Thursday, March 28, 2013

Germany and it's 'guest workers'

BERLIN (AP) — In gritty backstreets of Berlin and other major German cities, housewives wearing head scarves shop for lamb and grape leaves. Old men pass the time in cafes sipping coffee, chatting in Turkish and reading Turkish newspapers.
More than 3 million people of Turkish origin live in Germany — the legacy of West Germany's Cold War-era program to recruit temporary foreign labor during the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s when the country rebuilt after World War II.
What started as a temporary program has changed the fabric of German urban life — from mosques on street corners to countless shops selling widely popular Doener kebab fast food sandwiches.
Germany's experience with "guest workers" offers lessons for the U.S. as it debates immigration reform, including whether to provide a path to citizenship for unskilled foreign laborers, or whether there should be additional temporary-only visas for such workers.President Barack Obama has urged Congress to begin debate in April after lawmakers return from a two-week recess.
Decades after Germany's formal guest worker program ended in the early 1970s, the country is still wrestling with ways to integrate Turks — the second biggest group among the estimated 15 million-strong immigrant community after ethnic Germans who moved from the former Soviet Union and for Soviet bloc countries — into German society.


When I was in Germany in the late 70s, the Turks were already a problem but nobody was willing to admit it. They were still embracing the 'guest worker' program and under the impression that they were all going to pack up and go home one day.
Anybody could see that it wasn't going to happen. Immediately, nice apartment comlexes were taken over and turned into the instant slum that ayrabs (I know Turks aren't ayrabs, but they're close enough) are so fond of. Gangs of young men roamed the streets at night looking for victims - anybody that wasn't Turk or Arabic - and even the Polezei stayed the fuck out. When they did have to go in, it was always in a group with HK at the ready. Now it's well known to everybody that there are 'no-go' areas in every major city, even for law enforcement. Well, it's known to everybody except the government who continues to deny any problems with their guest workers.
Yeah, muti-culturism works all right.


PioneerPreppy said...

When I was over there in the early 80's as a dependent and then the late 80's in the Army it seemed the largest employer of these Turks was the US government. The posts seemed to hire them for all sorts of civilian labor that was contracted out. Fromt he guys who came around and fired the boilers in the housing areas to the movers who packed up the PCSing families.

wirecutter said...

When I was there, it was mostly 'displaced persons', survivors of the concentration camps, that filled those positions. I guess when they started dying off or reaching retirement age, the US started hiring Turks.

crankyjohn said...

When I was there the main thing I remember was how ugly all the hookers were.

Sarthurk said...

I have German acquaintances who have commented on this issue, and it sounds much like what my grandfather told of when leaving Germany before the war, and immigrating here. Or another who grew up in sight of the Berlin wall from his bedroom.

Blue Stain said...

Governments thrive on hiring alien invaders.

It's why most of OUR bureaucracies are occupied by foreigners.

Ju kno whut I'n sayeeng?

Crustyrusty said...

Spent 8 years in GE at various bases, but didn't see a whole lot of Turks except in their little enclaves, mostly in Berlin. Later, when I went to Turkey, I had quite a few Turks tell me that the ones who went to Germany were a bunch of losers and Turkey was better off without them.

Makes you wonder.

steve tompkins said...

yeah, ugly hookers. remember, twenty mark strasse?