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Zafer Senocak
Zafer Senocak

"Of course there are problems with integration. In a way, they are natural if one looks at the social structure of the people who came from Turkey, if one looks at the economic situation in Germany, if one bears in mind that the majority of the jobs for which the Turks came have disappeared."

(Interview with ESI, 7 December 2006)

The author and journalist Zafer Senocak, born in 1961, migrated to Germany at the age of nine. He studied German, politics and philosophy. He publishes poetry, essays and prose in German.

Senocak is one of the leading voices in the German discussion about multiculturalism, Islam and German-Turkish relations. He is influenced by his father, a critic of Kemalism who protested the lack of free speech in Turkey and, as a result, left Turkey. Senocak's book "Das Land hinter den Buchstaben" ("The Country behind the Letters", 2006) describes how Ataturk's reforms hindered reform in Islam as a religion.

Senocak on Integration:

"It is time to accept that Germany has become a multi-ethnic state with national minorities. These minorities belong to Germany, they are its constituent elements."

(Zafer Senocak, "Deutsch Turken, Turk Almanlar", p. 13)

Senocak perceives an unwelcoming atmosphere in Germany. In an interview with ESI he said:

"What would be important is the idea of partnership to determine how things are discussed in politics. For example, the discussion in Germany about Turkey … has an influence on people. I think it's grave that one of the big People's Parties, the CDU/CSU, gives the impression of 'Everything but Turkey in the EU'. Some of their politicians, e.g. [Michael] Glos [CSU], spoke of a 'dark day for Europe' when the negotiations were launched. [Turkish migrants] do not like being addressed in this way. These ... processes are not helpful."

(Interview with ESI, 7 December 2006)

Senocak sees the integration deficit as a result of the lack of proper policies, the Turks

Suggested readings

  • Zafer Senocak, Feuer und Eis (Fire and Ice), Tagesspiegel, 11 February 2008. Senocak on integration and Turks in Germany: "In the past years in Germany a stigmatized minority was created

November 2010

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