are some disagreements in problem depictions.

While Alevites in Turkey want a general abolition of religious education, AABF rather prefers the German model of religious freedom: religious communities determine the content of religious education themselves The Alevitic religious education was accepted in Berlin for the first time in Especially the religious education plays an important role because in Germany, in contrast to Turkey, it can be planned by religious communities themselves. This fact gives additional expression to the institutional legitimacy of the religious community in question. This goal — the recognition of the Alevitic Community of Germany as a public cooperation — was explicitly added to the constitution of the AABF.

The targets of political activities on the Turkish part are, on the one hand, the Turkish government authorities and, on the other hand, the left-wing democratic opposition in which the Alevites play an important role. The situation in Germany is different. In the whole, the Alevitic Community in Germany operates openly in transnational spaces: because of the discriminated position of the Alevitic movement in Turkey, the usual integration requests of German politicians, directed to the Sunni associations, do not arise.

At the moment there are 33 local member associations with 2, members throughout Germany. Thus, the association maintains cooperation with human rights organizations and trade unions in Turkey. It supports the battle against torture and the death penalty. These activities are expressed in different ways: On the one hand, the association published statements; on the other, the association invites Turkish guests to its celebrations In the centre of attention are those activities which are connected to the integration debate.

Although DIDF was not invited to take part in the Integration Summit , , the association publicly voiced and addressed its statements to the participants of the Summit. The proposals in connection to the integration question are mainly directed towards state authorities.

The increasing public debate about religious questions in connection to integration problems, which started approximately , is also observed by DIDF. However, it is interpreted, in a Marxist sense, as a diversion from the real problem of people Therefore, it is not surprising that the association cooperates with the left-wing parties in Germany concerning these topics.

In addition it regularly joins the demonstrations of the German Association of Unions. The articulation of national and cultural interests is not important for DIDF because the integration-relevant questions are regarded through the prism of universal class identity. For this reason, the public debate is not denounced as an integration hindrance.

Transnational Politics: Turks and Kurds in Germany (Transnationalism)

The main emphasis of the association is to represent the interests, requests and demands of Turkish-origin migrants to German national institutions and in public. At the same time, they underline the consideration of Turkish political questions as an important task of the association. The association issues publicly effective statements, press releases and PR campaigns, and organizes public conferences and events. This aim is presented in a policy paper for Integration Summit in 27 :.

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Another important role is also assigned to the local right to vote. At the same time an intercultural reorganization of the civil service, the introduction of a quota approx. Thus, according to the new support of bilingual education, German-Turkish Europe-Schools, similar to the ones already existing in Berlin, should be established in other federal states. The range of demands goes as far as naming streets after celebrities from the migration country and the establishment of programs in the Turkish language The association emphasised its laical? This perception cannot only be found within the organization but also within the federal German integration debate.

Finally, the Kemalistic character of the TGD saves the association from a negative positioning within the integration debate. The association avoids the discussion of life-practical cultural obstacles of everyday life, such as the question of headscarves or the participation of migrant children in swimming lessons, and relinquishes the Turkish-nationalistic attitude which propagates an insuperable distance between a western and non-western cultural environment.

The aim is to inform members about economic profit opportunities as well as legal prevailing conditions of potential markets. Furthermore, the interests of Turkish and Turkish origin entrepreneurs should be represented to the line of business and profession associations. According to its own data, the members of the association provide a large amount of apprenticeship places for Turkish-origin or foreign young people. Furthermore, additional projects are initiated which support the creation of apprenticeship places for young people of Turkish origin.

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  4. In addition, ATIAD regularly offers an apprenticeship price which is awarded to excellent young professionals of Turkish origin. Several times over the past years, the chairperson of ATIAD presented the situation of Turkish-origin enterprises as well as the apprenticeship problems of young people of Turkish origin at the national press conference Berlin. On the one hand, integration is linked to the individual levels of the individual migrants. In this context the transnational orientations of the association function as an important resource for political negotiations. First of all, it is important to note that the association cultivates explicit transnational references.

    An example for this is the mentioning of the most important principle of Muslim entrepreneurship in the representation of organizational goals:. Secondly, the association addresses its ideas, expectations and interests to German politicians as well as Turkish. It is interesting to note that afterwards a new committee of the Turkish parliament was founded in order to deal with this question The association cultivates contacts to representatives of the federal German parties.

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    In the introspective of the organizations the transnational reference is not perceived as an integration hindrance. According to the association, entrepreneurs of Turkish origin can directly support this. These issues structure the economic and political practices of the TD-IHK, which offers two to five events per month. Also the accession of Turkey to the EU is discussed from a political point of view at different events According to the association the man-power of young people with an immigrant background should not be underestimated. The association, in connection with the Education Ministry, advises German, Turkish and Turkish origin enterprises in Germany on creating apprenticeship places.

    It is noteworthy that, also in the case of TD-IHK, the transnational orientation of the chamber conditions the specific comprehension of the integration debate. Comparable forms of communication can also be observed with the TDU This association can also be characterized through visible transnational references.

    According to TDU proposals small businesses which create additional apprenticeships should be financially supported. In addition, there should also be apprenticeship places for young people with a migration background in stated-owned organizations. It is characteristic for TDU to get in touch with influential institutions in Germany and Turkey to work on this problem. It is obvious that the association is also regarded as such as junction by economical and political institutions in Germany.

    The TDU is regarded as an expert organization for economy of Turkish origin and involved in decision making processes of state committees in Berlin Furthermore, today — in contrast to its start-up period — they successfully cooperate with chambers of trade IHK and HWK.

    Transnationalism |

    Additionally the TDU is in contact with other organizations which represent the interests of migrant with a Turkish origin. The TDU also represents Turkish-origin enterprises at numerous seminars and conferences Worth mentioning is that the TDU represents the interest of Berlin enterprises not only to the German authority but also to the authority of Turkish politics.

    They hope to accelerate the political decision processes by publicly expounding the problems of citizenship regulations. Although it argues that the chances for an apprenticeship for young people of Turkish origin in Germany should be improved, the association insists on changing the basic political conditions of Turkish origin minorities through mechanisms such as tolerance of dual citizenship. Consequently, from the perspective of the association, the integration of the Turkish-origin minority in Germany can only be accomplished by political recognition of its transnational linkages.

    The article refers to the latter and emphasizes that especially discussion performances of migrant associations can be regarded as central political activities in this connection. This result hints at the discursive dimension of interaction processes between the nation state and migrant associations. As one can see, associations play a central role in the construction of the national integration discourse.

    In this context, transnational linkages obtain a specific symbolic meaning within the integration discourse. The appearance of transnational references in the discursive field is also regulated by the distribution of spokesperson positions, the connections of utterances, as well as the reference to related or adjoined discourses.