Turks in Sweden

Turks in Sweden

Infobox Ethnic group
group = Turkish Swedes
poptime = 60,000
caption =flagicon|Turkey flagicon|Sweden
popplace =
langs = Turkish, Swedish
rels = predominantly Muslim
related =

Migration of Turks to Sweden is a part of Turkish migration to Western Europe which dates back to the beginning of the 1960’s when the economic and social situation in Turkey was highly complicated. Regional income inequalities were substantial, distribution of personal incomes was extremely imbalanced and unemployment rates in countryside were high. Today the Turkish community constitutes to the 10th biggest ethnic minority group in Sweden which is a highly multicultural population where residents with foreign background sums up to 21% of whole population.

Migrating to Sweden

Sweden has not been a key destination for Turkish migrants, compared to others like Germany and Netherlands where immigrants from Turkey represent the biggest group within overall immigrant population. There was about half a decade of immigration of Turkish workers to Sweden, between 1966 and 1973. Since then there have been a small but constant inflow of family members, mainly spouses and also aged parents, on average an annual arrival of 1,100 persons (Theolin 2000). By 2003, this number reached to 63.000. Of this group 54% were born in Turkey and 46% were born in Sweden, members of the second generation (Westin 2003).

Employment and success

In the early years of migration most of the Turkish immigrants in Sweden originating from rural parts of Turkey, were employed in service sector, such as construction work, cleaning, serving, and driving. There are indications of change in economical conditions of Turks in Sweden in last decade, as well as the social ones. According to a research conducted by Turkish Youth Federation in Sweden, by 2000, the total number of Turkish employers reached to 3095, which constitutes to 0.5% of overall small-medium companies in Sweden. Number of persons employed in Turkish businesses in Sweden is 49.500, while half of these businesses are in hotel and restaurant sector (Ikiz 2005). Furthermore, there is a relative increase in the university attendance among the second generation members of Turkish community, although Turks still rank quite low among other immigrant groups in Sweden in education criteria.

Media and Communication

The role of the media and communication, either as “a bridge to homeland” or more recently as a link between Turkey and Sweden, has been increasingly vital in the diasporas experiences. Five major types of diasporic media cultures which have been developed among residents with Turkish background in Sweden, have run through following channels, in the chronological fashion:
*Sweden-originated print media (Euro Turk, Yeni Birlik, Prizma)- Mostly functioning as the publications of the Turkish community associations or federations in Sweden, these media have long historical traditions. Yeni Birlik (New Union), newspaper of Federation of Turkish Workers’ Associations in Sweden, for instance, has been published since 1976 on a changing period base, currently on a monthly basis.
*Broadcasts in Turkish, in Swedish Public Service Radio (Merhaba)- Within Swedish Public Service Radio, programs in Turkish have been broadcasted from 1976 until 2006. In January 2006, Turkish broadcasts in Swedish Radio are suspended, by a managerial decision.
*Turkey-originated print media (Hurriyet, Zaman etc.)- Except Hurriyet, which is sold in Sweden on a daily basis, Turkey-originated print media could be accessed by subscription. Almost all of the newspapers have special European editions or pages, which specifically focuses on European countries inhabiting Turkish populations. Varying in degree, the content is a combination of news from Turkey and news about Turkish immigrant communities in various European countries, including Sweden.
*Turkey-originated TV channels (Euro D, NTV Int etc.)- TV channels owned by Turkish media conglomerates have their specific channels targeting the Turks abroad. These channels have correspondents in various countries and they reserve quite limited time of their broadcasts to certain countries where the correspondents are located.
*Web based media (Web pages, forums, e-mail lists, file sharing hubs etc.)- Especially popular amongst second and third generation immigrants, web-based media is relatively new in the realm. Similar to Turkey originated TV channels, web-based media have provided the unique opportunity of having an immediate synchronization with Turkey.

In 1989 the first satellite dishes accessing Turkish TV channels appeared in Sweden. Around the same time, some of the Turkish TV channels were included in Swedish cable TV packages, such as TRT International which was international channel of TRT, Turkish public service TV, targeting the Turkish immigrants all over the world. From early-nineties on, all across the European space, Turkish-speaking populations began to tune in to the numerous satellite channels that were broadcasting programmes from Ankara and Istanbul.

Notable people

*Sibel Redzep, popular Swedish singer
*Erkan Zengin, Swedish football player


*Abadan-Unat N. (2004) Disputed models of integration: Multiculturalism, Institutionalization of religion, political participation presented in “Conference integration of immigrants from Turkey in Belgium, France, Denmark and Sweden” 2004 Bosphorus University Istanbul.
*Akpınar, Aylin (2004). Integration of immigrants from Turkey in Sweden: The case of women presented in “Conference integration of immigrants from Turkey in Belgium, France, Denmark and Sweden” 2004 Bosphorus University Istanbul.
*Aksoy, A. and Robins, K. (2002) “Banal Transnationalism: The Difference that Television Makes.” ESRC Transnational Communities Programme. Oxford: WPTC-02-08.
*Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization . Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press
*Bibark, Mutlu (2005) Uluslararası Türk-Etnik Yerel Medyası ve Adiyet Tasarımlarının inşaasında rolü / Trans-national Turkish Ethnic Media and its role in construction of identity design. From Yurtdışındaki Türk Medyası Sempozyumu: Bildiriler / Proceedings from conference on Turkish Media Abroad (ed.) Abdülrezzak Altun.Ankara University Faculty of Communication.
*Cohen, R. (1997) ‘Global diasporas: an introduction’. London: UCL Press.
*Georgiou, M and Silverstone, R. (2005) “Editorial Introduction: Media and ethnic minorities in Europe” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Vol. 31, No. 3, May 2005, pp 433-441. Routledge. Taylor & Francis group. London
*Paine, S. (1974) Exporting workers: the Turkish case, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
*Theolin, Sture (2000) The Swedish palace in Istanbul: A thousand years of cooperation between Turkey and Sweden, Yapı Kredi yayıncılık AS. Istanbul, Turkey.
*Westin, Charles (2003) “Young People of Migrant Origin in Sweden” in Migration and Labour in Europe. Views from Turkey and Sweden. Emrehan Zeybekoğlu and Bo Johansson (eds.), (Istanbul: MURCIR & NIWL, 2003)

External links

* [http://www.cumhuriyet.edu.tr/edergi/makale/90.pdf Turks and their structure in Europe]

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