Congratulation of German president and Christian churches for the end of Ramadan

August 8


The president of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck congratulated Muslims for the end of the Ramadan Month and the celebration of (Id-al Fitr). He stressed the need for constructive cooperation and trust building between Muslims and non-Muslims.


Also Nicolaus Schneider, the chair of the Evangelical church in Germany and archbishop Dr. Robert Zollitsch, chair of German bishops emphasized the need for religious dialogue.


The chair of the coordination council for Muslims Aiman Mazyek, congratulated all Muslims to the Id-al Fitr. He called Muslims to remember fellow Muslims who suffer in Syria, Egypt and Myanmar, praying for peace and justice.

Study on German-Turkish living environment

12 May


In 2012, the Liljeberg Research International Institute has conducted a representative study about the living environment of German-Turkish people in Germany. In total, 1.011 persons with Turkish origins have been asked about value and live attitudes towards Germany.


Although 27 per cent of the interviewees have been born in Germany and 39 per cent of the interviewees have been living in the Federal Republic for more than 30 years, only 15 per cent would perceive Germany as their home country. In contrast to interviews in previous years, labour is not the main motivation for migration to Germany, being replaced by the choice for the marriage partner.


About 45 per cent do plan to return to Turkey. However, most of the interviewees do not consider a return before the next 10 years. The highest rate (55%) of persons willing to return is among the 30-49 years old group. Most interviewees explain their will to return by the desire to live in their “home country”. Only 6 per cent gave labour as a reason for return. In fact about 40 per cent of the interviewees are not Turkish citizens. They possess the “mavi kart” a card for “Turkish foreigners” without Turkish citizenship. It facilitates the return formalities to Turkey in terms of re-integration in the labour market. Also, it entitles subjects to receive social transfers.


70 per cent of the younger interviewees perceive their German language skills better than their Turkish. Consequently, 31 per cent of the total number of interviewees, naming the older persons, perceives their Turkish language skills as clearly better than their German.


The overall attitudes towards Germany are positive. Germany is perceived as the “modern”, “trustable”, “accountable” and “tolerant” country with high standards related to social security.


Albeit the overwhelming majority is satisfied with the migration to Germany, 63 per cent of the interviewees feel regarded as Turks by Germans in Germany and as Germans in Turkey. They feel as strangers, no matter where they migrate to. 47 per cent of the interviewees do feel unwanted and not welcome in Germany. However, maintaining the Turkish culture is important to 95 per cent of the interviewees. 84 per cent believe being a German citizen and a good Muslim would not juxtapose each other. Hence 37 per cent of the interviewees perceive themselves as strongly religious and 44 per cent claim to pray at least once a day. The high amount of religiosity among young people has been a surprising aspect for the study. This seems to be a tendency for the next years. The reservation of older Turkish-German migrants towards religion could be explained by the patterns of Kemalism and the Turkish national identify.

Complete Study Liljeberg Research International


Germany’s New President – Celebration and Skepticism


Joachim Gauck was elected as the new head of state of the Federal Republic of Germany last week. The Mulsim organisations in Germany congratulated the new president to his election. The Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany, for instance, is hoping for a cooperative partnership between the Germany’s Muslim communities and associations and the new head of the state. The Council’s representatives were particularly optimistic about Gauck’s statement about the central importance of integration policy. Gauck said he wanted to follow on the path of his successor, Christian Wulff. Aiman Mazyek, Head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, also wished Gauck mall the best for his new position. He assured Gauck that the Muslims in Germany will make their contribution to the freedom and welfare of our state – but he also said they were hoping to become an integral part of German society.


Others are more sceptical about the election of Gauck. Mehmet Kilic, for instance, Turkish-born spokesman on integration for the Green Party group in the German parliament, considers Gauck to be the wrong choice fort he position. More specifically, he objects toGauck’s evident understanding for the views of Thilo Sarrazin, who published a highly controversial book (Germany does away with itself) in 2010 (as reported). Similarly, Kenan Kolat, head oft he Turkish Community in Germany, is still disappointed about Wulff’s designation, who had particularly lobbied for a stronger acceptance of Islam as part of Germany.

New book: Werner Schiffauer’s ethnographic study of the Milli Görüs movement

27 August 2010

Werner Schiffauer, who has pioneered cultural anthropological research into Turkish people in Germany, has taken the Islamic movement Milli Görüs as the subject of his new book. His analysis is more balanced than his critics claim, reviewer Susanne Schröter finds.

Secular revolutionaries who embarked on their long march through enemy institutions were ultimately absorbed, shaped, and moulded by the institutions they joined, and their subversive rhetoric watered down into easily digestible reform programmes. Does the same fate await Islamist fanatics? Werner Schiffauer, professor of cultural anthropology at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt an der Oder who specialises in migration research, is convinced that it does. Schiffauer makes a case for his theory in his new book, which is revealingly entitled Nach dem Islamismus (After Islamism).

On the basis of an in-depth analysis of Milli Görüs’ history, Schiffauer outlines the considerable ground covered by this Islamic movement in its transition from an anti-Western organisation that focussed on Turkey and upheld a crude Islamist ideology to a pragmatic lobby group that represents the interests of German-Turkish Muslims and has found its place in democratic society.

This development is primarily the work of young intellectuals who were born and raised in Germany and who feel very much at home with the German language and the prevailing political culture. Schiffauer’s protagonists are still devout Muslims; however, they appreciate the political system in the Federal Republic or even claim to have discovered that democracy and the social market economy are the epitome of the Islamic ideal of justice.