Tag Archives: Turks

German Language Test Scares Immigrants

The number of immigrants who are becoming citizens of Germany has dropped by fifteen percent since the introduction of a controversial language test. It is believed many feel they will not pass the test and therefore don’t even apply for citizenship. An inquiry by Parliament reveals the pattern is similar in all sections of Germany– fewer immigrants taking the test and fear that by taking it and failing it will prevent them from ever becoming a citizen. However, Maria Bohmer, the nation’s integration representative, believes the test is not the problem. She thinks Germans must develop a more welcome culture so that immigrants will feel comfortable and not so fearful of government.

There is also another view that many immigrants don’t take the test because they already have jobs and see no reason to assume any risk to their current occupation by failing a government examination. Other experts believe many Turks still dream of returning to their original home and do wish to risk abandoning Turkish citizenship for German. Germany does not allow dual citizenship except in some unusual circumstances.

Muslim beauty Queen Knows German Racism

Asli Bayram’s parents migrated from Turkey to Germany in hope of finding a better life. She was born and raised in Germany, but although being a very attractive woman, she is very aware how racism feelings against those of Turkish backgrounds are still common in her adopted land. She became the first Muslim to be selected as Miss Germany, but during her life, she has always found fascination in the story of Anne Frank, another girl who was persecuted by Germans. Ms. Bayram also was confronted at age 12 by terrorism when a drunken neo-Nazi came to their door and fired his gun resulting in the death of her father and the wounding of Asli. The killer got a six year sentence but received time off and was free after only serving three years.

Her mother insisted that Asli and her three sisters received and education which resulted in all four graduating from law school. However, throughout her school career the girls felt isolated in school and had to maintain their dignity by hard work. Asli entered the Miss Germany contest because it angered her that only blond haired girls won, but somehow she emerged as the victor.

Ms. Bayram often gives readings from the Diary of Anne Frank in order to demonstrate her concern for social justice and to fight against racism in Germany.

Armenian-Turkish Academics Gather For Peace

History has been both a factor to either divide or to unite people, and for a hundred years contrasting views as to what happened to Armenians early in the 20th century has made impossible relations between Armenians and Turks. A group of historians and social scientists from both nations are meeting to discuss the possibility if they can agree on a common explanation whether or not Armenians were subject to a genocide early in the twentieth century. Ironically, the rapprochement between the peoples began when the Turkish president witnessed a football match with an Armenian leader. The academics were brought together by the German Institute for International Cooperation and their task is examining historical materials in the search to uncover an explanation of events which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians.

Turkish law makes it illegal to use words such as “genocide” when referring to the deaths of Armenians so the task of this group is terribly important. The academics are finally coming together aside from political pressure and functioning as historians and social scientists who are trying to uncover the truth. The outcome of their efforts will be published in Armenian, Turkish, and English versions.

Ergil Neyzi Adanir said it clearly, “we are two peoples who have lived together for centuries,” and he raised valid questions of why has their historic relationship ended in hatred and bitter anger and how can academics undo the divisions that were created in the past.