For decades, thousands of Turks immigrated to the West, in particular Germany, in search of work. Now Turkey’s economic prosperity has young Turks abroad looking homeward.
Over the past few years, Ayhan Kaya, an immigration specialist at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, put the annual return rate of young people with Turkish roots at between 8,000 and 10,000. Many, according to Kaya, are fleeing “European economies in turmoil.” Some young Turks also feel alienated in Europe, where economic difficulties have helped feed “racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia,” Kaya noted.
One such European returnee is 26-year-old Senol Yelen. Born in Bünde, Germany, to Turkish immigrants, Yelen moved to Izmir earlier this year. With his language skills and knowledge of Europe, it took him only three days to find a job as an export manager at Bambi Mobilya, a company that makes sofas and beds that is looking to expand its European exports. “I have training in Europe. I lived in Europe. I know the German culture and mentality,” Yelen said.
To read the full story
Justin Vela is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.