LIFESTYLE OF TURKISH CITIZENS IN GERMANY
Growing up between two worlds – that is what Turkish teenagers experience in Germany lost between the traditional muslim believes of their parents and the reality of german lifestyle of the 90´s, they struggle to find their own way – and unfortunately they often fail.
Their parents came to Germany in the 1950´s and 60´s invited by the German government, country after world war 2, and those workers fuelled what was later to become known as "Wirtschaftswunder". They came to Germany with the knowledge that they would definitely have a job – in the steal factories or coal mines of the highly industrialized Ruhrarea for example. Their lifestyles, forming strong Turkish communities. The prospects for the future of their children however is not at all as rosy as their prospects were when they decided to leave Turkey, heading for Germany. With the slow inflation and with the unempleyment figures skyrocketing after the reunification Turkish teenagers are among those who are hit the hardest. Growing up in the neighbourhood which is often completely Turkish, they find it hard to learn German and as a result have troubles through their schooling, often being unable to get higher education or dropping out before graduating properly.
They often get up their hope of getting a job, end up on unemployment benefit, with a lot of free time which they do not know how to fill.
Some turn to religion, trying to find a meaning for life and the stability they cannot find in the society, in extremists groups, taking muslim beliefs to an extreme, often more than their parents ever did. This behaviour is understandable – but it only deepens the gap between Turkish and German teenagers. Unable to understand the lifestyles of others they stop even trying to understand it, with both sides finally stopping having contact – Turkish teenagers leaving their lifes in their neighbourhood, German teenagers living their lifes in "their" neighbourhoods, both leaving the other and getting aggressive when these two different happen to slash. But what can be done to stop this development? A change obviously cannot take place over night – the prejudices on both sides are rootet too deeply.
First of all, the educational oppurtunities for Turkish children shown be improved. In order to give them the oppurtunity to learn proper German extra language classes have to be available alltrough school lifeform primary school to highschool. Furthmore special employment programs shown to be set up so that the high unemployment rate among Turkish teenagers will decrease. And further more and most importantly both teenagers of German and Turkish origins have to try to forget their prejudice: learn about the other and meet. Because only if both sides start working together and unite, it will be possible to find a better way for all.
ZEYNEP BEYAZ & AYSE USTA