Naturalization: Turkish community expects crowds after reform of citizenship law


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Deutschland Citizenship Law Reform

Turkish community expects high demand for naturalizations

Naturalization in Berlin-Neukölln

A young woman received her naturalization certificate in the Berlin district of Neukölln (archive image)

Source: pa/dpa/Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert

The president of the Turkish community approves of the government’s plans for easier naturalization – even if the project does not correspond to his wishes in every detail. For example, certain specifications should not become a “conviction test”.

Dhe chairman of the Turkish community in Germany, Gökay Sofuoglu, is leaving in view of the forthcoming Citizenship Law Reform expect significantly more applications for naturalization. “I expect a large rush among people of Turkish origin in Germany, especially among those of the second generation,” Sofuoglu told the editorial network Germany (RND). However, the authorities needed more staff to be able to process these applications.

After the coalition had agreed on the main features of a new nationality law, the Federal Ministry of the Interior published the draft bill on Friday. It envisages a number of far-reaching changes: naturalization should be simplified and dual citizenship should be possible in principle. The naturalization of people who cannot support themselves or who have already committed criminal offenses in Germany should be made more difficult.

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The reform is intended to provide particular relief for the older generation of so-called guest workers who immigrated before June 1974. In the future, they should no longer have to submit written proof of language proficiency as a requirement for a German passport. Instead, proof of oral knowledge suitable for everyday use should suffice in the future. A naturalization test should also no longer be necessary.

The German passport for people who are from Germany should be expressly excluded anti-Semitic or racist motives have committed crimes. Politicians in the traffic light coalition welcomed the plans, but criticism came from the opposition.

Waiver of testing of language skills in guest worker generation

The project of the traffic light coalition does not correspond in every detail to what he would like, said Sofuoglu. “People already sign when they are naturalized that they are committed to the Basic Law.” It is also understandable if applicants are denied citizenship in the case of anti-Semitic or racist crimes. “But that must not become a test of attitude,” he demanded.

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Author and human rights activist Düzen Tekkal

In the case of people from the guest worker generation, it would also be logical to dispense with language tests altogether, instead of just lowering the hurdle, according to the chairman of the Turkish community. Here he would like more generosity, says Sofuoglu.

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