Tens of thousands of German-born Turks, aged between 18-23, have to choose between Turkish or German citizenship since Germany denied Turkish migrants' dual citizenship in 2000. Three out of four Turkish migrants do not become German citizens in order to not lose their Turkish citizenship, a survey found.
It is estimated that between 3 -3.5 million Turkish immigrants live in Germany, making them the largest ethnic minority in Germany accounting for nearly 4% of Germany’s total population.
According to a survey by the Essen-based Turkey and Integration Research Center (ZfTI), 77% of Turkish migrants who want to be German citizens also want to keep their Turkish citizenship. 83% of Turkish migrants, who are German citizens at the moment, would keep their Turkish citizenship as well if such were possible.
Out of the 3 to 3.5 million Turkish immigrants in Germany, just under half have German citizenship. The majority of Turkish immigrants are German-born but they do not apply for German citizenship, fearing that losing their Turkish citizenship may put them into a disadvantageous situation in Turkey if they return to their homeland in the future.
The coalition government of the Social Democrats and Greens legislated a law in 2000 ruling out “dual citizenships,” affecting the Turkish immigrants’ dual citizenship option negatively. According to the law, immigrants aged between 18-25 have to choose their citizenship.
Those who chose Turkish citizenship do not have rights to vote or be elected, and face minor problems in their daily routines.
In 1999, 242 thousand immigrants had been conferred German citizenship while figures stood at only 95 thousand in 2008. In 2011 only 28 thousand Turkish immigrants chose German citizenship.
The CDU/CSU partnership and SPD are discussing "dual citizenship,” as the SPD strongly supports dual citizenship and raises the issue as a crucial part of its conditions for a possible coalition. But most conservatives, including the CDU/CSU, claim that dual citizenship would “reduce the sense of belonging to Germany” and create a “parallel society within Germany."