chapter  3
Migration, transnational spaces, and German-Turkish relations
Pages 13

The approximately 2.4 million Turkish citizens and former Turkish citizens in Germany originate in post-war labour recruitment. The match in expectations between labour market policies in Germany (import of labour) and Turkey (export of labour) meant that almost 650,000 Turkish workers participated in the official labour exchange agreements between these two countries from 1961 to 1973 (Irbec 1993:1). When labour recruitment was halted in 1973, an unexpectedly large proportion of the guest workers did not, despite the intentions of most, return to Turkey (Martin 1991; ZfT 1997a:8-9). Instead, workers chose to bring their families to Germany. Between 1974 and 1980, the number of Turkish children living in West Germany increased by 129 per cent, and after 1980 more than 40 per cent of the Turks in Germany were less than 18 years old (Abadan-Unat 1995:280; Meier-Braun 1995:17).