Germans in Turkey

There are over 50,000 Germans living in Turkey, primarily Germans married to Turkish spouses, employees, retirees and long-term tourists who buy properties across the Turkish coastline, often spending most of the year in the country.[1] In addition, many Turkish Germans have also returned and settled, and it is not uncommon to hear German being spoken on the streets of Istanbul by Turks.


The officials and the artisans sent to Istanbul during the close relations with the Ottoman Empire at the time of Kaiser Wilhelm II formed the so-called Bosphorus Germans. The Germans in this group returned home after the First World War, and during the 1920s some of the Germans who had converted to Islam formed a small community around Berlin, playing a major role in the spread of Islam.

In 1933, the rise to power of the Nazis caused the second wave of immigration from Germany to Turkey. It has been reported that the number of these “exiled Germans”, concentrated in Istanbul and Ankara, reached 800 (190 of whom were academics[2] who took up positions at Turkish universities). See, for example, Curt Kosswig for an example of a German emigrant academic. He stayed in Turkey from 1937-1955.

See also


  1. Şentürk, Cem (2007-10-15). "The Germans in Turkey". Turkofamerica. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  2. Turkey’s Invitations to Nazi-Persecuted Intellectuals Circa 1933
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