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Germany plans to erect monument to honor Turkish workers – World News

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BERLIN

German authorities are set to erect a monument to honor the first generation of Turkish workers, acknowledging their significant contribution to economic development in Germany.

The monument will stand in the Turkish-populated Kreuzberg district of the German capital Berlin, with the initiative spearheaded by Sevim Aydın, a Turkish-origin member of the Berlin Senate from the Social Democratic Party. Aydın emphasized the need to shed light on the positive aspects of the first generation.

Another monument will also be erected to commemorate workers from “socialist allied” countries like Vietnam who came as contractual laborers during the former German Democratic Republic (DDR) era.

In 1961, in the midst of an economic boom that resulted in a significant labor shortage, Germany signed a bilateral agreement with Türkiye to allow German companies to recruit Turkish workers.

Recently, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, during his three-day Türkiye visit last month, attended an event at Istanbul’s Sirkeci Station, where the first Turkish workers embarked on trains bound for Germany 63 years ago.

The presidential office stated that Steinmeier’s trip aimed to emphasize the significance of “the personal stories and achievements of four generations of Turkish immigrants” in Germany’s history.

Around 3 million Turkish-origin people still live in Germany.

“While Germans helped to design and build the new capital Ankara in the 1930s, it was the ‘guest workers’ from Türkiye who helped to build up the economy of the young Federal Republic of Germany from the 1960s onward and who have now made a decisive contribution to our prosperity for four generations,” the president said.

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