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Germany honours its Turkish "guest workers"

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Germany honours its Turkish "guest workers"


Special ceremonies are being held in Germany to honour what became known as the country’s “guest workers”.

Turkey and Germany are celebrating the 50th anniversary of a labour pact that brought hundreds of thousands of Turks to then-West Germany.

Five decades after the first trains arrived to help Germans in their post-war industrial boom, some of the journeys have been reenacted.

Mehmet Ali Zaimoglu, who arrived in Germany in 1961, said: “We said only three or four years, but then we stayed. When my grandchildren are on holiday in Turkey they’re bored after two weeks and say let’s go back. Their homecountry is here, because they were born here and go to school here. It’s their country. That’s why they stay here. We must achieve integration as soon as possible.”

Today the Turkish community in Germany numbers more than three million. The German Chancellor and Turkish Prime Minister will today meet some of the first immigrants who arrived.

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