From Gastarbeiter to Muslims: representations of Turkish migrants in West Germany from 1961-1989
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This thesis explores how (West) Germans viewed both male and female Turkish Gastarbeiter (guest workers), as well as their second and third generations, and how those views changed from the moment of their arrival in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s to the end of the 1980s. I focus on how these views and assumptions often based in race, gender, and religion influenced official policy, the way in which academic studies were conducted, and how they found their way into wider public discourse. In doing so, I hope to reveal the anxieties of post-World War II West Germany, the legacy of its Nazi past, and to understand the role that the Turkish and later, Muslim Other played in defining German identity and culture from 1961 to 1989. In order to investigate how stereotypes and assumptions surfaced in academic work, which were most common, the attitude that academics had towards them, the way in which they shaped how academic studies were conducted, and if these underlying assumptions served to simply reinforce the stereotypes that surrounded the Turkish foreign worker, their family, and their descendants, I examine samples of articles and research and view them as primary sources. I rely on newspaper articles from Die Zeit and Der Spiegel, as well as feminist magazines, one investigative journalist novel, and common jokes to explore the stereotypes, assumptions, and themes that were present in the public discourse surrounding the Turkish workers. To explore official policy, I rely upon government publications, as well as newspaper and academic critiques. It is difficult to prove that specific assumptions and stereotypes informed individual official policies, but I do my best to highlight the connection between specific policies and their broader social, cultural, political and economic contexts to examine the impact that academia, the public discourse, and actual events and motivations had on their creation. In some cases, I show how the assumptions of certain official policies were actually reinforced by the policy itself. At its most basic, my argument is that Turkish Gastarbeiter and their descendants evolved in the West German consciousness from first being one of many in a faceless, homogenized, temporary foreign workforce made up of several nationalities to becoming the stereotypical face of that workforce that was, in reality, quite diverse. Later, with the end of the Gastarbeiter program in 1973 and the arrival of Turkish women and children in West Germany, Turks began to represent a racialized and no longer temporary Other that needed to be integrated into West German society in order to neutralize the threat that they represented to West German identity. When integration was considered (by West Germans) to have failed, Turks were often seen as a threat to "Germanness." With the arrival of large numbers of asylum seekers in the 1980s, Turks were homogenized with these groups under the label of Muslim, which became their primary marker of identity in West German discourse. Homogenization, which was necessary for stereotyping to occur, as well as the irreconcilable differences between cultures and religions, the threat of Turkish and Muslim masculinity, and the victimization of Turkish and Muslim women each ran throughout the post-war period. They also continued into the postunification period, but in a political, cultural, and economic context that was new. Overall, it becomes clear that these stereotypes lived on into the 1990s and 2000s, and that integration, despite the promises of the later 1970s and 1980s, was not enough make Turks, or Muslims, culturally German in the eyes of much of population. This was exemplified by the headscarf, Halal slaughtering, and circumcision debates of the 2000s, and continues into the present.