Political Participation and Party Preferences among Immigrants of Turkish Origin in Germany


Haci Halil USLUCAN* and Martina SAUER**

This article analyses the political participation of Turkish migrants in Germany within a transnational context. This issue is highly eminent for democracy and integration and it constitutes the fundamentals of political sovereignty. Therefore, explaining the diverse political mindsets as well as the grade of interest and participation in political issues is of high importance. This article analyses the findings of the empirical study conducted with Turkish migrants in Germany focussing on their political interests and party preferences in both countries. The survey results show at first higher interest for political processes in Turkey than in Germany; but with rising legal participation, higher citizenship rights and higher education, the interest for German politics increases. But however, throughout the different groups, a transnational orientation is the main observable factor. The apparent contradiction of the party preferences (in Germany more left wing oriented parties, in Turkey more conservative-religious parties) can be explained with pragmatic setting of priorities.

Keywords: Political Participation, Political Interest, Party Preferences, Turkish Migrants, Transnational Relations


* Prof. Dr., University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute for Turkish Studies and Center for Turkish Studies and Integration Research, Essen
** Dr., Center for Turkish Studies and Integration Research, Essen