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Fine Line Between Assimilation and Integration

Lets first define these two concepts, as it appears few truly understand the difference between the two.

Definition of assimilation :
"the state of being assimilated; people of different backgrounds come to see themselves as part of a larger national family."[1]

Definition of integration:"the action of incorporating a racial or religious group into a community."[2]

These are two very different concepts that both the Turkish and the German public does not really seem to understand.

The Turks in no way should assimilate into the German culture. They should not try to become part of the larger German “national family.”

Sevda Yuzbasioglu’s recent article about Kreuzberg-the most Turkish-populated neighborhood of Berlin-serves as a perfect example of how the public lacks an understanding of the key difference between integration and assimilation.[3] She notes that Turks don’t even need to learn German, as the Turkish language and culture is already widespread in Berlin. [3] Yuzbasioglu's article exemplifies how learning the language of the country one resides in is misinterpreted as an act of assimilation, which is indeed, losing one's own culture and background. Instead, integrating is contributing to one's knowledge of the society and culture he lives in. Hence, integration should be examined in a positive light; assimlation shouldn't.

The Turks who oppose integrating, echo Yuzbasiolgu's sentiments by saying that their own language is enough for them in their "Little Istanbul" in Berlin.[3] Doing so, they foster a hostile relationship with the Germans who in fact are just as (if not more) to blame.

When the Germans blame the Turks for being unable to integrate, they must reason that the process of integration involves the “act of incorporating,”  in other words inclusion. Hence, it is more of the German government’s responsibility to convey that sense of welcome and inclusion, which it apparently has failed to do-if the Turks can still easily say that German has indeed become an unnecessary language to learn in a Turkish neighborhood on German soil.

A huge part of the problem is that the Germans are "unwilling to integrate” the Turks into their society. Whether they accept this or not, increased xenophobia exists in Germany. [4]

The “racist immigration law,”[4] renewed in 2007, set new standards by which all citizens-required visa for access to Germany-of foreign countries, would have to learn German (even if they are “spouses” of German citizens.)[5]

“This is the violation of the family reunion rights, which is present in many international judicial documents including the Charter of Fundamental Rights which Germany insisted should acquire a normative quality.” [5]

The real paradox is that in April of this year the German government placed new restrictions on language learning. [4] Why, if this is a requirement for incoming Turks? Why, if they want the Turks already in Germany to learn German? Aren’t they the ones who want the Turks to integrate?

Apparently NOT!

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