URAL MANÇO: Contributions

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The expatriate Turkish population in Europe currently stands at 3 million, yet is still one of the lesser known immigrant communities. Its superficial image as a withdrawn, religious, culturally conservative community is to due to the influence of some social scientists and mass media on credulous public opinion on the one hand and to the historical, social, economic and cultural specificity of this immigrant group on the other hand. The complex social phenomenon of Turkish immigration in Europe is connected to the Turkish people's self-image, the formation of new individual and collective identities, and the conception of integration spread by its 'silent majority'.


"Do you know Turkey?" is the question blazed across a poster put out by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Information touting the country's tourist attractions. Turks complain readily that they are known little or wrongly abroad. This advertising slogan is revealing. Like the country that they started leaving for Western Europe in the early 1960s, the immigrants themselves are victims of the same lack of knowledge, although they account for a quarter of the non-EU nationals living in the European Union.

We have deliberately chosen not to discuss the countless misunderstandings, areas of ignorance, even feelings of mutual repulsion that have stained centuries of relations between the Turkish world and Europe and, beyond them, between Islam and the West. Rather, we shall underline briefly some aspects of the flawed image of Turkish immigrants that is usually sent out by the media and received by European public opinion. We shall touch upon the evolutionist and especially Eurocentric sociological theories that have played a major role in creating this social image. Finally, in the last section of this article we shall try to correct the picture, which is only a partial reflection of the complexity of immigrant social reality. However, before anything else we must set out a certain number of facts that define the socio-economic, demographic and cultural structures of the population of Turkish immigrant descent in Europe, for today's truncated social image of Europe's Turks stems from a cursory analysis of these facts.

Structural aspects of the Turkish immigrant community in Europe(1).

Not counting the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants whose very clandestinity places them outside the statistics, there are currently more than three million immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and naturalised citizens and political refugees from Turkey in Western Europe. This is the largest non-European immigrant group in the Union. Although its members are found in practically every Member State, Germany alone harbours two-thirds of the community. While the socio-economic and cultural problems experienced by the various Muslim immigrant groups in Europe are similar, the Turkish immigrants differ from other Muslim immigrants, primarily from North Africa, by the following: a later phenomenon(2); rural origins; geographical concentration, family-based structure; preservation of the native language; lack of economic qualifications; and the creation of community organizations.

Economic exclusion; cultural marginality, which is asserted notably by the persistence of ethnic family traditions, such as the code of honour and finding a spouse from one's parents' village; the widespread lack of mastery of the host country's language; and the clustering in underprivileged neighbourhoods that are highly ethnically structured (shops, cafes, associations, mosques, etc.) are structural factors that reflect the development of strong community ties seen within this population. The severe problems of socio-economic integration with which Turkish immigrants and their descendants are faced are well known. The young people have high academic failure rates and are often relegated to vocational education. Most of those who have jobs are unskilled workers, while the community's unemployment rate is well above that affecting the 'indigenous' European populatio(3).

The largest number of Turkish immigrant workers is to be found in Germany, of course, followed by the Benelux countries, France, Austria, and Switzerland. Germany took in an influx of men alone between 1961 and 1973. This was followed by the massive arrival of their families up until about 1981. Elsewhere in Europe the purely male migration took place from 1965 to 1974. Family reunifications were likewise spread over the period up until and including the first half of the '80s. As a result, Europe's Turkish population consists of a majority of families, with almost total male/female parity(4). The Turkish diaspora in Europe is growing steadily. For Western Europe as a whole it rose from 1,988 million in 1985 to 3,034 million in 1996 (2,944 million in the EU countries). This is a 52.6% increase over one decade.

There are two explanations for this growth. First of all, despite the limits set by the host countries, immigration from Turkey is continuing through marriage. Indeed, many young people continue to respect the custom of wedding someone from their parents' native village, and in many cases the spouses even belong to the same family. Inter-ethnic marriages are rarer among the Turks than among other immigrant groups from the Muslim world(5). Secondly, the Turkish community in Europe has a birth rate of about 2.6% per year (this is higher than the 2.3% birth rate in Turkey). This high birth rate gives rise to another demographic consequence, namely, it is a young population, a third of which is under 18 years of age. More than 80% of these young people have been born and schooled in Europe.

The immigrants consist almost exclusively of rural folk, most of whom had never lived in a town for any extended period of time prior to emigrating. What is more, these people had never co-existed with a European culture or language before emigrating since, unlike the other countries of emigration in the Muslim world, Turkey was never colonised. In the host countries these peasants-turned-workers tend to settle in clusters according to their localities of origin. To the extent possible, people from the same village or the members of a family will settle close to each other. So, one quarter of the Turkish immigrants over 18 who live in Belgium was born in Afyon Province. There is a similar concentration of Turks from notably Karaman Province in the Netherlands. The Turks living in Sweden come primarily from Kulu (Konya Province), while 60% of Denmark's Turkish immigrants come from the Kurdish areas of South-east Anatolia. Family ties (akrabalık) and regional ties (hemserilik) are still just as strong. The community lifestyle and resulting social control are still largely intact among Turkish immigrants. The traditional family hierarchy is reproduced as well to a great extent, notably through marriages in the native villages. These alliances can be interpreted as a partial but constant renewal of the first generation of immigrants.

The geographic concentration and concomitant Germanic cast of Europe's Turkish immigrants are noteworthy. We have already pointed out that two-thirds of the Turkish colony is in Germany. Europe's German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland(6)) harbour 74% of these immigrants(7). What is more, 35% of the 2.014 million Turks living in Germany are settled in North Rhineland-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen). Close to 1/4 (23.1%) of Europe's Turkish immigrants thus live in this German state. However, the prize goes to Berlin which, with its 136,400 Turks, hosts all by itself close to 5% of the Turkish immigrants in Europe. This pattern of concentration is seen in other countries as well. Thus, 64% of the Turkish population in the UK live in Greater London, half of Sweden's Turks are in Stockholm, while half of Denmark's Turks live in Copenhagen. Close to one -third (32%) of Austria's Turkish immigrants live in Vienna and a quarter of France's Turks live in and around Paris. As for Belgium, close to one-fourth of the country's Turkish immigrants live in five of the Brussels-Capital Region's 19 boroughs, namely, Schaerbeek, Saint-Josse, City of Brussels, Anderlecht, and Molenbeek. Finally, 21% of the Turks who have settled in Switzerland live in the canton of Zurich.

Turkish population (8) in the main European host countries in 1996



Population of Turkish origin in thousands


2,014.3 (66.4%)


261 (8.6%)


260.1 (8.6%)


142.2 (4.7%)


119.0 (3.9%)


79.4 (2.6%)

United Kingdom

58.2 (1.9%)


35.7 (1.2%)


35.7 (1.2%)


15.0 (0.5%)


10.0 (0.3%)

Total (Western Europe)

3,034.5 (100%)

Turkish immigrants' children everywhere in Europe grapple with major educational problems and the majority are 'stuck' in vocational education, even though the level of instruction is tending to rise across the board and their educational performance is improving slowly. A constant in all of the host countries is that the national or regional language is not mastered sufficiently by a large enough proportion of the population. However, the situation seems to be changing in the second and third generations, where the young people often speak Turkish less well than the languages of the countries in which they were born. However, the overwhelming majority of families continue to speak Turkish at home. The immigrants from Turkey come from a country that is characterised by a certain linguistic homogeneity, despite its many minorities. So, young Turks have little difficulty understanding the press, radio and television broadcasts, films, and songs of their 'home country'. The Turkish language's resiliency is due in part to the simplicity of its syntax. What is more, Turkish is written in Latin characters, unlike Arabic, for example, and does not suffer from a radical dichotomy between a spoken language of the people and scholarly written language. The persistence of Turkish is helped by an abundance of written and audio-visual media(9).

The direct consequence of poor schooling is the lack of vocational qualifications. Europe's Turks suffer greatly from this. The majority of Europe's working Turks have precarious low-paying unskilled jobs. They are over-represented in metal engineering, industrial and office cleaning, building, public works, and the garment industry. In most cases the children follow in their parents' footsteps. The number of young people of Turkish immigrant stock who have taken degrees in higher education is still rather small(10). These socio-professional characteristics marginalise the Turkish community on the labour market(11).

The difficulty of getting work has encouraged some immigrants to set up their own businesses. The Turks' geographic concentration, their community lifestyle, in which a Turkish shopkeeper is always preferred over other shopkeepers, and the low cost of family labour have allowed some businesses to flourish. However, these originally modest undertakings are attracting a non-exclusively Turkish clientele more and more. The development of a class of businessmen in Europe increases the complexity of the Turkish immigrant population's social stratification while giving it a new dynamism. Henceforward, a Turkish population plagued by socio-economic marginalisation co-exists with a small class of businessmen that has the wind in its sails. The percentage of self-employed people and employers among the working Turkish immigrant population rose from 3% in 1985 to 5.2% in 1996(12). More than a dozen organizations of Turkish immigrant employers have been created since 1990.

Turkish immigrants seem to have developed a community logic that shares several features with the minority integration model that reigns in the English-speaking world, regardless of the host country's immigration policies and prevailing philosophy of integration. With regard to Turkish immigrants, talking about community life is tantamount to talking about dense community ties confined to the island-like space of a working-class neighbourhood. Europe's Turkish immigrants appear to cultivate their difference. They are in the process of weaving a unique cross-border diaspora identity in terms of its magnitude and demographic weight. The idea is to maintain and expand formal group ties through federations of associations and extensive cultural, political and commercial ties with the country of origin. At the same time, Turkish nationals abroad are encouraged by a very active diplomatic corps and religious and media structures to acquire the nationality of their country of residence and create Turkish economic interest groups and electorates in Europe. The long-term aim is to create an economic and intellectual elite capable of playing the role of an ethnic lobby along the lines of the North American model so as to influence relations between Turkey and the European Union, which Turkey has been applying to join since the '60s.

Islam is by far the most important mark of belonging and identity in the Turkish immigrant community, even though many other such ties exist. Turkish immigrants' attachment to the many facets of their native culture is not weakened by living in Europe. This population has recreated in Europe all of the social, political, religious, and ethnic cleavages of Turkey by setting up a true web of immigrant associations, from local associations and local mosques to Europe-wide federations(13). The largest and best organized of these federations are of an Islamic bent (the Milli Görüş movement(14), for example). These organizations have become large networks catering to specific clienteles, to whom they offer social, cultural, religious, educational, and commercial services across Europe.

Turkish immigrant organizations play an undeniable role in the formation of identities and opinions, as well as in setting up the more or less stringent social control that reigns in this community. These associations seem at first glance to limit the process of the emancipation of its components, especially young people and women. Actually, in a considerable number of cases they prevent isolation, excessive marginality, and juvenile delinquency. They channel social discontent and the fear of assimilation towards ideological or religious certainties, thereby meeting the search for identity and a positive self-image, the need for appreciation and recognition that is expressed by this population. The Turkish population throughout Europe thus appears to be a socio-economically weakened group that seeks to give substance to a certain retreat within the community.

Source of a truncated image of Turkish immigrants.

There is not a shadow of a doubt that scientific studies of immigration influence native public opinion about immigrants and their descendants. In generating socially legitimated discourse, the social sciences participate - perhaps unknown to the researchers - in forming the ways we see and appreciate immigration-related deeds. Given its dependent on its philosophical and ideological underpinnings, research on immigration is thus an important factor in the social construction of Turkish immigrants' image in Europe. Now, according to sociological holism, i.e., the unavoidable paradigm of the intellectual field that is specialised in immigration, immigrant populations are integrated into European society by the younger generations' adopting European society's values and behaviour patterns in a linear process. In other words, the successive generations conform more and more to the host society (15).

Integration is defined as the objectively measurable participation of individuals of foreign origin in the socio-economic structures and legitimised cultural and political institutions of the native society. A certain number of social phenomena may be taken as indicators of this gradual assimilation, e.g., the rise in "mixed" (inter-ethnic) marriages and decline in birth rate; increased mastery of the host society's language and better school attendance and performance; a better position on the socio-economic ladder; an increase in the individual's autonomy from the original community; and a decrease in religious practice. These indicators are supposed to illustrate the disappearance of ethnic and religious identity. Accordingly, the immigrant community allegedly declines from generation to generation in parallel with the emergence of individuals who have been "emancipated" from their communities. Paradoxically, the individual asserts her/himself by being swallowed up by the host society.

Sociological holism proposes a model of integration that goes theoretically from tradition towards Western modernity and from marginality towards social integration. In the minds of holistic researchers and, by extension, public opinion, tradition and modernity often appear to be referents with set, immutable contents that impose themselves on migrant social actors' wills and determine the latter's behaviour and attitudes. The holistic paradigm actually offers a tool for measuring the gradual normalisation of immigrant groups' social practices. Granted, the above-mentioned indicators do measure the living conditions of immigrants and their children, but one that is forged in a language filled with political connotations. This is the definition of integration through individual assimilation (16) in which all responsibility lies solely on the immigrants' shoulders, while the host society takes it upon itself to judge who is 'well integrated' and who is not.

When Europe's Turkish community is measured by the yardstick of its tendency toward individual assimilation using the above-mentioned or other indices, the result is rather poor compared with the 'ratings' of the Balkan, even North African, Muslim groups with which it is regularly compared in continental Europe. Consequently, Turks have a rather poor image in all of the countries in which they have settled. When it comes to discussing the problems with which Muslim immigrants are grappling, holistic sociological discourse can lead the European media to reason in terms of social maladjustment, even cultural incompatibility. So, in the early '80s immigrants from Southern Europe (Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Greeks) were put forward as 'good immigrants' versus the 'bad immigrants' from the Muslim world. The same scenario seems to be in vogue today, at the end of the '90s, especially in the French-speaking parts of Europe, where political leaders and social scientists believe they see the long-awaited beginning of the process of assimilation of North African immigrants, even though huge problems of all kinds have yet to be resolved. In contrast, they express regret concerning the non-assimilability of the Turks who have settled in their countries (17).

Consequently, the image of the Turk that lurks in the subconscious of European public opinion, teachers, social workers, health professionals, and politicians is but too classic. At best it is one of sordid reality; it often verges on (deprecating) caricature. The Turkish male trails his North African counterparts when it comes to integration. He is thus backward and more often 'fundamentalist', violent, uninterested in his children's education other than religious instruction, exploits social benefits, moonlights, and has close ties with 'mafia networks'. He retreats readily into his ghetto and deliberately refuses contact with the society that was so kind as to take him in. The portrait painted of the Turkish female is no better: She is illiterate, blindly submissive to her parents or her husband's family, must cover her head under the assumed pressure of her entourage, is the victim of arranged marriages, is the victim of family violence assumed to be the rule, and is unable to take control of her own fate. She thus must be helped to "rise up against the patriarchal domination to which she is subject".

The Turkish community's image does not depend solely on the will to integrate or assimilate that observers believe they do or do not detect in the community's behaviour. Europeans also discover the Turks who live near them indirectly, through the prism of international current events. It is true that the European press contains a larger number of articles on events in Turkey than on Turkish immigrants' problems. The chronic instability of Turkish politics, 'threatened moreover by Islamic fundamentalism', the country's disheartening human rights situation, the interminable Kurdish problem, the insoluble issue of Cyprus, 'occupied by the Turkish army' and the Gordian knot of the Greek-Turkish dispute, memories of the 'Armenian genocide' of 1915, the strengthening of the mafia and stepped-up drug traffic towards Europe, and the European Union's refusal to consider Turkey eligible to apply for membership are all themes that crop up with a certain regularity in the press. The way they are covered by European journalists is deliberately alarmist, sometimes simplistic, and not always impartial. Until the early '80s some European dailies had their Athens correspondents cover Turkish news!

The situation has improved slightly since then. Information professionals have striven to improve their knowledge and understanding of this country, which is becoming more and more important on the international scene. However, the image of Turkey and Turks that is disseminated by the European press is still too often negative, sometimes unjustly so. This situation has a certain influence on the way people perceive immigrants from Turkey. Public opinion about Turkish immigrants is thus built on negative prejudices that have no objective ties with the daily lives of these immigrants and their offspring.

Approaching the complexity of immigrants' social reality.

Although the integration model developed by the holistic paradigm holds sway in intellectual circles, it has difficulty allowing for the daily influences over and complexity of immigrants' identity building. In-depth observation and analysis of immigrants' social practices and identity constructs using more qualitative investigation methods that are closer to comprehensive (weberian) or interactionist sociological currents might complement the holistic paradigm's conclusions most advantageously and help overcome its weaknesses. A comprehensive sociological approach strives to discover the sense that the actor gives to his conduct and the aim he is seeking. Studying the reasons that underlie an individual's actions also enables one to highlight the many daily social uses of community identities.

As social actors, immigrants are not just subject to the host society's laws, which dictate the pathway to assimilation, generation after generation. Immigrants and their children also implement integration strategies, invent composite lifestyles and ways of thinking. The results are syncretic social practices and patchworks of identity that reflect daily demands, specific needs, future aspirations, and the surrounding socio-economic context (18). Thus, for example, some areas of social life may change quickly, to converge with local behaviours in the space of a single generation. In other areas, on the contrary, 'ethnic' codes of conduct may be guarded jealously for generations. However, most often mixed social practices, which are legitimised by both the modernity of the host society and traditions one's roots, will be implemented. Attachment to what are considered traditional values and an enhanced demand for individual autonomy often co-exist in the same individual. There is always a gap between what is seen as cultural ties and what use immigrants make of them.

To illustrate some syncretic social practices that have been legitimised by both Turkish-Islamic traditions and Western modernity, we shall consider the functions of the Muslim associations that have been created by Turkish immigrants. These numerous social organizations, which are ideological and organizationally disparate, are often decried and denounced as hotbeds of Islamic activism in both Europe and Turkey. However, the various categories of Turkish immigrants that have helped set up such community organizations and are thus labelled 'Islamic activists', i.e., the first-generation men and their sons, women, spouses, daughters-in-law, and daughters, are not driven by the same commitment and do not necessarily seek the same type of legitimisation. Since Turks seem to retreat into their Turkish identities and refuse the individual assimilation model, it would be interesting to examine the rationales for their social practices. What, from a comprehensive sociological perspective, does their 'clinging' to an Islamic identity, which is expressed most often through membership in one of the Muslim organizations created by the immigrant communities themselves, mean to the immigrants and their descendants?

The creation of community organizations by Europe's Turkish immigrants has two sources of legitimacy and many purposes. Rather than being prompted by 'tradition' or the will to preserve what is considered their cultural roots, the creation of such organizations, be they local or continental, seems to be proof of acceding to 'modernity'. Had they not left their Anatolian villages, these immigrants would probably never have been active in creating such socio-political organizations now heading towards bureaucratisation, whether Islamic or not. This is the first time that these peasants-turned-migrants find themselves in the position of social actors by contributing to the existence of such associative movements. Moreover, these associations are always founded as non-profit associations in line with the host country's laws. In their local activities they comply with the principles of participatory management that are required by the various national laws.

All the immigrant Islamic organizations are first of all the handiwork of the first-generation men, who have fallen prey to a sharp fall in social status. These men, who have little instruction, often do not speak the host country's language, and are on the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder, are currently often on unemployment or disabled. In the best of cases they have reached retirement age. For most of these men, the desire to observe Islamic precepts and religious practices strictly is a defensive assertion of identity. They are seeking to re-establish lost authority over their wives and children. They advocate moralising solutions to the problems that are undermining the second generation's lives. To this end, the fathers are calling upon the religious staff of their organizations to take on a social action role for which they are not always prepared.

The young men are drawn towards Muslim immigrant organizations through sports and social activities. Sport is one of the rare ways for these young people, who are plagued by massive school failure and social exclusion, to achieve recognition and enhance their self-esteem. These organizations enable the youths to meet outside the home without worrying their parents, who consider the Islamic associations to be an alternative to hanging about in the street, cafes, and penny arcades or being caught up in prostitution, drugs and delinquency. They afford young people a space in which they may express their problems or feelings amongst themselves and certainly more freely than is possible at home. These organizations provide these young people, who in any event do not have easy access to 'indigenous' social structures that would otherwise facilitate their integration, with enhancing socialisation. Finally, one should not underestimate the solidarity and information networks that develop around these organizations and can in a certain number of cases lead to jobs.

Through the legitimacy conferred upon them by participating in associations and pious activities, (young) women accede - often for the first time - to public life and an appreciable freedom of movement for the traditional societies from which they come. The women students try to use their Islamic activism as an argument vis-a-vis their parents in order to delay marriage and complete their studies. The women's branches of such associations are places for informal exchanges between people in the same social situation. Given the generally low level of instruction of most immigrant women, the awareness-raising work that is done by these organizations is not without interest. It is conducted in such areas as household hygiene, diet, child-rearing, sexuality, contraception, and, last but not least, the unfoundedness of macho attitudes in the face of clearly 'pro-women' Islamic precepts that have been obscured by tradition. The existence of such meeting places delivers many women from isolation and solitude.

The contribution to the formation of an Islamic identity or, to put it more concretely, belonging to a Muslim immigrant organization does not have the same meaning for the members of the three above-mentioned categories. On the contrary, the rationale is specific to each category. Belonging to Islam is definitely primordial, but the various categories of immigrants use their affiliation with a religious association for much more than simple religious devotion, even ('Islamic fundamentalist') revolt against a Western society of discrimination and exclusion. They try to exploit the legitimacy procured by such membership to develop strategies to become part of society or enhance their self-esteem.


As we have seen, individual integration and preserving a community life are not necessarily contradictory aims. The integration of immigrants in a host society is not necessarily linear. It does not always occur simultaneously in all spheres of public and private life. Similarly, a person of foreign descent does not necessarily have rigid ties with her/his community or the host society. On the contrary, these ties may be flexible and reveal differentiated and pragmatic integration strategies. According to the interactionist sociological approach, the individual asserts her/himself by building a pragmatic and strategic 'patchwork' identity. Whereas sociological holism considers the ethnic community to be an obstacle to integration, interactionist sociology sees it to be a resource to be used to allow negotiated, appreciated inclusion in the host society.

Beyond the socio-economic marginalisation that derives from a general fragilisation of the weakest social strata of European society, caught as they are between economic globalisation and social deregulation, some categories of Muslim immigrants in Europe are showing signs of implementing social practices to improve their integration in society whilst preserving their community and religious ties. This is especially true of the Turkish community, which has fostered amazing combinations and practices, notably with respect to education and employment, that tend to construct syncretic lifestyles and ways of thinking that make use of both the opportunities afforded by the host country, notably through schooling, and community solidarity. These are innovative integration projects that consist in connecting the logic of collective cultural identity to that of individual socio-economic assimilation, of getting conservative attitudes and assimilative attitudes to converge. By focusing more on the study of immigration in comprehensive or interactionist terms, sociological discourse will not only circumscribe this complex social reality more accurately, but will also avoid becoming the scientific justification of the unflattering stereotypes of entire immigrant communities that are taking shape in Europe's common imagination.

Ural Manco,

sociologist, researcher at the Centre d'Etudes Sociologiques, Facultes Universitaires Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium.


(1) For an overview of Turkish immigration to Europe see Kastoryano, 1986; Binswanger & Sipahioglu, 1988; Ozcan, 1989; Sen, 1990; Bozarslan, 1992; Manco & Manco, 1992; Migrations Societe, 1992; Cahiers d'Etudes sur la Méditerranée orientale et le Monde Turco-iranien, 1992; de Tapia, 1994; Manco, 1994; Kastoryano, 1995; Doomerijk, 1995; de Tapia, 1995; Cahiers d'Etudes sur la Mediterranee orientale et le Monde Turco-iranien, 1996.

(2) Turkey signed its first labour export agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany in October 1961. This agreement was followed by similar agreements with the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria in 1964, France in 1965, and Sweden in 1967.

(3) In 1996 the unemployment rate among the EU's Turks was 25.9% compared with an 11% unemployment rate for the entire population (Source: Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security, 1997: 3).

(4) For example, 45.3% of Germany's Turkish population are women. The rates are 46.4% in the Netherlands and 48.8% in Belgium (Source: Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security, 1997: 10, 44, 78).

(5) The spouses in half of the 13,659 marriages registered by the Turkish consular authorities in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria in 1996 were both Turkish nationals (Source: Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security, 1997: 11, 46, 79, 94, 121).

(6) 9/10 of Switzerland's Turks live in the German-speaking cantons.

(7) Comparison with North African immigrants: 70% of the 2.5 million immigrants from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia who have settled in Europe live in French-speaking countries (France, French-speaking part of Belgium, and French-speaking cantons of Switzerland).

(8) Source: Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security, 1997: 3.

(9) Using a dish antenna, it is possible to pick up 12 Turkish TV stations, 8 of them private, as well as FM radio stations. Moreover, Turkey's main public television network, TRT-INT, and a private station, Euroshow, have been broadcast by the cable in parts of Germany and the Benelux for several years. Three major national dailies began to be distributed in Europe in the early '70s and six national dailies are currently available in Europe's major cities.

(10) Only 6.4% of the 18/25-year-olds of Turkish descent in Germany in 1996 were students. In Belgium this rate was even lower (4.4%), according to the 1991 census. In contrast, more than 30% of the 18/25-year-olds in these two countries are in higher education. Even in Turkey, 17.6% of the 20/25-year-olds were enrolled in higher education in 1996.

(11) In Germany, for example, the 1996 gross national product per Turk was DM 33,674 versus DM 42,760 for native Germans (Goldberg, Ulusoy and Karakarakasli, 1998: 21).

(12) No fewer than 57,900 self-employed persons and heads of companies of Turkish origin were working in Europe - 42,000 in Germany, 4,700 in the Netherlands, 3,500 in France, and 2,000 in Austria - in 1996. The total investments of these entrepreneurs in Germany stood at DM 8.9 billion and their total turnover was DM 36 billion. They employed an estimated 186,000 people. (Sources: Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security, 1997: 50, 82, 97, 109, 138; Goldberg, Ulusoy & Karakarakasli, 1998: 21).

(13) For more details about these Turkish immigrant organizations in Europe see Manco, 1997.

(14) The Cologne-based federation Islam Toplumu-Milli Görüş/Islamische Gemeinschaft-Milli Görüş (Islamic Community - Denominational Vision) is believed to have an audience of some 300,000 (Milliyet, 2.8.1996, Istanbul). The federation's members and their families, who likewise benefit from the federation's services, thus allegedly account for a tenth of Europe's Turkish population! In 1995 the organization had 791 local chapters throughout Europe and announced 112,323 dues-paying members (Manco, 1997: 122). This organization may be considered the officious immigrants' branch of the Islamic political party founded by former Prime Minister N. Erbakan in 1970. The movement, which was known as the Welfare Party from 1983 to 1998, has been banned three times since its creation (in 1971, 1980, and January 1998). It had become the leading political force in the country by the time of the last general elections, in December 1995, when it garnered 21% of the vote. So, after a brief spell in power in a coalition government (from July 1996 to June 1997), it has once more been banned by the Constitutional Court in Ankara for infringing the separation of Religion and State. The party has already re-emerged under a new name, the Virtue Party (Fazilet Partisi). For more about this movement see Sunar & Toprak, 1983; Mardin, 1989; Cakir, 1994; and Heper, 1997.

(15) See, for example, Hoffmann-Nowotny, 1986; Mehrlander, 1988; Todd, 1994; and Tribalat, 1996.

(16) This definition says nothing about the phenomena of which immigrants and their children, even if they are naturalised, are the victims, e.g., the unequal social rights of natives and immigrants; the non-recognition of immigrants' political rights; and various mechanisms of unequal opportunities or academic and social exclusion (notably the numerous forms of formal or informal discrimination and ethnic segmentation of the labour market).

(17) See for example Haut Conseil a l'Integration, 1995: 67-68.

(18) Lesthaeghe & Surkyn, 1995; Manco & Manco, 1995.


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Ural Manço is a sociologist, researcher at the Centre d'Études Sociologiques, Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium.

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