Immigration in Berlin


A collection of scientifically-inspired articles written by the students of the course Immigration in Electoral Democracies at the Humboldt - Universität zu Berlin (Summer Semester 2015)


in Berlin

A collection of scientifically-inspired articles

written by the students of the course

Immigration in Electoral Democracies

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Summer Semester 2015

Edited by

Constanza Sanhueza Petrarca

Jondis Luise Schwartzkopff



Immigrants in Berlin and their


Younes Rifaad 3


Asylum seekers in Germany, where do

they come from?

Yoann Vincent 5

Asylum seekers: official responses and

original initiatives

François Malgorn 5

The daily road and life of refugees in


Nathalie Tric 7


Are Berliners friendly? A survey on


Itzel Rangel Romero 8

Integration on a “first-come, firstserved”


Marie Belland 9

Voices no one hears – who is entitled

to be heard?

Anna Stockmar 1 1

Second-generation immigrant cinema :

representations of women

Lucinda Sheedy-Reinhard 1 2

Dominant identities among Muslims in


Ilya Sogolov 1 4

Social movements

The rise of the PEGIDA movement

Léone Garnier 1 5

Local newspaper reporting on refugee

activism – the case of Ohlauer Straße

Jondis Luise Schwartzkopff 1 7

“Die Toten kommen” – the

politicization of illegal immigration

Carla Böttinger 1 9

Public opinion

Public perception of immigration

between 201 2 and 201 4

Franziska Keß 20

Imagined immigration: the image of

immigration delivered by the press

Marie Cohuet 22



Political participation

Immigrants’ electoral behaviour in

Germany and Berlin

Mireia Casado Olivas 24

Political parties

The effect of participation in

government on migration policy

Luis Jachmann 25

Does Berlin’s multiculturalism show in

party programs?

Torbjørn Svanevik 26

Why local politicians run for migrant


Silvia Mayr 28

Immigration, integration and parties –


Alisha Archie 30


Turkish representation in Kreuzberg

and Wedding

Els Rutten 32

Over the past decades the city of Berlin has

grown increasingly multicultural. Immigrants

coming from numerous nations, and settling

over a broader swath of the city than ever

before, are changing the ethnic and cultural

city landscapes. According to the Statistics

Bureau of Berlin-Brandenburg by the end of

201 4 about 497,000 foreigners lived in Berlin,

and 832,000 Berlin residents were citizens of

immigrant origin in 201 3. The sheer variety of

foreigners include large groups of Guest

workers that arrived after World War II,

emigrants from the Eastern Bloc, refugees

fleeing zones in conflict, and citizens of the

European Union and other industrialized

countries such as the United States. A rich mix

of ethnic and cultural groups that are

reshaping Berlin’s character and ultimately

redefining what it means to be a Berliner.

In this report we are pleased to present a

collection of articles devoted to the study of

immigrants and immigration in Berlin. These

articles have been written by the students of

the class “Immigration in Electoral Democracies”

that I taught in 201 5 at the Humboldt-

Universität of Berlin and aim at providing with

interesting insights of Berlin’s transformations

in the age of migration. These address

questions related to immigrants’ integration,

the organization and mobilization of immigrants

and of social movements opposing

migration, public opinion formation and

change, the position of parties on immigration

policies, and the participation and representation

of citizen of immigrant origin. The

articles use diverse methodologies that prevail

in political science including statistical analysis,

content analysis of newspapers and party

manifestoes, face-to-face and on-line surveys

and interviews with politicians, activists, artists,

and citizens of immigrant origin.

Constanza Sanhueza Petrarca



1 4% of Berlin residents do not

have German citizenship. 1

Immigrants by region of origin 1

Share of immigr



Foreigners by residency status

and region of origin 2










0% 50%

Migrants from Turkey

represent 1 7.2% of the foreign

population and are the largest

immigrant group. 1



Immigrant share

by age groups 1

ants by district 1


More than 40% of

immigrants stay for 20

years and longer. 1





The unemployment rate

among foreigners in Berlin

is 29.4%, while among

German workers

it is only 1 2%. 2






The average income of

immigrant workers is 9%

lower than the average

income of Germans

workers. 3


1 ) 4.asp (Accessed

21 /07/1 5)

2) (Accessed 27/07/1 6)

3) (Accessed 21 /07/1 5).

Younes Rifaad, Erasmus exchange student from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BA in Sociology, 3rd year



Asylum seekers in Germany,

where do they come from?

Although the German international policy is

usually well scrutinized, the changes in the

German asylum policy go mostly unnoticed –

even though Germany is the most popular

country among asylum seekers in Europe. In

201 4, Germany received 202,000 demands for

asylum in comparison to France, the second

economy in Europe, which received 64,000.

In 201 5, the German government is expecting

a drastic rise of the number of demands, up to

400,000. In the circumstances, every

modification in the policies can have a huge

impact on a large amount of people around

the world.

In 201 4, the countries of former Yugoslavia

counted 1 5% of all the asylum demands in

Germany. Even though a seeker from Kosovo

only had 1 .5% chances to see his case granted

by the government, Angela Merkel’s government

proceeded in a policy change with the

effect of cutting down those chances to 0%.

This change of interpretation in the asylum

pro-cedure, which stipulates that poverty itself

is not a reason to seek for asylum, concerned

more than 1 0,000 persons in Kosovo alone.

Without surprise, the majority of the demands

come from regions of the world confronted

with war or civil war. It is for Syrians that the rise

of the demands has been the most drastic in

the last few years. In 201 3, about 1 0,000 Syrians

were seeking asylum in Germany. A year later,

the number had risen up to reach more than

50,000 demands. Afghanistan, Irak and Pakistan

are the three countries that followed Syria

in the number of demands.

Yoann D. Vincent, Erasmus exchange student

Asylum seekers: official

responses and original initiatives

The increase of asylum applicants in Berlin

sets the question of the limits of the city's

accommodations policies for migrants.

Original responses can be found among

citizens who offer the migrants a better living.

Germany’s authorities expect to receive around

400,000 applications for asylum during the year

201 5. That amount has doubled in only one

year, with the arrival of 35,000 Syrians fleeing

war for the only five first months of 201 5.

This increase has led the government to vote

the new Safe State of Origin Act that limits the

official recognition of political refugees to

migrants whose lives would be threatened in

their home country. This law appears as an

evident response to the arrival of 35,000

Serbians and Albanians in the beginning of

201 5. The federal government expects the

Land of Berlin to offer accommodations to at

least 5% of the asylum seekers in Germany.

However, the eleven centers for asylum

seekers in the city are already full, and the

amount of asylum applicants there is around

1 7,400. In order to respond to this situation of

emergency, the Senate of Berlin has implemented

new policies to find accommodations

for the applicants.



For the families with young children, some flats

have been proposed in the east of Berlin, and

new temporary centers have been opened in

the same area. But this cohabitation between

migrants and original inhabitants is not as easy

everywhere as it is in the neighbourhoods of

Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain where many

“Refugee welcome” signs are written on the

walls. The arrival in the less economically

favored neighbourhoods of the city has been

used by extreme-right movements that play on

the fear of criminality among the inhabitants.

of emergencies for the next years. Now it has

to be determined how the NGOs and the

public can work together to end this situation

of dealing with emergencies every day by

finding ways for the migrants to live in less

precarious situations. Original initiatives can

be found on the internet: The “Give

something back to Berlininitiative proposes,

for instance, to meet with the asylum seekers

by volunteering as English or German

teachers, sport companions or law advisers for

some hours per week. Another example is the

This is why the senate of Berlin works with

non-governmental organizations in order to

inform and communicate with the most reluctant

Berliners, whereas German courses are

offered to the youngest migrants in the aim of

helping them integrate and participate in the

city‘s economic life.

The work of non-governmental organizations

includes also the mobilization of the press

during demonstrations to push the authorities

to allocate more resources to cope with the

increase of asylum procedure applicants. This

political activism can enter in conflict with the

police force when it comes to the question of

migrants‘ expulsion from inhabited facilities

that are very common in Berlin. Indeed all the

data given by the NGOs and the Senate of

Berlin converge in predicting a continuous

increase of the arrival of migrants in situations

recent “Flüchtlinge willkommen” website that

proposes to combine flat sharing and helping

refugees by offering a room to a migrant,

financed by crowdfunding. The senate of Berlin

has offered to pay a part of the rent.

These last examples prove that the situation of

the refugees is not just an administrative issue,

but the concern of all of those living in the

same city, as it is a part of their duty as a citizen

to get in contact with the migrants in order to

live better together.


Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge,

statistics from 201 3, 201 4 and 201 5

François Malgorn ,

Erasmus exchange student

from Sciences Po Lille, France.



The daily road and life of

refugees in Berlin

Facts about refugees in Berlin

Berlin takes 5% of the total refugee population

coming to Germany. Nowadays about 3.5

million people live in Berlin. Refugees make up

less than 1 % of the total population of the city.

On the 8th of January, 201 5, according to the

statistics of the Berliner accommodation

headquarters (Statistik der Berliner Unterbringungsleitstelle),

1 3,580 refugees were living in

Berlin in 57 different accommodations. Since

the summer 201 4, 1 3 new installations have

opened and the global welcome capacity has

reached 3,750 new places. The 1 3,500 places in

accommodation and the further places in the

two airport halls and sport halls are not sufficient


Selected interview with a refugee

met in a Lager

Name: Muhammad A.

Age: 24

Gender: Male

Nationality: Syrian

Place of living in Berlin: First in a sport hall

of the “Freie Universität” in Dahlem, now

in a small apartment in Berlin-Friedenau

thanks to German friends. His friends from

Syria are still are still living in “Lagern” in

Spandau or Lichtenberg.

Reasons for immigration: War and poverty

Description of everyday situation: Asylum

seek was not granted yet and, waiting

everyday for an answer. Constantly having

to arrange with the German authorities:

registration, insurance issues…

Future perspective: Wants to settle in

Germany and find a job.

What happens to refugees coming to Berlin?

Refugees arriving in Berlin have to register and

apply for asylum at the “LaGeSo” – central

service facility for asylum seekers – located at

Turmstraße in Moabit. The German Federal

Office for Migrants and Refugees first has to

verify that the person has not entered or

already seeked asylum in another country of

the Schengen area, because in these cases the

person can be sent back to the country where

he/she has entered or seeked asylum. An

asylum seeker has to prove that his/her

demand is justified and that he/she is

persecuted in his/her own country of origin

and provide tangible proofs.

The asylum seeker is then accommodated in a

special center. These centers, or “Lager”, are

located all over Berlin, but most of them are

situated at the periphery of the city. Some of

the “refugee villages” can welcome several

hundreds of people. These villages are

composed of containers disposed in a

pragmatic way. When the refugees arrive in

these villages, they are divided by religion and

language. Rooms can accommodate two beds,

two cupboards, two chairs, a table and a

fridge. Every family gets a room on their own,

but often people who do not know each other

have to share one. Essential needs like clothing

and food are provided there.

Concerning work, asylum seekers have very

strict rules to follow: In Germany, they cannot

work within the 1 2 first months of their stay.

After that, they have to ask for a special

authorisation which is hard to obtain. The

money granted to refugees is determined by

the law fixing services granted to refugees.

Accordingly, households receive 362 euros per

month. Refugees receive health and medical

care only in urgent cases.



Selected interview with a refugee

met at Orianenplatz

Name: Damba (changed by editors)

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Nationality: Uganda

Place of living in Berlin: Neukölln

Reasons for immigration: His strong belief

in the freedom of movement of people,

the limited freedom of expression in

Uganda - he was put in jail for publically

speaking out against corruption. His

bisexuality was an additional factor why he

felt rejected in his country.

Immigration background: Arrived by plane

to Berlin, ended up in a “Lager” in Passau

and felt that his freedom was restricted

again. He asked the German state for

asylum. After one year and 3 months, his

case was rejected. Without papers and no

possibility to move around, he decided to

give up the legal frame and to become

politically active.

Everyday situation: A lot of stress. No

identity, no real consideration, no useful

occupation. Life in the “Lager” is eating,

sleeping, interacting with other refugees,

repeat. Also, every day is a threat of

deportation. Once a week the police take

people to send them back to their country.

Future perspective: Continue struggling,

especially against the “Lager”.


1 )

2) 5/

pressemitteilung.249458.php (accessed on 23.07.201 5)

3) 5/

pressemitteilung.249458.php (accessed on 22.07.201 5)


(accessed on 24.07.201 5)


349.html (accessed on

28.07.201 5)


1 5538924 (accessed on 25.07.201 5)

Nathalie Tric, Erasmus exchange student

Are Berliners friendly?

A survey on discrimination

The German Capital is known for housing a

large amount of immigrants. The Turkish

community is the most well known one, but

there are people coming from all around the

globe. That is why it is important to know

how natives react to the newcomers, and if

these newcomers feel welcomed by society.

A very usual comment or thought is “Berliners

are not friendly, hard to say if this is because of

my background or just their way of relating to

the world.” But, is this true? How do foreigners

think in general of the city? In order to shed

some light on this topic, an online survey was


Two main questions were answered by 243

people from 67 different countries (or with

migratory background), with the purpose of

finding out if immigrants feel discriminated

against. Discrimination can be understood as a

negative or different behavior towards an

individual because he or she belongs to a

certain group.

The results show that 61 percent of the

respondents think that Berliners are somewhat

respectful and friendly towards immigrants,

and 24.5 percent believe that they are very

respectful and friendly towards immigrants.

When the results are observed by country of

origin or citizenship, there is no big variation.

In general, it is possible to say foreigners have

a positive view of Berlin’s community regardless

of their origin. However, almost one third



of the respondents have been subject of verbal

attack or insults. Those respondents perceive

Berlin as less immigrant friendly.

Some qualitative information suggests that

immigrants that have been attacked are not

always certain that the attack had racist

or discriminatory reasons.

Sometimes attacks are

gender related or aimed at

an indiscriminate audience,

gathering Germans and


Data:1 0 question online

survey conducted on July

21 st and 22nd, 201 5.

Itzel Rangel Romero,

exchange student from

Centro de Investigación y

Docencia Económicas,

México, 4th year BA in

Political Science and

International Relations

Integration on a “first-come,

first-served” basis

The integration and German courses offered

by the Volkshochschule (VHS) of Berlin-Mitte

have proved their effectiveness, but the resources

are so limited that they can only be provided

to a minority of the concerned migrants.

It is everybody’s interest to do everything so

that the refugees “integrate fast into the job

market”, declared the head of the Employer’s

Confederation Ingo Kramer in June 201 5. This

is exactly what the biggest VHS of Berlin offers

to any new-comer in the district of Mitte: “We

help them to learn German as much as

possible and to qualify with German skills to

find a job more easily”, explains Jens Höft,

from the Information Office for Integration and

German courses.

The program is meant as a “sponsorship” of

the German state for the asylum seekers,

worker migrants and their families, beneficiaries

of social benefits and any person

willing to improve their German skills. Migrants

are sent to their district’s VHS, which offer just

like any other VHS in Germany 600 hours of

language courses from levels A1 to C2 and 60

hours of orientation classes, as well as a

recognized evaluation for the sum of 1 .20

euros a lesson.

Besides the price, another advantage of the

classes is the diversity of the offer. The VHS of

Mitte also provides alphabetisation courses,

courses for parents with children in kindergarten

and primary school pupils of Mitte, joboriented

courses for 1 8 to 26-year old workers,

a focus on language and health, a discovery of

art and museum, and special classes for Turkish

women to help them with their everyday life.

The courses are desgined for helping the

migrant populations of the district integrate.

The program of the VHS is cheaper, better

organized and offers more opportunities and



recognized skills than the private schools that

do not offer any class for less than 5 euros a

lesson. Jens Höft points out that the VHS

program is “much cheaper and allows you to

get examinations for free, and if you finish the

B1 level within two years, you can have another

have a much higher unemploy-

ment rate than native German inhabitants of

Berlin (1 5% against 26%) and are also underrepresented

in professional formations. On the

other hand, the 2,850 asylum seekers who

arrived to Berlin only in the month of June

201 5 are very likely to need these integration


sponsorship in

you get half of the

money back”.


The various courses

provided by the

VHS program largely explain

its succes. The classes are particularly popular

among young workers up to 35 years old.

According to Jens Höft, the VHS-program

“cares about those who are building up their

lives here, who are in the construction of their

life situation, who have learned a job in a

foreign country and try to work here in their

profession” – but the VHS-Mitte also welcomes

elderly students up to 80 years old this year.

“We are teaching here and in

every of our buildings from 8:30

to 22:00, sometimes with two or

three classes in one room right

after another.”

Höft. This also affects the recruitment of new

students, because the program does not need

any other advertisement than a word-of-mouth

recommendation to fill its classes.

The saturation of the integration and German

courses at the VHS of

Mitte have to be

considered in a

context in which

the non-German

inhabitants of Berlin

As a result, all the courses for the coming

semester were already booked three months in

advance. The VHS of Mitte is slightly bigger

than the one in Neukölln and organizes classes

for 2,000 students, but has reached its full

capacity regarding the range of opening hour,

the number of teachers, the available space in

the building and its budget.

Courses with 20 to 22 students are running from

8:30 to 22:00 without interruption every day,

which makes a total of 50,000 lessons a year. At

the same time the VHS-Mitte also finds itself to

be the only suitable option for many migrants

from different places in Berlin. Students from

other districts, such as Pankow, have applied

for classes in VHS of Mitte as well due to the

lack of lessons available in their neighborhood.

As a reaction to this situation, the VHS of Mitte

uses a “first-come, first-served” policy to attribute

the free places, but refuses to choose

which migrant should have the priority, except

for the ones sent by the state: “If somebody is

here, standing in front of our door and asking

to have a place for the next three months, I

only ask him what I can offer him”, says Jens


Volkshochschule (VHS) is a community college


1 ) „Mitteldeutsche Zietung“ article „Wirtschaft will

Flüchtlinge schneller in Jobs bringen“ on June 1 5th

201 5, Ingo Kramer declares that it is everybody’s

interest everything to do so that the refugees „zügig

in den Arbeitsmarkt integrieren können“

2) In-depth interview with Jens Höft in charge of the

information office for the Integration and German

course at the Volkshochschule Mitte on the 21 th

June 201 5

3) Department of Statistic in Berlin-Brandenburg on

December 31 th 201 4

4) Department of Statistic in Berlin-Brandenburg on

December 31 th 201 4. Non-German inhabitants of

Berlin represent 4,9% of the people taking part in

professional formation but 1 4% of the inhabitants

5) Berliner Morgenpost: „Im Juni kamen mehr als

2800 Flüchtlinge nach Berlin“, June 9th 201 5

Marie Belland,

Erasmus exchange student

from Sciences Po Toulouse, France.

1 0


Voices no one hears –

who is entitled to be heard?

People who are not in possession of a

national status need to be given a voice. In

Berlin, one million people lack access to

institutionalized channels to articulate their


In times of global migration flows caused by

war, terror and environmental disasters, but

also due to global market movements, it

seems strange that even in big democracies

like Germany there are no institutionalized

channels for giving a voice to people without a

registered national status.

Taking Berlin as an example, where 1 2,000

refugees came in 201 4 (around twice as much

as in 201 3), the process of treating the

application for asylum still takes 6 months.


There are half a million people living in Berlin

who are not in possession of the German

citizenship, all different kinds of migrants. This

means that almost every sevenths person in

Berlin does not have the right to vote 2 (in

national elections - citizens of the EU have the

right to vote in local and European elections).

To become a German citizen, one still has to

live in Germany for at least six years 3 . During

this period, people are not political subjects.

But even more substantial is the fact that these

people have no voice in order to reach out to

the public and get political attention and

get their needs heard.

A striking example for the lack of this kind of

representation is the protest of refugees in

201 4 living in a school in Berlin-Kreuzberg. In

order to make people listen to their needs,

they finally had to choose hunger strike and

threat to suicide.

In order to cope with the democratic deficit, in

2009, an initiative called “gib mir eine stimme”

connected people willing to yield their second

vote for the German national election to a

person without the right to vote, but who had

lived in Germany for at least three years 4 .

To overcome this situation there is the need for

a deep debate over the question of whether

the link between political participation and

citizenship as it is established in existing

nation-states is still up to date when millions of

immigrants are excluded from participation in



1 )

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1 -05-00_201 4h02_BE.pdf)



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Anna Stockmar,

BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

1 1


Second-generation immigrant

cinema: representations of women

The voiceless female immigrant popular in

immigrant cinema during the 70s and 80s is

out-dated for second-generation immigrant

film directors who undermine the onedimensional

stereotypes of females to

provide a realistic representation of life.

Aysum Bademsoy addresses issues of female

victimisation in her documentary Ehre (201 1 ).

Bademsoy examines the notion of honour in

relation to honour killings within the context of

patriarchal systems that are present both

socially and institutionally in modern day

German cinema during the

1 970s and 80s saw the

burgeoning of a new kind of

cinema, one focused on the

outskirts of German society and

the migrants who lived in these

margins. These new narratives

were characterised by what

Burns (2007) calls “the cinema

of the affected” in which

migrants were portrayed as

exploited, uneducated victims

in a space between two cultures

that were mutually exclusive

(Burns, 2007).

The 1 990s saw the development of a new form

of immigrant cinema that rejected the Turkish

patriarch and his victimised and obedient wife

or daughter. Fatih Akin, Aysun Bademsoy and

Serap Berrakkarasu, as second-generation

immigrant directors, follow narratives that

explore exclusion and integration for women.

The three directors attempt to unravel the

conflation of Turkish culture, patriarchy and

feminism. Their portrayal of integrated secondgeneration

females aims to shift expectations

of victimisation and move away from the idea

of absolute otherness. Akin, Bademsoy and

Berrakkarasu convey that the ethnic background

of female immigrants does not present

as the biggest issue or central theme in

migrant cinema as was common in the preunification

era. Rather they present a realistic

representation of integration through narratives

that ultimately celebrate cultural hybridity.

“Wir haben hier viel gefunden, aber unser Verlust ist auch sehr groß...!”

(Seriban in Töchter zweier Welten, 1 990)

Germany. Furthermore she explores cultural

codes that are often simplified within film to

challenge the polarization that occurs around

the issue of honor killings, a sight that typically

symbolizes failed integration.

The documentary provides a juxtaposition

between a group of young male, thirdgeneration

immigrants who are involved in

anti-violence training and the institutional

actors such as police officers, lawyers and

program staff who work with them, all

coincidentally male. For the young men,

honour is contingent to the protection and

behavior of female family members and central

to their identity. However, the documentary

does not feature any women, and Bademsoy

does this “to capture [the] absence that these

women have left behind” (Bademsoy in

Naiboglu, 201 4). Bademsoy adopts and then

hyperbolizes the stereotype of the silent

female by absolutely excluding her. She shows

1 2


that in both the setting of the young men and

the institutional state systems, reproductions of

patriarchy and masculinity are evident

(Naiboglu, 201 4). Ehre (201 1 ) articulates that

patriarchy is not simply an immigrant problem.

so represents a conscious shift away from the

“cinema of the affected”.

For Bademsoy, Berrakarsu and Akin, the

voiceless female of the 70’s and 80’s has

become a representation to adopt, recreate

Serap Berrakkasu strived for a similar objective and reject. Bademsoy entirely excludes

two decades earlier, focusing almost exclusively females in order to draw attention to their

on what Bademsoy victimization within conliberal

Germany. Berra-

chose to leave absent. “today we no longer tell servative patriarchal

In Töchter zweier our stories from the margins, structures operating in

Welten (1 990), Berraranged

marriage, spou-

form for both young and

but from the center of society”

karasu explores ar- (Akin in Der Spiegel, 2007)” karasu provides a plat-

sal abuse and gene-

old generations to begin a

rational change through focusing on Meral, an

empowered young German-Turkish woman

and her conservative Turkish mother Seriban.

Berrakarasu underscores that parents are also

subject to their own upbringing and the

narrative emphasises that tradition and

socialization play important roles in generational

change and integration. Meral is not a

victim and although she must contend with the

conservatism of her parents, this does not

define her. The film looks at the reality of

hybridity and spaces of confrontation and

reconciliation, localising these issues by

conveying them through the broken relationship

of a mother and her daughter.

Gegen die Wand (2004) is a fictional film by

Fatih Akin that brings together the

experiences that Berrakarasu and Bademsoy

documented. The fictional drama challenges

and complicates the stereotype of the

oppressed woman through the empowered

and rebellious protagonist Sybel, an integrated

second-generation immigrant. For Sybel, life is

not simply a complication of family patriarchy

and honour and her identity is flexible to the

point of defying categorization. Throughout

the film, Sybel is positioned as the deviant and

sexually liberated female as well as the good

and rational woman and mother. This shifting

and imperfect representation is important as it

rejects the silent female that is victim to a

controlling patriarchal system. Akin presents a

modern and realistic narrative of immigrant life

in modern Germany for women and in doing

1 3

conversation around understanding difference

and reconciling the following conflict that

emerges. Akin brings these issues together

and further complicates the portrayal of

tradition and patriarchy in a modern German

context. The three directors respectively

explore spaces of confrontation for female

immigrants to counter the stereotype of the

voiceless female that emerged in the 70’s and

80’s with the conflation of Turkish culture,

patriarchy and feminism. Subsequently the

audience is provided with a nuanced and

complex portrayal of who female immigrants

are and what they experience in generational

change within two cultures in Germany.


Burns, R. (2007). Turkish German Filmakers and Alterity.

Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe,

1 5(1 ), 3-24

Beier, L-O., Matussek, M. (2007, September 28). Spiegel

Interview with Director Fatih Akin: From Istanbul to New

York. Retrieved from


Naiboglu, G. (201 4). A room to breathe between the

images: an interview with Aysun Bademsoy. Studies in

European Cinema, 1 1 (2), 1 06-1 1 5

Naiboglu, G. (201 4). Beyond representation: The ethics

and aesthetics of change in Turkish German cinema after

reunification (upublished doctoral thesis). The University of

Manchester, Manchester, England.

Lucinda Sheedy-Reinhard,

Exchange student in Social Sciences

from the University of Melbourne


Dominant identities among

Muslims in Berlin

In a face-to-face survey conducted in Berlin

the Muslim identity prevails above other

identities among people with Islamic

migratory background.

How do migrants feel about their identity? This

question may never be precisely answered, but

the following article may shed some light on

this complex question. A face-to-face survey

was conducted in two neighbourhoods in

Berlin. We chose Wedding and Kreuzberg as

the sites to conduct the survey for its large

share of Muslim migrant residents (Spielhaus/

Färber, 2006).

People with Muslim migratory background in

this article are defined as first or second

generation migrants from countries with a

Muslim majority population. The survey

addressed the identities of the migrants. The

identity of the country

of origin is referring to

the personal country

of origin or the one

which the parents

came from. The “Berliner”

identity was

meant as a selfdefinition

as belonging

to Berlin (Terlouw,

2009). At last the selfdefinitions

as “German”

and as “Muslim”

were evaluated.

The interviews offered

us a narrow window

into the identities and the tendencies of

Muslim migrants in Berlin. With only 35

participants and a short 2 pages questionnaire

the data we collected may not represent the

Muslim population in Berlin and in Germany as

a whole to a very precise level, but can be

used to prepare future researches and studies.

Since the country of birth was one of our first

questions, the participants are easily dividable

into first and second generation migrants. The

participants were asked about their religious

orientation as well, and the interview was

proceeded till the end only in the case when

participants had a migratory background of

countries with a Muslim majority. The frequency

of mosque visits was addressed in one

of the questions as well.

The identities described above were evaluated

on a scale of 1 –1 0. The demographic data

reveals that most of our participants live in the

areas closest to where the survey was

conducted. The average age of the first

generation migrants with 44.3 was significantly

higher than the 27.3 among second

generation immigrants.

When considering mosque

visits we find almost no

significant differences between

first and secondgeneration


with the exception that

second-generation migrants

have a doubled

percentage of visiting the

mosque “only on special

occasions” with 21 .4 for

second generation and

only 9.5 percent for

first-generation migrants.

In the general population

86.1 percent agreed

to the statement: “I feel German”. Amongst

people with migratory background this number

is, with 76.5 percent, not much different

(Foroutan et al, 201 4 p. 25). In our results the

“German” identity is the weakest among the

four with an average score of 5.4 out of 1 0.

Dominant identities

1 4

Integration/Social movements

The old nationality of the migrants amounts to

an average of 6. The local or “Berliner” identity

is 7.4 points on average and the “Muslim”

identity dominates the charts with 8.1 7

point in average.

To the question “How often do you visit the

mosque?” a third replied with the option

“Once a week”. Second-generation migrants

in our study visit the mosque “on special

occasions” more than any other group (28.5%).

21 .4 percent of second-generation migrants

never visit the mosque while this percentage

among the first-generation is as high as 38

percent. Roughly a third in total never visits the


Within our capacities of data gathering the

validity of the data is neither absolute nor

decisive but rather an invitation to investigate

more. The questions about identities leave

room for additional topics and comparison

factors. It may be valuable for example in a

similar research add a European identity to the

set of questions, as well as a possible “Global

citizen” identity. The religious identity is clearly

the dominant one in our data set, though it

does lose its high position among those who

rarely attend the mosque in favor of their

“Berliner” identity. These conclusions lead to a

possibly more interesting set of questions

about the understanding of Islamic values and

their interpretation by people with a Muslim

migratory background. More research is needed

in the field of Muslim identities among

migrants and the question whether they

reduce other forms of identities or coexist with


Data: The interviews were conducted on

thursday, 9/7/201 5 in Wedding district from

1 1 :00 till 1 3:00 and on thursday, 1 6/7/201 5 in

Kreuzberg district.


Fleischmann, F. & Phalet, K. (201 1 ): Published online:

Integration and religiosity among the Turkish second

generation in Europe: a comparative analysis across four

capital cities, Ethnic and Racial Studies Vol. 35 No. 2

February 201 2 pp. 320341

Foroutan, N. et al (201 4): Deutschland postmigrantisch I:

Gesellschaft, Religion, Identität. Humboldt-Universität zu


Norris, P. & Inglehart, R. (2004): Sacred and Secular:

Religion and Politics Worldwide, Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press

Spielhaus, R. & Färber, A. (2006 ): Islamisches

Gemeindeleben in Berlin, Der Beauftragte des Senats von

Berlin für Integration und Migration, Berlin

Terlouw, K. (2009): Rescaling Regional Identities:

Communicating Thick and Thin Regional Identities Studies

in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 9, No. 3

Ilya Sogolov,

4th semester BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The rise of the PEGIDA


For a few months now, Germany has been

witnessing the rise of the movement PEGIDA.

This article discusses its origins and claims, as

well as the impact of the movement on the


On the 1 5th of January 2005, Manfred Rhous

created the movement “Pro Deutschland”.

The movement is said to be an independent

political organization “which fights to preserve

the occidental trait of Germany”. Two years

later, “Pro Berlin” (the Berlin group of “Pro

Deutschland”) sets up a petition against the

accession of Turkey to the EU. The same year,

some groups come together to show their

disagreement with Berlin’s project of building a

mosque in Charlottenburg. In 2006, a similar

debate rises up concerning the project of

building of a mosque in Pankow-Heinersdorf.

An important detractor, the CDU-politician

1 5

Social movements

René Stadtkewitz, explains his opposition arguing

that building a mosque is against the

rule of integration, because while a person can

be integrated, a religion cannot, especially not

Islam in a Christian country such as Germany.

The rise of PEGIDA

Thus anti-Islamism is not a new phenomenon

in Germany and this context allowed for the

creation and the expansion of PEGIDA. This

movement, which means “Patriotic Europeans

Against The Islamization of the West”

(German: “Patriotische Europäer Gegen die

Islamisierung Des Abendlandes”) was created

on October 20th, 201 4 in Dresden with a

Monday-demonstration and 500 persons were

present on the first demonstration. Quickly,

this movement took off and 1 0,000 persons

marched on the PEGIDA-demonstration in

Dresden in early December 201 4.

Charlie Hebdo attack

After the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris on

January 7th, 201 5, PEGIDA and other anti-

Islam movements throughout Europe used this

events to “prove” their arguments were valid.

On January 1 2th, 201 5 there were 25,000

persons in Dresden and 200 in Oslo. In Prague,

there were 600 persons and in Vienna, 400. It

looked as if PEGIDA’s influence was rising fast.

The exploitation of the fear after the terror

attack did not help the government to calm

down the rise of the movement. In Angela

Merkel’s New Year Speech she had denounced

PEGIDA’s slogan “We are the people” by

saying “[they] are the people!” – even though

in the eyes of PEGIDA migrants might not fit

their idea of the people of Germany. In

January, the chancellor repeated that “Islam

belongs to Germany” and that she is the

chancellor of all Germans, no matter where

they come from. Thomas de Maizière reacted

as well and declared that the fact that PEGIDA

used this shattering event to promote its ideas

proved it was “shabby” and “infamous”.

Germans’ opinion

The most alarming fact in the rise of PEGIDA is

the opinion of the general population in

Germany. One out of two Germans understands

PEGIDA and its claims; three out of four

Germans fear an islamization of Germany.

While 25% of the population disagree with the

idea of diversity because of their belief in a

homogeneous culture, a vast majority of the

population overestimates the rate of Muslims

in Germany, as they represent only 5% of the

population .

Before/After ”Licht aus für Rassisten”

Anti-PEGIDA movements

Like in other cities such as Cologne (KöGiDa)

and Leipzig (LeGiDa), Berlin created its own

PEGIDA movement called BärGiDa. On the

first days of January 201 5, to oppose the

demonstration of KöGiDa and demonstrate its

opposition to anti-Islam movements in

Cologne, the Cathedral’s lights were turned

off. Berlin followed this idea and turned off the

lights of Brandenburg Gate, creating the

movement “Licht aus für Rassisten”. But if the

movements of PEGIDA and all of its local

groups rise, the anti-PEGIDA movements are

important as well. In January 201 5, in

1 6

Social movements

Dresden, 1 8,000 people were demonstrating

for a cosmopolitan society in Germany. In

Berlin, the figures are not as impressive and yet

relevant: 5,000 people were demonstrating

against the 300 militants of BärGiDa. Until

today, BärGida continues to demonstrate on

Mondays – with anti-movements there to oppose


Data: Newspaper articles




Léone Garnier,

Erasmus exchange student in Geography

from the University of Rennes 2, France

Local newspaper reporting on

refugee activism – the case of

Ohlauer Straße

As the difficult negotiations between activists

and politicians proceed, the attention of the

media expands, as does the strength of

opinion: The anger at politicians from all sides

and levels grows. Federal German as well as

EU laws and politics are no exception. The

activists’ methods are framed ambiguously.

On December 8th, 201 2, a group of refugees

from Africa and their supporters occupy an

emtpy school building in Ohlauer Straße/

Reichenberger Straße, Kreuzberg. They had

walked to the German capital from the south

of Germany in the fall, protested for weeks in

camps at the famous Oranienplatz and in front

of the Brandenburg Gate. The refugee activists

demand guaranteed asylum for all, the

abolition of residential obligation, the rights to

free housing choice, acces to health care, the

labour market and education.

The district, governed by the leftist green

party, lets them stay in the school – initially

until the end of the extremely cold winter. But

the occupation of the public building endures,

more and more people move in. Then, on June

24th, 201 4, the largest part of the residents is

moved to asylum seeker residencies in other

parts of the city. But some 40-80 occupiers

remain in the building, threatening to jump off

the roof in case of an eviction. For a week, a

daily police force of 1 ,800 officers restrict the

passage to a large area around the school for

residents only – passersby, tourists, and

journalists are kept outside.

While the local politicians keep trying to

convince the occupiers to move out, a game of

political profiling begins between the CDU-led

Department of Interior and Sport, Kreuzberg’s

green government, and its leftist local

opposition. Meanwhile, the solidarity with the

occupiers grows, as shown in demonstrations

or online, not only among Kreuzberg’s liberal

residents, but also Berlin-wide, nation-wide,

even internationally.

Three local daily newspapers report differently

How is this development reflected in the

media? For examplifying purposes, the

reporting of the three biggest local daily

newspapers, Berliner Morgenpost, Berliner

Zeitung and Tagesspiegel, was analysed in

terms of their mentions of specific issues. A

neutral mention did count, because the other

newspapers sometimes decided not to

mention the topic at all. A negative mention

means, the newspaper writes about an issue or

actor in a criticising way. A positive mention

means that the journalist uses positive words

to describe, or assesses an issue or action as

legitimate or correct.

1 7

Social movements

The main finding is that the attention grows

over time: The articles reporting on the

occupation in December are mainly neutral

news pieces, a reportage in the Tagesspiegel

highlights the cold and the snow that make the

protesting difficult. The Berliner Morgenpost

speculates on the refugees‘ supporters

being related to the

correctly and provide safety. The Berliner

Zeitung acknowledges that they are not

responsible but “forced“ to “undemocratic“

action due to the politicians’ inactivity. The

Tagesspiegel dedicates a whole article on the

incomprehension of the residents who say the

police resemble “paramilitary forces“.

extreme-left wing [The refugees] don’t differentiate

Antifa. The Berliner between municipality and federal state,

Zeitung portrays between Germany and Europe.

them as “arrogant“,


the competences of a district. [...]

They don’t know about EU laws and

rative“ with the

We will have to bend the law to give

police and “unable

these people a minimum of humanity.

to cope“ after an

(S. Fehrle, chief editor of Berliner Zeitung,

incident in late De-

1 /7/1 4, on the „moral right to asylum“)

cember when two residents

are stabbed with a

knife in the kitchen of the school. The Tagesspiegel

focuses on the peaceful and wide

support of the refugee protests among the

Kreuzberg residents.

Attention is bigger when a symbol for

protest is attacked

One and a half years later, the occupied

Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule has become a

symbol for refugee protest and activism, as

well as the “home“ (Berliner Zeitung) for its

residents. The media attention and style of

reporting following the first clearing of the

building is similar to that following the

occupation: Mostly neutral; some sceptical

mentions of the big police presence – “how

voluntary was the moving out really if 900

policemen were needed?“. Berliner Zeitung

and Berliner Morgenpost mention the

“catastrophic hygiene situation“ of the school

(it had one shower for about 200 residents).

Some of the supporters are hard-core activists

and “try to prevent a peaceful solution“

(Berliner Zeitung).

But then, the last occupiers remained on the

roof. Down in the streets the massive police

security annoyed residents and shop owners,

but also journalists who felt the freedom of the

press being violated. Only the Berliner

Morgenpost finds that the police do their work

Political struggle

reflected in the


The occupiers

want asylum

which the dis-

trict administration


give them and

the CDU-led Senate

does not want to

give them. Opinion differs whether the Senate

should stay strong against “blackmail“

(Tagesspiegel) or whether the refugees have a

“moral right to asylum“ because they have

been treated dishonestly by everyone (Berliner

Zeitung); whether the occupation was

illigitimate and blackmail (Berliner Morgenpost)

or whether human dignitiy cannot be

extorted, because it has to be guaranteed to

everyone by a social democracy such as

Germany (Berliner Zeitung).

The newspapers agree in one aspect: Local

politicians should know their limits, activists

should not use refugees for their purposes.

Tagesspiegel and Berliner Zeitung connect the

powerlessness of the municipalities with the

EU border countries – in the end, German

federal laws and EU agreements can be made

responsible for such dramas.


Original newspaper articles related to refugees’

occupation of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule in

Kreuzberg, taken from online archives (Berliner Zeitung,

Tagesspiegel) and from LexisNexis (Berliner Morgenpost),

between December 8, 201 2 and December 29, 201 2 as

well as June 24, 201 4 and July 1 5, 201 4.

Jondis Luise Schwartzkopff,

4th semester BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

1 8

Social movements

“Die Toten kommen” – the

politicization of illegal immigration

On Sunday June the 21 st, 201 5, at the corner

of Charlottenstraße and Unter den Linden, a

crowd of people gathered, most of them

wearing black clothes and holding makeshift

wooden crosses. This demonstration, called

“Die Toten kommen” (“The dead are coming”)

and organised by the “Zentrum Für Politische

Schönheit” (Center for Political Beauty) 1 , took

the form of a protest march through the heart

of the German capital.

The aim of the protest

was to create a

fake cemetery on the

lawn in front of the

chancellery. For a

few years now, more

and more immigrants

(mostly from

Africa and the

Middle East) have

died trying to reach

the coasts of Europe,

with the hope of

finding a better life.

In 201 5 we reached macabre records; in six

months more than 1 ,800 people have drowned

in the Mediterranean Sea. The European Union

is overwhelmed by this situation and tries to

close the borders in order to stop this massive

flux (in the first semester of 201 4, it has been

estimated that more than 21 6,300 people have

started a procedure in order to receive the

status of refugee in the 28 member states) 2 .

These new immigration policies are disputed

in the whole of the EU and the protest against

them takes different forms. The one organised

by the Zentrum für Politische Schönheit, which

qualifies itself as “an assault team that

establishes moral beauty, political poetry and

human greatness while aiming to preserve

1 9

humanitarianism”, aims to sensitize the civilian

population as well as the politicians by

creating a one-of-a-kind artistic protest and

thus showing the concern and the grief of a

part of the public opinion.

The objective of this paper is to highlight how

the issue of illegal immigration in Europe is

politicized in Berlin. By doing this, I concentrate

myself on

the way a social

movement illustrates

the concern

of a part of the population

about the

“immigration issue”.

More precisely, we

will see to what

extent this demonstration


the interest of a part

of the Berliner public

opinion on the

issue of immigration

in the European

Union; we will show first that it is a civilian

political movement, and then how this

movement disagrees with the governmental

and European policies.

A symbolic wooden cross buried in front of

the German Parliament (Credit: Elena Guyader)

By creating a huge false cemetery (it has been

estimated that there were almost a hundred

graves, together with flowers and candles

planted on the lawn) 3 in front a the German

Parliament and close to Angela Merkel’s office,

the Zentrum für Politische Schönheit tried to

reproduce symbolically the tragedy of the

death of thousands of refugees trying to reach

the coasts of southern Europe. Around 1 0,000

people attended this event (the police

estimate around 5,000 participants) 4 whose aim

was to demonstrate that even though the

Social movements/Public opinion

population of Berlin cannot directly influence

European policy in regard of the illegal immigration

issue, they are nonetheless concerned

about what happens and try to alert the rest of

the public as well as showing the politicians

their disagreement with the current immigration


This demonstration follows a week of different

forms of protest in Berlin; for example on June

1 6th, a Syrian woman, who died on the shores

of Italy trying to escape the atrocities

happening in Syria right now, was buried in

Berlin – the militants came in contact with her

family, who is currently living in Berlin and who

gave their agreement, and organized the trip

from Italy to Berlin as well as the funeral 5 . This

movement has emerged in Berlin and has

spread out all over the continent; it shows how

deeply this part of the population is concerned

about this issue and disagrees with the current


Indeed, one of the most important aims of this

demonstration was to criticize the current

German and European politics concerning the

illegal immigration issue. According to the

manifestants, the European Union is responsible

for the disaster in the sense that the

richest countries, and especially Germany, do

not give enough opportunities to asylum

seekers to travel safely from their homeland to

Europe, for example by delivering visas. The

placement of the graveyard was at the same

time strategic and symbolic; strategic because

they knew it would bring a lot of attention

doing it on the heart of German politics, and

symbolic because it is one of the places where

the most important decisions concerning European

immigration policies are taken. The

political responses of this demonstration were

prompt; the association of the Left party in the

Bundestag wished to keep the symbolic graves

as a daily reminder of the tragedies until the

European refugees politics change their position

to a more humanistic one 6 .


1 )

2) d75d.html


1 946694.html



5) 5/06/1 7/world/europe/



1 95051 6.html

Carla Böttinger,

BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Public perception of immigration

between 201 2 and 201 4

A content analysis of 1 70 newspaper articles

reveals that the public perception of migration

turned more negative between 201 2

and 201 4, which only partly correlates with

actual migration movements during that time.

The daily glance in the newspapers gives a

good insight into what the public in Berlin is

thinking about. According to the agenda setting

theory, media form the public agenda; not

by “tell[ing] you what to think, but what (…) to

think about” (Davie, 201 0). Especially in times

when political circumstances are shaky, public

perception of migration movements is very

interesting to observe. Is the public afraid of

migrants moving to Berlin or does it rather see

immigration as social enrichment?

When in 201 4 the unrestricted free movement

for workers in the EU came into force for Bul-


Public opinion

garia and Romania, its consequences were

widely discussed in Berlin, accompanied by a

lot of media attention. On the other hand

there are countless other reasons for people to

move to Berlin: The financial crisis in 2008 and

its high youth unemployment rates all over

Europe, the global circumstances which force

more and more people to leave their countries

and flee to Germany, or the simple fact of

family unifications for migrants are just some

examples. The question is: How do the media

report on migration? Which of those movements

is perceived the most and in what

manner? Key-words mentioned in headlines of

articles published between 1 2/201 2 and 06/

201 4 suggest that the reporting on migration

in Berlin became more skeptical. Therefore the

question in focus is whether the perception of

migration became more negative within this

period of time and if it correlates with actual

statistical data about people moving to Berlin.

For the research the following hypothesis was


H1: The public perception between 12/2012 –

06/2014 became more negative towards


Furthermore the results of the content analysis

were compared with statistical data covering

this period of time. 1 76 articles from two local

newspapers between December 201 2 and

June 201 4, which were published with the keywords

“immigration” and “migration”, were

investigated. The articles were put in four time

blocks: A (1 2/201 2 – 01 /201 3); B (05/201 3 –

06/201 3); C (1 2/201 3 – 01 /201 4); D (05/201 4 –

06/201 4). Using MAXQDA 1 1 all articles were

investigated and a word frequency list was

generated. Based on the word frequency list

and a theoretical framework three main

categories and corresponding search items

were defined. The search items helped to

categorize the

articles: Articles

that contained

positive position

towards immigration



“gradualist”, or



Less than one

third of the

articles contain

positive position

towards immigration

Overall, the most

prevalent words

were “refugees”,

“work”, “Bulgaria” and “Romania”. Most of

the articles were published in the period

1 2/201 3 – 01 /201 4, and almost 95% of those

were problematizing immigration, especially

poverty migration. In the summer periods

there was always a higher percentage of

positive articles than in the winter period and

in summer 201 3 the percentage of positive

positions was the highest (44,1 2%). Nevertheless

overall not even one third of all articles

contained positive positions towards immigration

and there is not even one article that

contains only positive position towards


Between 1 2/201 2 and 06/201 3 the percentage

of positively positioned articles is higher than


Public opinion

between 1 2/201 3 and 06/201 4. Furthermore

the percentage of gradualist and negative

articles is higher in the second period of time.

This confirms the hypothesis that the public

perception became more negative.

Negative presentation of migration causes

headlines and could fuel public resentments

Compared to actual statistics two things can

be seen: Firstly, the high percentages of

articles about asylum seekers (48,3% of all

articles) can partly be explained by actual

events in Berlin at that time (e.g. refugee

protest camps). Secondly, the high amount of

problematizing articles about migrants from

Bulgaria and Romania is disproportionate. In

1 2/201 3 – 01 /201 4 more than 70% of all the

articles were about poverty migration in a

critical manner, the actual data however reveals

that between 1 2/201 2 and 06/201 4 the

percentage of Bulgarians living in Berlin barely

increased (0.03%) (Amt für Statistik 201 2, 201 4).

As communication sciences have found out,

negative headlines usually cause more attention

than positive ones (Streber, 201 3). So

according to media logic the growing negativity

in public perception of immigration is

reasonable, but it runs the risk of fueling public

resentments towards immigration. In a further

step it would be interesting to compare these

findings with a public opinion poll, to see how

the public perception of immigration differs

from media articles.

Data: Content Analysis of 1 76 newspaper articles

between 1 2/201 2 – 06/201 4 from “Berliner Zeitung”

( and “Der

Tagesspiegel” (


Davie, G. (201 0). Agenda Setting Theory [Web log post].

Retrieved from:

Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (201 2):

Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner nach LOR und

Migrationshintergrund OT_A8.2 – 31 .1 2.201 2. Retrieved



_1 92_201 202_BE.pdf

Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (201 4).

Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner nach LOR und

Migrationshintergrund. OT_A8.2 — 30.06.201 4. Retrieved



00_1 92_201 401 _BE.pdf

Streber, T. (29.1 0.201 3): „Schlechte Nachrichten sind

glaubwürdiger“. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved


Franziska Keß,

BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Imagined immigration:

immigration in the press

The image of immigration given by the media

in Berlin, confounding refugees and asylum

seeking with immigration in general, is

distorted and diverges largely from “real”

immigration pictured by statistical estimates.

The starting point of my investigation was an

article of Scott Blinder entitled “Imagined

Immigration: The Impact of Different Meanings

of ‘Immigrants’ in Public Opinion and Policy

Debates in Britain”, in which the author presents

a study showing that public perceptions

of immigration – “imagined immigration” – are

very different, though related, from “real

immigration” as pictured by government

statistics. Furthermore, the authour shows that

“cognitive representations are necessary precursors

to judgments (…), such as the decision

to support reduced or increased immigration”

(Blinder, 201 3, p. 81 ).

The goal of this research was therefore to know

whether media in Berlin are delivering a realistic

image of immigration. 237 articles of Bild


Public opinion

and 1 38 articles of Berliner Zeitung (articles

published in a one year period) containing

either the word “Migration” or “Immigration”,

“Immigrant (-innen)” were analysed in order to

know which category of immigration the au-

thor was referring to. They were then classified

in five categories: asylum seekers or refugees,

international students, workers, people migrating

for familial reasons and articles in which

the category of immigration was not clearly

identified or which were not pertinent for my

research. The results found were compared

with official statistical estimates.

It was observed no real difference between the

two newspapers, even though their editorial

lines are not the same. The results were

striking: 94% (Bild) and 97% (Berliner Zeitung)

of the articles with immigration or immigrant as

main subject are as well about asylum seekers

or refugees. On the other hand, 0.4% (Bild) and

0% (Berliner Zeitung) of the articles are about

international students. However, official statistical

estimates published in the annual report

about migration in Germany show that only

23.1 % of immigrants in 201 3 from non-EU

countries can be considered as belonging to

the category of refugees or asylum seekers,

and that 1 4.3% of immigrants from non-EU

countries are coming for the purpose of study.

The quantitative analysis is confirmed by a

qualitative analysis of one article describing

“what Germans think about Immigration”,

which mentions only the relationship that

Germans have toward asylum seekers (Merholz,

201 5). The image of immigration given by

the media in Berlin is therefore distorted: the

Bild and the Berliner Zeitung tend to confound

refugees (“Flüchtlinge”) and asylum seekers

(“Asylbewerber”) with immigrants in general.

The same way, the term “Immigration” is

mentioned almost exclusively in articles concerning

asylum seekers and refugees. Other

purposes of immigration

are either

not mentioned or

not characterized

as such. Workers,

international students

and migrants

following their families

are almost not

mentioned. Furthermore,

in many articles,

the term “illegal immigration” is

confounded with asylum seeking and refugees:

these three terms are forming a kind of an

undefined conglomerate used in the articles to

talk about any topic concerning migration.

As a conclusion, the image of immigration

delivered by the written press in Berlin is unrealistic

and focused only on one category of

immigration. Knowing that the cognitive representations

we have of immigration form our

judgment, it could be interesting to conduct

further research in order to know in what way

media shape the cognitive representations of

the public opinion.


Bild and Berliner Zeitung online archives, [consulted on

28th July 201 5], articles containing the words “Migration”

or “Immigration”, “Immigrant (-innen)” between 28/7/201 4

and 28/7/201 5.

Migrationsbericht des BAMF im Auftrag der

Bundesregierung 201 3, Nürnberg: Bundesamt für

Migration und Flüchtlinge.


Blinder, S. (201 3). Imagined Immigration: The Impact of

Different Meanings of ‘Immigrants’ in Public Opinion and

Policy Debates in Britain. Political Studies.

Merholz, A. (201 5). So denkt Deutschland über

Zuwanderung. Bild-Online:

inland migration/so-denkt-deutschland-ueber-migration-

392031 36.bild.html [consulted on 28/7/201 5]

Marie Cohuet,

Erasmus exchange student

from Sciences Po, Paris


Political participation

Immigrants’ electoral behavior

in Germany and Berlin

Electoral behavior from immigrants within

Germany, and compared to the capital Berlin

who claims to be different from the country, is

not different at all.

Berlin is a city with more than 800,000 people

with migratory background, but it is not the

city with most migratory background in

Germany, as would be expected being the

capital. Despite the large population with

migratory background, does a city that claims

to be different from the rest of the country also

have a different behavior when it comes to

voting for those migrants? I will try to give an

answer to this question trying to explain it from

different social group perspectives such as

gender, age or level of studies, with the data

collected from the European Social Survey

201 2, Germany, N = 542, and compare it to

literature on the same topic in the city of


What stands out when analyzing voting

behavior in Germany is that most migrants

vote for parties that the European Social

Survey classifies as “Other”, which probably

are parties that do not classify themselves in a

traditional way, making them neither right nor

left-wing parties. With a 57.2% it is the most

voted category no matter the range of age the

migrant is in.

However, trying to analyze the electoral behavior

from a gender or a household income

perspective does not have any effect on the

ideology of the voters.

Is Berlin really different?

So is Berlin different from the rest of the country?

In this case, and despite the categories

given by the ESS, we can still observe that

most of the migrant voters prefer to vote leftwing

parties (23.8 % of immigrant voters) over

right-wing ones (1 9% of immigrant voters), and

this goes in the same direction as the voters in

the capital city, where 65% of immigrant voters

vote for either SPD or Die Grünen, against 8%

who voted for the CDU. In conclusion, we

cannot really say that the behavior is different

in Berlin than in the rest of the country, on the

contrary: it is similar probably because these

left-wing parties defend the social rights for

immigrants, unlike right-wing parties.


Jonas-Correa, M. (1 998) “Different Paths: Gender

Immigration and Political Participation” International

Migration Review. Vol.32, No. 2, 326-349

Loch, D. (201 4) “Immigration, segregation and social

cohesion: is the German model fraying at the edged?”.

Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 21 :6, 677-


Parry, G. Moyser, G. Day, N. (1 992) Political Participation

and Democracy in Britain. (First Edition). Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press

Rytz, H. (201 1 ) “Ich bin ein Berliner – The immigrant vote in

the Berlin elections of 201 1 ” taken from

1 /

Mireia Casado Olivas,

Erasmus exchange student from

Universitat de Barcelona,

BA in Sociology, 4th year


Political parties

The effect of participation in

government on migration policy

The way political parties promote their

attitudes toward immigration related issues

not only depends on their ideological points

of view but also on their participation in

government. This study demonstrates that

the leftist party in Berlin increased their call

for the liberalization of migration policy after

leaving the federal government in 201 1 while

the conservatives, now in government, keep

on favoring a restrictive position.

The elections for the House of Representatives

in Berlin in 201 1 have wiped the leftist party

“Die Linke” off the federal state government

after five years of being the junior partner of

the social-democrats. While the social-democrats

remained in power, the leftists were

replaced by the conservative party “CDU”.

When comparing the

attitudes about immigration-related


of the conservatives

with those of the leftists

immediately before the elections in 201 1 , one

gets an impression of contrarian party

strategies on migration policies. But how did

the leftists’ new status as an opposition party

and how did the new participation of the

conservatives in government change their

central points of view in migration policies?

Cultural diversity vs. common German identity

The leftist party, whose central issue can be

described as social justice, also focuses a lot

on migration issues. Considering the leftists as

a rising party that is not mainstream yet, they

use another strategy to catch votes: “In

addition to promoting previously marginalized

or ignored issues, the rising parties further

differentiate themselves by limiting their issue

appeals” (Meguid, 2005, p. 4). Being a conventional

mainstream party, the conservatives outline

the issue as one among others. Therefore,


those citizens who regard immigrant-related

policies as the main issue rather felt addressed

by the leftists but “issue ownership affects the

voting decisions of only those individuals who

think that the issue is salient” (Bélanger/

Meguid, 2007, p. 1 ) so that the common relevance

is refuted.

Due to rising immigration this issue has

become more salient since 201 1 . Both parties,

the conservatives as well as the leftists, cannot

avoid to deal with this subject. Irrespective of

their participation in government some characteristics

of the party’s general attitudes about

migration policy have to be shown: The leftists

strive for the liberalization of migration policy.

The CDU stresses the required competences

and duties of immigrants while Die Linke

claims that skills and

abilities of immigrants

have to be

recognized more intensively.

The conservatives

focus on assimilation and the requirement

to identify with Germany whereas

the leftists put emphasis on the uniqueness

and individuality of immigrants. It is striking

that the leftists predominantly regard Berlin

citizens as an elementary unit whereas the

CDU draws a line between Berlin-born and

immigrants. But how do both parties differ

among themselves depending on whether

they are in power or in opposition?

“People are integrated if they have the

same rights to participate in society […] they

are enriching Berlin’s cultural diversity”

(DIE LINKE deputee Hakan Tas).

Leftists complain about structural deficits, conservatives

expect personal contribution

Even in power the leftist have been quite dissatisfied

with the migration policy but as junior

partner in government they could not

implement all their reform acts such as anonymous

health insurance certificate and the

intercultural openness of the administration.

Now being in opposition furthermore they

Political parties

adhere to those calls by campaigning for the

immigrants’ right of participation: “The government

didn’t react as to our plans on how to

provide refugees with housing” (Tas, 201 5).

According to them the prohibitions of

formation, of employment and of education

have to be abolished. The conservatives have

linked most of the immigrant-related issues

prior to the elections in 201 1 to problems:

immigrants burden the welfare system, they

are associated with so-called parallel societies

and their unemployment share is disproportionally

high. Therefore the conservatives’

objective was to fight those problems. Four

years later, now being in power, the conservatives

accentuate the common goal to

strive for a German identity as the interlinking

element of all the immigrants: “The immigrants

have to identify with Germany to

strengthen social cohesion” (Dregger, 201 5).

Different perspectives – different political


To conclude, conservatives and leftists in Berlin

differ enormously in their attitude about

immigration policies: Whereas Die Linke

demands the recognition of immigrants’ skills,

In addition to some mentions of immigration

throughout the programs, all four programs

have own parts devoted to the topic of

immigration and multiculturalism. These parts

are the ones that will be talked about in the

next paragraphs. The CDU/CSU national

program (“Gemeinsam erfolgreich für Deutschthe

CDU expects the immigrants to make

efforts to integrate. Being in power the

conservatives try to evade those topics, but as

soon as the leftists are in government they can

stress the issue of migration so that the CDU

has to react to a certain extent. And of course

the rising immigration figures make a contribution

to the saliency of the issue as well.


Bélanger, E./ Meguid, B. (2008): Issue salience, issue

ownership, and issue-based vote choice. In: Electoral

Studies. Vol. 27, Issue 3, p.477-491

Interviews with CDU-deputee Burkard Dregger and with

LINKE-deputee Hakan Tas (201 5, interviews conducted in

German, quotations translated in English by the authour)

Meguid, B. (2005): Competition between unequals: The

role of mainstream party strategy in niche party success.

Cambridge University Press: American Political Science

Review. Party manifestoes of CDU and DIE LINKE, Berlin

201 1

Rölle, Daniel (2000): Wahlprogramme: Richtschnur

parlamentarischen Handelns. In: Zeitschrift für

Parlamentsfragen. Vol. 31 , No.4, p.821 -833

Luis Jachmann,

4th semester BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Does Berlin’s multiculturalism

show in party programs?

The position on immigration CDU and SPD

have taken in Berlin are both strengthened

versions of the positions taken by their

national parties.

28.6% of Berlin’s inhabitants have an immigration

background (Amt für Statistik Berlin-

Brandenburg, 201 5, p. 1 2) – meaning that they

were either born outside Germany themselves,

have a foreign citizenship, or are born to at

least one parent who was born abroad or has a

foreign citizenship – compared to 20,3 % for

Germany as a whole (Statistisches Bundesamt).

Therefore, it is interesting to see whether this

has an effect on the party programs of the two

main German parties, the social-democratic

SPD and the Christian-democratic CDU. The

two parties’ Berlin programs have been

compared to those of the national parties to

see whether they deal with the questions of

immigration, integration and multiculturalism

in a different manner. This has been done by

means of rhetorical analysis supported by

quantitative content analysis.


Political parties

land”) presents the subject of immigration and

multiculturalism under the title “Diversity enriches

– accomplishing a culture of welcome”

(CDU/CSU, 201 3, p. 63) – i.e. a rather positive

title for the subject. The different parts of the

subject are presented under rather positivesounding

subtitles, although some of the

things said can be considered as quite

negatively inclined toward immigrants (CDU/

CSU, 201 3, pp. 63-66). However, there is not

very much generalising of immigrants, some of

the negative sentences include reservations,

one example being: “Those that refuse to learn

German have no chances of a future in our

country” (ibid. p. 65). In one

paragraph, the program addresses

religious or cultural

traditions, and specifically

mentions “Muslims” three

times. Other religions are

not mentioned at all. One

of these mentions can be

considered negative (talking

about “Muslim special

courts”) while the two

others only call on more

cooperation with Muslim

organisations (ibid. p. 66).

The tone taken by the

Berlin CDU in contrast is quite a different one.

The program (“1 00 Lösungen damit sich was

ändert für Berlin”) is organised as 1 00

problems, with the CDU’s answers to these

questions. Seven problems concerning immigration

and multiculturalism are grouped

together – making this the clear “immigration

part” of the program. Together with these

seven problems are some problem-answers

providing additional material on the matter.

The titles of the problems are quite tabloid

and hard sounding, especially those that are

negative toward immigrants (CDU Berlin, 201 1 ,

pp. 51 -57). Examples include: “Some immigrants

seal themselves off, ‘parallel societies’

come to existence” (ibid. 52) and “Migrants

dominate the criminal statistics” (ibid. 54).

Especially this last one is also very generalising.

A harsher tone than the one taken on

the national level can therefore be seen


Position of CDU/CSU and SPD in their

national programmes from 2013. The position

is the percentage of statements in the

program negative towards multiculturalism

subtracted from the percentage of statements

positive towards multiculturalism. As seen,

the SPD has a much more positive position

than the CDU/CSU. The research on the

municipal programmes indicates that the

positions in Berlin are even further away from

the neutral position (0).

Source for the national numbers: Manifesto Project Database

in the Berlin program. The theme of immigration

is also mentioned over two paragraphs

in the introduction to the program, some of it

in quite negative terms (ibid. 5). The national

SPD program (“Das wir entscheidet”) presents

the theme of immigration, integration and

multiculturalism under the title “Equal rights to

participation: For a modern integration policy”

(SPD, 201 3, p. 58). Generally, it can be

perceived in a positive tone, with the opening

statement being: “Germany is an open

country” (ibid.). Diversity is mentioned as a

resource of the future. Religious diversity is

mentioned, however no religions are mentioned

specially. The SPD

program can therefore in

general be perceived as

more positive than that of

the CDU, and with no specific

mention of any single

group (ibid. pp. 58-60) .

The Berlin program (BER-

LINprogramm) of the SPD

presents the topics of immigration,

integration and

multiculturalism at two main

places (SPD Berlin, 201 1 , p.

1 1 ; pp. 38-39). The content

is presented under neutral

or positive titles (ibid.). The tone is, generally

speaking, quite similar to the one taken by the

SPD in their national programme, however,

there are signs of taking it all one step further

– for instance saying that they “want a change

of mentality in regard to immigration into a

culture of recognition” (ibid. p. 38). The only

mention of a specific religion is that they want

a professorial chair for education in Muslim

theology (ibid. p. 39).

What the analysis shows is that both parties’

Berlin programs reflect the position taken by

their national counterparts. However, in the

cases of both parties, the position of the

national party has been strengthened in the

Berlin program. Taking into consideration that

the position on immigration in the national

program of CDU/CSU can be considered slightly

negative in the attitudes toward immigrants,

Political parties

multiculturalism and the likes of it – although it

has some positive remarks (as supported by

the analysis by the Manifesto Project) – the

Berlin program can be considered more negatively

inclined on the same subjects, although

with some positive notes. The national

program of the SPD can be considered

positive on the same subjects, although with

some negative remarks (also supported by

data from the Manifesto Project). The Berlin

program of the same party, however, can be

regarded as almost completely positive on the

same subjects. This means that in the parties’

position on immigration they have both

drifted further away from a neutral position in

the Berlin programs than in their respective

national programs.

Torbjørn Svanevik,

Erasmus exchange student

from the University of Oslo,

BA in Political Science, 4th semester


Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (201 5); Statistischer

Bericht A I 5 – hj 2 / 1 4;

Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam. URL: <


-05-00_201 4h02_BE.pdf /> [Last checked 5th of August

201 5]

Statistisches Bundesamt Migrationshintergrund [Internet],

Statistisches Bundesamt. URL: <


d/Migrationshintergrund.html /> [Last checked 5th of

August 201 5]CDU/CSU (201 3);

Gemeinsam erfolgreich für Deutschland.

Regierungsprogramm 201 3-201 7; CDU/CSU. URL: <

521 _201 3.pdf/> [Last

checked 31 st of July 201 5]CDU Berlin (201 1 );

1 00 Lösungen damit sich was ändert für Berlin; CDU Berlin.

URL: < 41

80Seiten.pdf /> [Last checked 31 st of July 201 5]

Why local politicians run

for migrant votes

Is the well-being of migrants especially important

for politicians in constituencies that

have a high number of potential migrant voters?

Surprisingly, the analysis of campaign

programs in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg has

shown that not the share of migrant voters

but rather personal identities determine the

pursuit of migrant-relevant topics.

Migrants as a targeted voter group

As can be observed in various political

campaigns, candidates set focus on special

issues when they compete for votes. The

issues they choose can be decisive as they

attract the electorate’s attention. Moreover,

these issues will give hints on what policies

those candidates will support when elected.

As many citizens in Berlin are first or secondgeneration

migrants – the number rising – a

central question evolves: How well are migration-related

issues represented in a politician’s

campaign? Is their vote seen as

important enough? And therefore, will

candidates address specific issues that target

migrants? Anthony Downs (1 957), known for

his rational choice theory, suggests that a

candidate’s primary goal is to maximize votes.

Following this, candidates seek to target as

many voters as possible, also marginalized

groups and therefore migrants, and can do so

by addressing the issues those groups care

about. To answer the question whether more

migrants in a candidate’s constituency actually

lead to stronger proposals of migrant-relevant

issues, we will take a closer look at a famous

Berlin district and its political leaders.

The Green Party, the candidates and their

migrant voters in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

The most variegated district and famous for its


Political parties

multiculturalism is Friedrichshain-

Kreuzberg. Here, more than 35%

of the population have a migration

background. Politically, the district

is divided into six constituencies,

in which the Green Party is the

most successful. In the latest state

parliamentary elections in 201 1 ,

the party won a direct seat in five

of the six constituencies. Prior to

the election, every candidate developed

an individual campaign

program that focused on specific

issues, but remained within the

general party program. Concerning

the issues of migration

and integration, the Green Party points out

several proposals which should help migrants

to integrate, offer them political participation

and improve the living together of all in a

multicultural society.

In the six constituencies the percentage of

voters with migration background varies

strongly, as do the candidates’ personal profiles:

Constituency One: 1 6,9% of voters have a migration

background, campaigned by Heidi

Kosche (62), chemical engineer and teacher

for natural sciences

Constituency Two: 1 6,5% migration background,

Dirk Behrendt (39), judge

Constituency Three: 26,9%, highest share, Dr.

Turgut Altug (45), Turkish born agronomist

Constituency Four: 5,5%, Clara Herrmann (26),

geographer and youngest candidate

Constituency Five: 4,6%, Canan Bayram (45),

lawyer born in Turkey

Constituency Six: 4,5%, lowest share, Marianne

Burkert-Eulitz (38), lawyer







have a similar share of migrants in their

electorate, but differ strongly in their saliency

of migrant-relevant topics. Exceptional are

especially the campaign programs of Bayram

and Kosche. Bayram, who has one of the

lowest shares of voters with migration

background, offers the highest saliency with

23,8%. She demands concrete policies, e.g. a

municipal electoral law for non-German

citizens and also sets a special focus on

helping refugees. Kosche on the other hand

does not mention migrant-relevant issues. Her

saliency adds up to only 2,5% which is by far

the lowest, even though 1 6% of her voters

have migration background. She rather focuses

strongly on environmental policies. The

only one to target his migrant voters directly is

Altug. He states that education serves as the

best integration opportunity and demands,

among other things, school expenditures that

set special focus on children with migration

background. With 21 ,3% saliency his result is

the only one being proportional to the share

of migrants in his constituency.

Importance of migrant votes

To analyze the impact potential migrant voters

have on a candidate’s campaign program,

each candidate’s individual program was

examined and the saliency of issues relevant

for migrants was calculated according to the

Manifesto Project method. The outcome is

quite surprising: The assumed trend did not

occur. Bayram, Burkert-Eulitz and Herrmann all

Migration background supports migration


Overall, the results in the table show: Whether

a candidate’s voters have migration background

or not does not influence the topics of

his or her campaign. It can be observed

though, that the candidate’s personal profile

and position in the party may determine the

issues the candidate campaigns with. Altug


Political parties

and Bayram were both born in Turkey and

Bayram holds the position as spokesman for

integration, migration and refugees of the

Green Party. Kosche focuses on issues

resembling her professional career. Herrmann,

who was the youngest member of parliament

in 2006, demands policies that target young

voters and students.

Therefore, in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg migrants

are represented by Altug and Bayram,

who both have a migration background themselves.

Party position and personal strengths

or experiences seem to determine a local

candidate’s campaign more than the share of

migrants in their electorate.


Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (Hg.) (201 1 ),

Statistischer Bericht. Wahlen zum Abgeordnetenhaus von

Berlin und zu den Bezirksverordnetensammlungen 201 1 .

Online verfügbar unter

1 /strukturdaten/SB_B7-2-1 _j05-

1 1 _BE.pdf.BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN (Hg.) (201 1 ): Eine

Stadt für alle. Das Wahlprogramm zur

BerlinerAbgeordnetenhauswahl 201 1 . Online verfügbar


1 /wahlprogramm_onli

ne.pdf.Downs, Anthony (1 957): An Economic Theory of

Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.

Silvia Mayr,

BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Immigration, integration and

parties – SPD and CDU

Two diverging fundamental attitudes towards

immigration and integration became apparent:

Whereas the CDU handles integration as

appropriation of “German” culture and

values, the SPD stresses multicultural cohabitation

and cultural self-determination.

Berlin has more than 3.5 million inhabitants.

28.6 percent of those, more than one million,

have an immigration background (Office for

Statistics Berlin-Brandenburg 201 5; status: December

31 , 201 4). Consequently, the topic of

immigration is of great importance and

presence in Berlin politics. However, since the

city is not only one unit but consists of twelve

different districts with each of them having

their own administration and district parliament

ruled by different parties, the question of

differences in the position towards immigration

between Berlin parties emerges. Currently,

SPD and CDU together make up more

than half of the seats in the Berlin state

parliament and thus have vast political power.

For this reason, these two parties were chosen

as the objects of investigation in this research.

More precisely, the objective was to find out

in which way the Berlin CDU and SPD differ in

their attention and position towards immigration.

In this work, a comparative analysis of the party

programs of the CDU and the SPD for the 201 1

Berlin parliamentary elections was conducted

with a focus on saliency, position and content

concerning the topic of immigration. First, in

both programs all sentences in total and then

the number of sentences focusing on

immigration were counted. After this, the

sentences were grouped into positive and

negative statements and in a last step, the

fundamental attitude and the key statements

on immigration were examined. The method is

derived from the Manifesto Project (cf. Werner

et al. 201 4).

It was found that with 1 3.9 percent of the

sentences dealing with immigration, the CDU

mentions immigration almost twice as much as

the SPD (7.2 percent). However, the SPD’s

statements on immigration are positive

without exception, whereas the CDU mentions

immigration nearly equally in a positive and


Political parties

negative manner – with one sentence more,

the positive sentences outweigh the negative.

Focusing on the content, the SPD repeatedly

mentions all Berlin citizens including immigrants,

the shared commitment for immigrants,

for the diversity of cultures and against

all forms of discrimination, right-wing extremism

and racism. In the CDU election program

benefits and accomplishments of immigrants

are valued, too, for instance integration efforts

and high qualification – however, the overall

picture remains negative: Above all, immigration

is problematized, with the CDU then

SPD Berlin

by examining the election programmes it

becomes obvious that immigration constitutes

an important topic for both parties and Berlin

politics in general, but also that parties, in this

case the SPD and CDU, differ in their position

and in the importance they attach to the topic.

For the two parties examined in this article, a

fundamentally different attitude towards immigration

and integration can be found: The

CDU’s statements create a picture of integration

as appropriation of “German” culture

and values, whereas the SPD stresses multicultural

cohabitation and “cultural self-determination”

(SPD regional association Berlin,

CDU Berlin

giving proposals for support and advancement.

In addition, strikingly negative, even populist

headlines and attributions are used. The effect

of such headlines as “Migrants dominate the

crime statistics” (CDU regional association

Berlin, 201 1 , p. 54), or ”Too much immigration

into the social security systems – too few

qualified immigrants” (ibid. p. 52), and

problematizing immigration without giving

contextual information or explaining causes

and background must be considered.

Furthermore, it has to be noted that the comparison

of both programmes is not without

problems since they have different designs:

The CDU uses a problem-answer system,

whereas the SPD uses a continuous text

organized in sections for specific topics. If not

the sentences of the CDU program, but the

problem-answer sections are counted, the

result changes: Then, a percentage of 66.7

negative messages on immigration and only

33.3 positive messages can be found. All in all,

201 1 , p. 38). Which party is in power can thus

have a profound effect on immigration and

integration policies in Berlin.


CDU regional agency Berlin (201 1 ): 1 00 Lösungen für Berlin.

Berlin. Available online 41 5.

KIOSK_80Seiten.pdf, last seen 22/07/201 5.

SPD regional association Berlin (201 1 ): BERLINprogramm.

Berlin. Available online

1 -201 6.pdf, last seen

22/07/201 5.

Werner, Annika; Lacewell, Onawa; Volkens, Andrea (201 4):

Manifesto Coding Instructions. 5th revised edition.

Available online

201 4_version_5.pdf, last seen 22/07/201 5.

Alisha Archie,

BA student in Social Sciences,

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



Turkish representation in

Kreuzberg and Wedding

The feelings of political representation on a

personal and community level differ between

Kreuzberg and Wedding. Immigrant origin

citizens in Kreuzberg feel personally better

represented and feel that the Turkish

community is better represented.

In Berlin there are about 573,000 people with a

non-German nationality, who come from 1 90

different countries around the world. This

means that 1 6% of the population of Berlin is

of non-German background. The biggest

migrant community in Berlin is formed by

citizens with a Turkish migration background;

the size of this group is about 200,000. This

also means that this Turkish community is the

biggest one outside of Turkey. The fact that

Turks form the biggest migrant community in

Berlin made this group the topic of this

research. Because they are so many, the idea

came to mind to conduct fieldwork and

perform face-to-face surveys with Turkish

migrants in Berlin. So, where to start when one

wants to investigate

the Turkish


By finding out

where they live

and where the

Turkish communities

within the

city actually are.



from the city of

Berlin we found

out that two of

the areas in

Berlin where a

lot of Turkish

migrants live are Wedding and Kreuzberg. The

idea of this research is to compare Turkish

people in Wedding and Kreuzberg on the

topic of political representation and see if

people feel more represented in either one of

these areas.

In order to research political representation

the method of face-to-face surveys was used.

First basic demographic questions such as

age, zip code and occupation were

questioned. Then, moving on to the part of

political representation, people were asked if

they were eligible to vote and if they had

voted in the last local elections. The feeling of

representation was measured by asking people

whether they personally felt represented

by the government of Berlin on a scale from 1

to 1 0 4 . The same question was asked about

whether they felt that the Turkish community in

Berlin is well represented. Lastly people were

asked whether they knew any Turkish

representatives in Berlin and if they could

name them 4 .

The conducted questionnaire was used twice.

First in the area of Wedding, where 1 8 people

filled it in.

After that we

(me and two

other students)

went to Kreuzberg,


we also asked

1 8 people.

This means

that the total

sample was

36. Some of

the respondents


filled in the


did not have Turkish roots, so the sample

which is usable for this research is 20 people.

Representation in Kreuzberg and Wedding

We can now take a look at the results of the



survey. In Wedding, the average age of the

respondents was 41 . The question about

personal representation by the city of Berlin

gave an average of 5.4, which means that

people feel represented, but that representation

could be a lot better. The results

for the representation of the Turkish community

as a whole gave similar results, the

average here was 4.8. 7 out of 1 0 respondents

could name a Turkish politician in Berlin, and

Cem Özdemir (head of the Green Party,

member of the federal parliament) was named

the most often.

Secondly we take a look at the results of

Kreuzberg. The average age of the sample was

36. The question about personal representation

was answered more positively than in

Wedding, the average was 7.4, which means

people personally feel well represented. And

again, results for the representation of the

Turkish community as a whole gave similar

results, the average here was 7.2. Lastly, 9 out

of 1 0 respondents could name a Turkish

politician, names mentioned varied greatly.


1 ), the representative for integration and

migration in Berlin. Migration to Berlin.

2) Statistik Berlin Brandenburg, Statistischer Bericht.

Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner im Land Berlin. 31 -1 2-

201 2,

Publikationen/Stat_Berichte/201 3/SB_A01 -05-

00_201 2h02_BE.pdf

3) BZ Berlin. Hier leben die meisten Migranten.

4) Questionnaire on demographic information, religion,

identity and feeling of political representation. Conducted

in Wedding on 09-07-201 5 and in Kreuzberg on 1 6-07-

201 5. zeOezxIf5JoD2

01 ARkeFHBqaqXOT649neIXMB-0g724/edit#gid=0

What can be concluded from the results

extracted from the questionnaires? First of all

that there is a difference between the samples

in Wedding and Kreuzberg. People in

Kreuzberg feel a lot better represented on a

personal level and they also feel that the

Turkish community is represented better. The

age difference between the two samples is

relatively small, so this probably does not

cause the difference in the feelings of

representation. What might be a factor in the

positive responses in Kreuzberg is that this is a

much more touristic area then the area of

Wedding. The respondents were more open

and were in a way much more enthusiastic

about participating in the survey then people

in Wedding, which might be a factor in the

positive feelings in the survey. An important

comment to this research is obviously that the

sample was only 20 people. In order to actually

say something about the populations of the

two areas, much larger research should be


Els Rutten,

Erasmus exchange student

from the University of Amsterdam ,

BA in Political Sciences


About us

Luis Jachmann

The class visiting the “Beauftragte des Senats von Berlin für Integration und Migration“

Photo: Luis Jachmann

Constanza Sanhueza Petrarca , Teaching Fellow

is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Varieties of Democracy Institute

at the University of Gothenburg. She is also a research associate at

Sciences Po Paris and at the Pathways to Power Project, which investigates

the political representation of citizens of immigrant origin in Europe. She

completed her doctoral thesis entitled “Voters, Parties and Representation

in European Multicultural Democracies” in 201 5 at the University

of Mannheim.

Jondis Luise Schwartzkopff

is a BA student in Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since

201 3. She has lived in France, Spain and Mexico and likes Berlin for its

open and international atmosphere. In 201 6, she spent a semester at

Sciences Po Paris. In the course of her studies she has focused on

comparative politics and political institutions. For this issue, she has

learned a lot about immigration in Berlin, editing and layout.

Photography on cover by Jondis Luise Schwartzkopff, Constanza Sanhueza Petrarca, CC BY-SA – mw238 –

The articles in this issue represent the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the editors or of the university.

For any question please contact


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