Dutch Turkish Community Concerned About Youth

In a letter to the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant this week, a group of Dutch Turkish professionals expressed concern regarding the position of youth in the community. According to the letter, a growing number of young Dutch Turks feel they are “second class citizens and will remain so”, an exclusion which has perpetuated feelings of apathy and encouraged a turn to crime and radical Islam among the contingent. The open letter drafted by a group of teachers, researchers and civil servants urges the government to ensure that the youth get the education and leadership they need.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide covers the issue with a commentary indicating that the disintegration of a close knit Turkish community safety net in the Netherlands results from an ageing first generation immigrant population and lack of funding and subsidies to community organizations, and claims that those who are well educated often “return” to Turkey, thus “turning their backs” on upcoming generations of Dutch Turkish youth in need of role models.