The first ever intensive study to compare attitudes of Germans, German-Turks, and people of Turkey revealed some fascinating differences as well as evidence living in Germany does lead to some changes in cultural attitudes. There are about three million people of Turkish background currently living in Germany, many of whom were born in that nation or have lived there for decades. A high percent of Turkish-Germans admit to frequently feeling out of place in Germany and more than half express the desire at some point in their lives of going back to Turkey, but it is unclear as to whether that means for visits or for permanent residency. About 61% were either born in Germany or have lived there for at least thirty years. A surprising revelation was how many expressed the view that while in Germany they are conscious of their Turkish heritage, but when visiting Turkey they realize how much the German experience has impacted their way of thinking.
The study reveals most Turkish Germans do not have the same open attitudes towards gays or abortion, but a much higher percent accept those ideas compared to those born and raised in Turkey. A significant factor suggests Turkish Germans allow parents greater influence in making life choices such as who to marry than do Germans. However, once again, Turkish Germans are more liberal minded than their relatives in Turkey.
Perhaps, the most fascinating aspect of the study is how different are Turkish youth from immigrant children raised in America. Historically, children of immigrants in America are more liberal and open minded than parents, but it appears there is a swing toward a more conservative religious stance on the part of Turkish immigrant children. There is no question immigrants in Germany have yet to become more thoroughly ingrained with their nation’s values than what is found in other societies such as the United States.