Turks in Germany 2012

23. August 2012 3

Study on German-Turkish life and values

Unofficial flag of Turks in Germany

According to a study by the Interior Ministry in 2009 1, Germany is home to around 4.3 million Muslims, which equates to a population share of 5.2 percent. About 45 percent of them have German citizenship. The largest group of Muslims, consists of just under 2.7 million people, of Turkish descent. A recent poll by Information GmbH has investigated their German-Turkish life and values for the third time in detail. 2

Attitudes toward Germany

Regarding the respondents‘ attitudes toward Germany and Germans, at least in terms of the stated desire for integration, a positive development can be seen: After all, 78 percent (2010: 70%) are willing to “integrate absolutely and without exception into German society.” At the same time, 95 percent of the Turks in Germany (TiG) find it important to preserve their Turkish culture in Germany, and 87 percent (2010: 83%) think that Germans ought to be more considerate of the particular circumstances of the Turks.

Islamization, separation and devaluation

On the other hand, there are clear trends of separation and Islamization: 62 percent of TiG (1.5 times as much as in 2010) would prefer to be together exclusively with Turks. Also an indicator of poor integration motivation is the 46 percent who said they would leave Germany if they wouldn’t receive aid money in the case of unemployment (see Figure 1).

Separation tendencies among Turks in Germany – Infographics: Stresemann Foundation / Citizen Times

Increasing numbers of Turks want more mosques (55%); among 15- to 29-year-olds, up to 70 percent want more mosques. Moreover, almost half of the TiG hope that there will be a Muslim majority in Germany soon. Also, the number of those who believe that Islam is the only true religion has increased (see Figure 2).

Trends of islamization among Turks in Germany – Infographics: Stresemann Foundation / Citizen Times

The devaluation of different ways of life has also increased slightly: almost a fifth of the TiG consider atheists to be inferior human beings; this figure is up to 30 percent among the youngest respondents. Also, anti-Semitism has increased (see Figure 3). Additionally, more than half of the respondents think that homosexuality is a disease, and 73 percent reject it.

Devaluation of different ways of life among Turks in Germany – Infographics: Stresemann Foundation / Citizen Times

In general, 88 percent of the TiG are Muslims (Sunni 74%, Shi’a: 2%, Alevis: 11%, Sufis: 1%). On a scale of 0 to 10, most of them categorize themselves as very religious. This trend has intensified since 2009, and affects women more than men (see Figure 4). Accordingly, a third of respondents (men: 30%, women: 38%) claim that they perform the obligatory five Islamic prayers a day. Only 14 percent never pray.

Religiosity among Turks in Germany – Infographics: Stresemann Foundation / Citizen Times

Immigration and sense of home

When asked why they came to Germany, only three percent of the TiG mentioned studies and 22 percent the search for a job. One third came to Germany as a child or teenager with their parents and 38 percent of all respondents (women: 56%) immigrated because they were marrying a partner living in Germany (see Figure 5). Among today’s 15- to 29-year-olds, more than half came to Germany as a child or teenager with their parents, all others due to marriage migration.

Reasons for migration to Germany among Turks – Infographics: Stresemann Foundation / Citizen Times

39 percent of TiG fell more at home in Turkey and only 15 percent in Germany. Solely 23 percent have German citizenship. About half of the TiG want to remain in Germany, a slightly increased proportion consider returning to Turkey. Specific discrimination in the form of verbal abuse has been experienced by up to 29 percent (2010: 42%), and 16 percent (2010: 8%) have experienced physical assault because of their Turkish appearance.

Education and employment

In comparison to the German population, the Turks living in Germany perform very poorly in general education: 57 percent of those surveyed have no high school diploma or only attended a secondary modern school (Hauptschule). Throughout Germany, only 40 percent of the population do not have a high school diploma or only secondary schooling. Solely educational trends could be regarded as somewhat optimistic because the proportion of younger TiG without diplomas or only secondary schooling has decreased to 45 percent.

In addition, 40 percent of Turks in Germany have no professional qualifications (27% is the German average), which is important for successful participation in working life. Over two-thirds also indicate that they speak better Turkish than German; among women, this figure is almost 75 percent. Accordingly, only 47 percent of those surveyed (men: 56%, women: 39%) are fully or partially employed. In comparison, 58 percent of the German population do have jobs.


  1. Haug et al. (2009): Muslimisches Leben in Deutschland [Muslim Life in Germany ] (published by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees on behalf of the German Islam Conference), available online at: http://www.bmi.bund.de/cae/servlet/contentblob/566008/publicationFile/31710/vollversion_studie_muslim_leben_deutschland_.pdf.
  2. A representative sample of TiG (n = 1,011), age 15 and over, were interviewed. The study is available online at: https://d171b.keyingress.de/multimedia/document/6.pdf.


  1. wolfy Ghalkhani 15. Juli 2014 at 07:30 - Reply

    make it simple- any religion that is a threat to the common good should never be tolerated. Islam is that religion. Ban it. no apologies, no justifying, no excuses. protect your people. thats a duty for all who love freedom and liberty.

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