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Turks in France

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Turks in France or French Turks French: Turcs de France; Turkish: Fransa Türkleri refers to the Turkish people who live in France After Germany, France is the main destination country for Turks who emigrate4


  • 1 History
    • 11 Early Ottoman migration
    • 12 Modern Turkish migration
  • 2 Demographics
    • 21 Population
      • 211 Official censuses
      • 212 Estimated population
    • 22 Birth rates
  • 3 Culture
    • 31 Language
    • 32 Religion
  • 4 Integration
    • 41 Naturalisation
    • 42 Discrimination
  • 5 Organisations and associations
  • 6 Notable people
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 Bibliography
  • 10 Further reading
  • 11 External links


Early Ottoman migrationedit

See also: Franco-Ottoman alliance

The first Turks settled in France during the 16th and 17th century as galley slaves and merchants from the Ottoman Empire;56 the historian Ina Baghdiantz McCabe has described Marseille as a "Turkish town" during this time7 According to Jean Marteilhe "…the Turks of Asia and Europeof whom there are a great many in the galley of France, who have been made slaves by the Imperialists, and sold to the French to man their galleys… are generally well-made, fair in feature, wise in their conduct, zealous in the observance of their religion, honourable and charitable in the highest degree I have seen them give away all the money they possessed to buy a bird in a cage that they might have the pleasure of giving it its liberty"8

Modern Turkish migrationedit

France signed a bilateral labour recruitment agreement with Turkey on 8 May 19659 because the number of entrants from other countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal was not sufficient10 However, in practice, France started to recruit Turkish labourers in the 1970s, until a decision was made to halt the recruitment on 3 July 197410 By 1975 there were 55,710 Turkish workers living in France,10 this had almost quadrupled to 198,000 in 199911 The majority of Turkish immigrants came from rural areas of Turkey, especially from central Anatolia12


See also: Demographics of France The Eiffel Tower in Paris wearing the colours of the Turkish flag during the "Saison de la Turquie en France"

The majority of Turks are mainly concentrated in eastern France13 There is a strong Turkish presence in Île-de-France especially in Paris, Nord-Pas-de-Calais mainly in the cities of Calais, Lille, and Roubaix, Rhône-Alpes especially in Lyon, Alsace mainly in Strasbourg and Lorraine1415 There is also a large community in Marseille16

The 10th arrondissement of Paris is steeped with Turkish culture and is often called "La Petite Turquie" Little Turkey17 Bischwiller, in Alsace, is often dubbed "Turkwiller" due to its large Turkish community18


Official censusesedit

According to the French census there was 8,000 Turks living in France in 1968, this had increased to 51,000 in 1975, 123,000 in 1982, 198,000 in 1990, and 208,000 in 19991914 The French censuses only collect data based on the country of birth, therefore, these figures only identify the number of Turkish immigrants from Turkey and does not include the children of immigrants born in France who are recorded as "French" rather than "Turkish"20 Furthermore, the Turkish population would be greater if naturalised citizens and illegal emigrants were also taken into account21 Turkish communities who have emigrated to France from other countries, such as Algeria Turco-Algerians, Bulgaria Bulgarian Turks, Cyprus Turkish Cypriots and Tunisia Turco-Tunisians, are recorded according to their country of origin rather than their Turkish ethnicity

Estimated populationedit

In the early 2000s academics placed the Turkish population at approximately 500,000152223 Since the 2010s, immigration flows from Turkey have been increasing faster than flows from Algeria and Morocco12 The Turkish population increases by approximately 20,000 each year, although in 2013 it increased a further 35,0003 In 2014 the L'Express estimated that there was 800,000 Turks living in France24 The Fransa Diyanet İşleri Türk İslam Birliği suggests that the actual Turkish population in France is about 1 million, including descendents25 The Armenian Weekly has also stated that "there are also about a million French people of Turkish origin"26

There is also a minority of Algerian Turks living in France who number in their thousands27

Birth ratesedit

Although the birth rates among Turks living in France has declined over the years they remain substantially higher than the French population In 1982, the average number of children for Turks was 52, compared with 18 for the French population By 1990, the average number of births for Turks was 37 compared to 17 for the French population28



See also: Languages of France

In 2000, Akıncı and Jisa found that Turkish is spoken exclusively at home by 77% of families, while 68% of children speak French to one another29 Turkish children are monolingual in the Turkish language until they start school at the age of 2 or 3; thus, they find themselves in everyday situations in which they have to speak French with their peers30 By the age of 10, most children become dominant in the French language31 Nonetheless, even for those who use French more than Turkish in their daily lives, numerous studies have shown that they still emphasize the importance of Turkish as the language of the family, particularly for raising children32 Thus, there is a high degree of language maintenance in the Turkish community; frequent holidays to Turkey, the easy access and use of Turkish media, and the density of social networks help maintain their language33

A Turkish mosque in Nantes


See also: Religion in France and Islam in France

The majority of Turks adhere to Islam and focus on creating their own mosques and schools, most of which are tightly linked to Turkey Thus, Turks worship their religion mainly with others within their community34 Due to Turkish immigrants having a strong link to the Turkish state and much less knowledge of the French language, compared to other Muslim immigrants who have emigrated from French-speaking countries, Turks tend to build mosques where sermons are given in Turkish rather than French or Arabic35

The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs DİTİB, which is a branch of the Turkish state Bureau of Religious Affairs the Diyanet,35 promotes a "Turkish Islam" which is based upon a moderate, rational Islam of a secular state36 The Diyanet has organic links to the "Coordination Committee of Muslim Turks in France", or CCMTF, French: Comité de coordination des musulmans turcs de France37 which brings under its umbrella a total of 210 mosques38 Its major competing network of mosques is run by the Millî Görüş movement French: Communauté Islamique du Milli Görüş de France which emphasizes the importance of solidarity of the community over integration into French society35 The Millî Görüş has an estimated 70 mosques in France3538


A Turkish kebab shop in Paris

The Turkish community is considered to be the least integrated immigrant community in France,14 largely due to their strong attachment to their country of origin39 However, there is increasing recognition by Turkish officials that without successful integration the immigrant community cannot lobby for the home country39 For example, in 2010, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stressed that assimilation is different from integration and urged the Turkish community in France to integrate by applying for French citizenship40


See also: French nationality law Year
Persons ±%
1997 7,494 —    
1998 7,158 −45%
1999 11,380 +590%
2000 12,137 +67%
2001 10,755 −114%
Persons ±%
2002 10,468 −27%
2003 10,492 +02%
2004 13,644 +300%
2005 13,618 −02%
2006 11,629 −146%


Discrimination against Turks in French society is seen particularly within the labour market when they are looking for jobs Given a choice between a Turkish and a French with the same qualifications, French employers tend not to choose the immigrant applicant4243

Organisations and associationsedit

  • Comité de coordination des musulmans turcs de France, the coordination committee for Turkish Muslims in France is linked to Turkey44
  • "Fransa Türk Federasyonu", the French Turks Federation45
  • "Migrations et cultures de Turquie" ELELE, promote knowledge of Turkish immigration and helps to assist the integration of Turkish migrants into French society46
  • "Le Groupement des Entrepreneurs Franco-Turcs" FATIAD, the leading business association created by Turks living in France47
  • Réseau Pro'Actif, A professional network created by second and third generations of Turks in France It gathers graduates of the country's leading universities

Notable peopleedit

See also: List of French Turks

See alsoedit

  • France portal
  • Turkey portal
  • List of French Turks
  • Demographics of France
  • France–Turkey relations
  • Franco-Ottoman alliance
  • Franco-Turkish War
  • Turks in Europe
  • Turks in Algeria


  1. ^ http://wwwdiplomatiegouvfr/fr/dossiers-pays/turquie/presentation-de-la-turquie/
  2. ^ L'Express 2014 "Face à l'islam de France, du déni à la paralysie" Retrieved 11 September 2016 Depuis dix ans, ce chiffre est régulièrement battu en brèche: les estimations hautes décrivent une France qui compterait 4 à 5 millions d'Algériens et descendants, autour de 3 millions de Marocains, 1 million de Tunisiens, 2 millions d'Africains du Sahel, 800 000 Turcs, etc 
  3. ^ a b Zaman France "La communauté turque compte 611515 personnes en France" Retrieved 2014-12-21 Le nombre total des Turcs et Franco-Turcs est estimé à 800000 avec les personnes en situation irrégulière 
  4. ^ LeSaout & Kadri 2002, 86
  5. ^ Morrison & Gardiner 1995, 190
  6. ^ Takeda 2011, 98
  7. ^ McCabe 2008, 18
  8. ^ Marteilhe 1867, 146
  9. ^ Akgündüz 2002, 61
  10. ^ a b c Akgündüz 2002, 101
  11. ^ Al-Shahi & Lawless 2005, 13
  12. ^ a b Milewski & Hamel 2010, 618
  13. ^ LeSaout & Kadri 2002, 87
  14. ^ a b c Hargreaves 2007, 73
  15. ^ a b Nielsen, Akgonul & Alibasic 2009, 129
  16. ^ Bowen 2008, 147
  17. ^ Le Petit Journal ""LA PETITE TURQUIE" - Balade dans le quartier turc de Paris" Retrieved 2014-12-14 
  18. ^ Le Point "Alsace le ghetto turc" Retrieved 2014-12-14 
  19. ^ Rollan & Sourou 2006, 38
  20. ^ Milewski & Hamel 2010, 631
  21. ^ Fadlouallah 1994, 32
  22. ^ Hunter 2002, 6
  23. ^ Grand National Assembly of Turkey 2009 "İnsan Haklarını İnceleme Komisyonu:Fransa Raporu" PDF Grand National Assembly of Turkey p 3 
  24. ^ L'Express "Face à l'islam de France, du déni à la paralysie" Retrieved 2014-12-21 
  25. ^ Fransa Diyanet İşleri Türk İslam Birliği "2011 YILI DİTİB KADIN KOLLARI GENEL TOPLANTISI PARİS DİTİB’DE YAPILDI" Retrieved 2012-02-15 
  26. ^ Armenian Weekly "An Interview with Garo Yalic, Advisor to Valerie Boyer" Retrieved 2012-02-15 
  27. ^ Cezayir Türkleri: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nun etkili mirası, Sputnik news agency, 2015, Bunların yanında, özellikle İngiltere ve Fransa'da olmak üzere, Avrupa ülkelerinde de binlerce Cezayir Türkü bulunduğunu belirtmek gerekiyor 
  28. ^ Al-Shahi & Lawless 2005, 27
  29. ^ Akıncı & Jisa 2000, 318
  30. ^ Crul 2011, 275
  31. ^ Akıncı, Jisa & Kern 2001, 190
  32. ^ Backus 2008, 695
  33. ^ Backus 2008, 694
  34. ^ Bowen 2009, 11
  35. ^ a b c d Bowen 2009, 60
  36. ^ Çitak 2010, 625
  37. ^ Çitak 2010, 620
  38. ^ a b Çitak 2010, 626
  39. ^ a b Çitak 2010, 627
  40. ^ Today's Zaman "Erdoğan urges Turks in France to integrate, not assimilate" Retrieved 2011-05-31 
  41. ^ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2008, 358
  42. ^ Crul 2007, 220
  43. ^ Peignard 2006, 8
  44. ^ Ministère des affaires étrangères et européennes "The Muslim faith in France" PDF Retrieved 2009-01-23 
  45. ^ Fransa Türk Federasyonu "Ana Sayfa" Retrieved 2009-01-23 
  46. ^ GEMMA "GENDER & MIGRATION in FRANCE: "a brief overview"" PDF Retrieved 2009-01-23 
  47. ^ Groupement des Entrepreneurs Franco-Turcs "Accueil" Retrieved 2011-05-26 


  • Akgönül, Samim 2009, "Turks of France: Religion, Identity and Europeanness", in Küçükcan, Talip; Güngör, Veyis eds, Turks in Europe: Culture, Identity, Integration PDF, Turkevi Research Centre, ISBN 90-77814-13-2 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Akgündüz, Ahmet 2008, Labour migration from Turkey to Western Europe, 1960–1974: A multidisciplinary analysis, Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 0-7546-7390-1 
  • Akıncı, Mehmet-Ali; Jisa, Harriet 2000, "Development of Turkish clause linkage in the narrative texts of Turkish-French bilingual children in France", in Göksel, Aslı; Kerslake, Celia eds, Studies on Turkish and Turkic languages, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 3-447-04293-1 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Akıncı, Mehmet-Ali; Jisa, Harriet; Kern, Sophie 2001, "Influence of L1 Turkish on L2 French narratives", in Strömqvist, Sven ed, Narrative development in a multilingual context, John Benjamins Publishing, ISBN 90-272-4134-1 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Al-Shahi, Ahmed; Lawless, Richard I 2005, Middle East and North African immigrants in Europe, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-34830-7 
  • Backus, Ad 2008, "Turkish as an Immigrant Language in Europe", in Bhatia, Tej Ked, The Handbook of Bilingualism, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-22735-0 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Bowen, John Richard 2008, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves: Islam, the State, and Public Space, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-13839-7 
  • Bowen, John Richard 2009, Can Islam be French: pluralism and pragmatism in a secularist state, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-13283-6 
  • Çitak, Zana 2010, "Between 'Turkish Islam' and 'French Islam': The Role of the Diyanet in the Conseil Français du Culte Musulman", Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Routledge, 36 4: 619–634, doi:101080/13691830903421797 
  • Crul, Maurice 2007, "The Integration of Immigrant Youth", in Suárez-Orozco, Marcelo M ed, Learning in the global era: international perspectives on globalization and education, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-25436-8 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Crul, Maurice 2011, "How Do Educational Systems Integrate Integration of Second-Generation Turks in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Austria", in Alba, Richard; Waters, Mary C eds, The Next Generation: Immigrant Youth in a Comparative Perspective, NYU Press, ISBN 0-8147-0743-2 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Fadlouallah, Abdellatif 1994, "Migration flows from the South to western countries", in De Azevedo, Raimondo Cagiano ed, Migration and Development Co-operation, Council of Europe, ISBN 92-871-2611-9 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Hargreaves, Alec G 2007, Multi-ethnic France: immigration, politics, culture and society, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-415-39782-0 
  • Hunter, Shireen 2002, Islam, Europe's second religion: the new social, cultural, and political landscape, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0-275-97609-2 
  • Kastoryano, Riva 2002, Negotiating identities: states and immigrants in France and Germany, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-01015-3 
  • Kirszbaum, Thomas; Brinbaum, Yaël; Simon, Patrick; Gezer, Esin 2009, "The Children of Immigrants in France: The Emergence of a Second Generation" PDF, Innocenti Working Paper 2009–13, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, ISSN 1014-7837 
  • LeSaout, Didier; Kadri, Aïssa 2002, "Immigration policies and education in France", in Pitkänen, Pirkko; Kalekin-Fishman, Devorah; Verma, Gajendra K eds, Education and immigration: settlement policies and current challenges, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-27821-X CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Marteilhe, Jean 1867, The Huguenot galley-slave: being the autobiography of a French Protestant condemned to the galleys for the sake of his religion, Leypoldt & Holt 
  • McCabe, Ina Baghdiantz 2008, Orientalism in early modern France: Eurasian trade, exoticism, and the Ancien Régime, Berg, ISBN 1-84520-374-7 
  • Milewski, Nadja; Hamel, Christelle 2010, "Union Formation and Partner Choice in a Transnational Context: The Case of Descendants of Turkish Immigrants in France", International Migration Review, Center for Migration Studies of New York, 44 3: 615–658, doi:101111/j1747-7379201000820x 
  • Morrison, John; Gardiner, Robert 1995, The Age of the Galley: Mediterranean oared vessels since pre-classical times, Conway, ISBN 0-85177-955-7 
  • Nielsen, Jørgen S; Akgonul, Samim; Alibasic, Ahmet 2009, Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, BRILL, ISBN 90-04-17505-9 
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2008, International Migration Outlook: SOPEMI 2008, OECD Publishing, ISBN 92-64-04565-1 
  • Peignard, Emmanuel 2006, "Immigration in France", in Lynch, Jean Bed, France in Focus: Immigration Policies, Foreign Policy, and US Relations, Nova Publishers, ISBN 1-59454-935-4 CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list link
  • Rollan, Françoise; Sourou, Benoît 2006, Les migrants turcs de France: entre repli et ouverture, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme d'Aquitaine, ISBN 2-85892-330-2 
  • Takeda, Junko Thérèse 2011, Between Crown and Commerce: Marseille and the Early Modern Mediterranean, JHU Press, ISBN 0-8018-9982-6 

Further readingedit

  • Böcker, A 1996, “Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Migration from Turkey to Europe” Boðaziçi Journal Vol 10, Nos 1–2
  • Cahiers d'Etudes sur la Mediterranée orientale et le Monde Turco-iranien 1992, special issue on Turkish immigration in Germany and France, Paris: Centre d'Etude des Relations internationales, n°13
  • Cahiers d'Etudes sur la Mediterranée orientale et le Monde Turco-iranien 1996, special issue on Turkish migrant women in Europe, Paris: Centre d'Etude des Relations internationales, n°21
  • Les Annales de l'Autre Islam 1995, special issue on Turkish diaspora in the World, Paris: Institut national des Langues et des Civilisations orientales, n°3

External linksedit

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