“We Are Strong Together”: The Unhappy Marriage of Immigrant Associations and Trade Unions in Germany

  • Gökçe Yurdakul


In the aftermath of 9/11, the German police and mass media started to focus on Islam and Muslim communities. The gathering places of Muslims, such as mosques and religious associations became targets of state inspections and flashy newspaper headlines as “shelters for terrorists.” Muslims from different backgrounds, Moroccans to Turks, Egyptians to Pakistanis, became the victims of the same racist discourse: foreigners who pose a threat to the European democracy and society. With the homogenization of Muslim communities, other features such as leftist, social democratic and pro-integration characteristics of Muslim immigrant communities are totally ignored. In the time of hysteria about Muslim immigrants, I attempt to do something anachronic. In this chapter, my aim is to bring the heterogeneity of the immigrant communities back into the discourse, by focusing on the case of the Föderation der Demokratischen Arbeitervereine (from here on the DIDF), which is a Turkish immigrant workers’ association.


Union Leader Immigrant Child Political Representation Muslim Community Immigrant Worker 


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© Gökçe Yurdakul and Y. Michal Bodemann 2007

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  • Gökçe Yurdakul

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