Turkish represent the second largest ethnic group after Germans, representing 5% of the country's population. The large-scale immigration of Turkish workers was driven by the demand for labour in West Germany and equally the growing population and unemployment within Turkey.
1961 marks the year when amid an exacerbation of the labor shortage triggered by the construction of the Berlin Wall, Germany and Turkey signed an agreement that would allow Turkish workers to settle in West Germany. 7,116 Turks settled at the time and were followed in the following decades by many other migrant workers who were in a first phase planning to work in Germany for a finite period of time and then return to Turkey and build a new life with their savings.
Since then, although the crises affecting Germany in 1966-1967, 1973 and 1981-1984 have determined some of the workers to return to Turkey, Germany still hosts today the largest Turkish community in Europe outside of Turkey, amounting to more than 4 million people.
Many Germans of full or partial Turkish descent are prominent figures in German cultural, sports and political life.
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