Kurds in Germany

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Kurds in Germany
Kurdên Almanyayê
Total population
Over 600.000[1]
Over 1.000.000[2]

(Kurdish institute of Paris)

Islam, Yazidism, Christianity, others

Kurds in Germany are residents or citizens of Germany of full or partial Kurdish origin.

There is a large Kurdish community in Germany. The number of Kurds living in Germany is unknown. Many estimates assume that the number is in the million range.[4][5][6] The majority of the Kurds have roots in Turkey, but there is also a significant number of Kurdish Germans with roots in Iraq, Syria, or Iran.

Immigration history[edit]

In Germany, Kurdish immigrant workers from Turkey first arrived in the second half of the 1960s.[7] They immigrated to Germany as "Gastarbeiter" (guest workers). Since the 1970s and especially since the 1980s, the number of Kurds in Germany has increased rapidly. Reasons for migration include the better living standards and jobs in Germany, and the political unrest, discrimination, persecution, and war in their home countries.[8][9]

Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, many of the Syrian refugees who have come to Germany are Kurds.


German Kurds live spread throughout Germany, especially in cities with a large proportion of Turkish people. Examples are Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Essen.[10]

Kurdish immigrants usually come from the different countries. Examples are Iraqi Kurdistan, Rojava in Syria, Iranian Kurdistan, and south east Turkey. Others come from other cities in Turkey, like Istanbul, İzmir, Ankara, Konya or Afyonkarahisar.

Political activism[edit]

Protest against Turkey's military offensive into north-eastern Syria on 10 October 2019

In 2014, Kurds in Germany marched in protest over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's siege of Kobani.[11][12]

In 2015, thousands of Kurds in Germany marched against Turkish Air Force air strikes on Kurdish civilians.[13]

In October 2019, thousands of German Kurds protested against the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria.[14]


According to the German authorities tin 2013. The Blick and Nzz claimed that the Kurdish gang/motorcycle club "Sondame", allegedly "fighting" for a free Kurdistan, was formed in Stuttgart, and in 2015, it had about 1,000 members in Germany and Switzerland.[15][16] The group is not well known and its existence is controversial. Other Kurdish motorcycle club and gangs include Median Empire[17] and Red Legion.[18][19][16][20]

Women's rights[edit]

Memorial plaque for Hatun Sürücü in Berlin, Germany. The Kurdish woman from Turkey was murdered at age of 23 by her brothers in an honor killing.

Some cases of honour killing have been reported among the Kurdish diaspora in Germany.[21] In March 2009, a Kurdish immigrant from Turkey, Gülsüm S., was killed for a relationship not in keeping with her family's plan for an arranged marriage.[22] In 2016 a Kurdish woman was shot dead at her wedding in Hannover after refusing to marry her cousin.[23]

Notable people[edit]

See List of German people of Kurdish descent

German Kurds have a strong presence in German hip-hop. Since the beginning of the 2000s, many German rap artists of full or partial Kurdish origin have influenced the rap scene (for example, Azad, Eko Fresh, Xatar, Kurdo, Haftbefehl, KC Rebell, Capo, etc.). Other popular German-Kurdish rappers include Eno, Veysel and Azzi Memo.

Kurds also play a role in other sectors, for example in German politics (especially in The Left party).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ammann, Birgit (2005). "Kurds in Germany". Encyclopedia of Diasporas. pp. 1011–1019. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-29904-4_103. ISBN 978-0-306-48321-9.
  2. ^ "Who is the Kurdish Institute ?".
  3. ^ https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/25672-Several-Kurdish-candidates-to-participate-in-Germany%27s-federal-election[bare URL]
  4. ^ "Geschenk an Erdogan? Kurdisches Kulturfestival verboten". heise.de. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  5. ^ Peters, Freia (11 October 2014). "Islamisten und Kurden: Brutale Gruppen in Deutschland - WELT". DIE WELT. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  6. ^ https://kurdische-gemeinde.de/zahl-der-kurden-in-deutschland-sprunghaft-angestiegen/ This source says that the Kurdish population in Germany increased to 1.15 million in 2015.
  7. ^ "The Kurdish Diaspora". Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  8. ^ web.isanet.org/Web/Conferences/FLACSO-ISA%20BuenosAires%202014/Archive/1249d533-5b7c-4351-8394-b203ea7e2750.pdf
  9. ^ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270794104_MIGRATION_ETHNICITY_AND_CONFLICT_Kurdish_Migration_from_Turkey_to_Germany[bare URL]
  10. ^ "Tensions between Germany's Turks and Kurds boil over with Syria offensive".
  11. ^ "Kurds protested in Germany over 'IS' attacks on the Syrian town of Kobani". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Thousands march in France, Germany, Austria to support Kobane Kurds". Radio France Internationale. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Thousands of Kurds in Germany march against Turkish air strikes". Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Germany: Thousands protest Turkish operation in Syria | DW | 12.10.2019". Deutsche Welle.
  15. ^ Blick (4 May 2015). ""Der Auftritt ist sehr aggressiv": Wie gefährlich sind die Kurden-Rocker Sondame?". Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  16. ^ a b Baumgartner, Fabian (17 May 2015). "Rivalisierende Banden in Zürich: Machtkampf zwischen kurdischen "Brüdern" und Rockern". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  17. ^ MEYER, MEHMET ATA und OLIVER. ""Median Empire": Kurden-Rocker drohen den Hells Angels". Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  18. ^ Rocker-Info.net (2 April 2015). "Stuttgarter Kurden drohen weiter den United Tribuns". Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  19. ^ Germany. "Red Legion - aktuelle Themen, Nachrichten & Bilder". Stuttgarter Zeitung. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  20. ^ "German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight". thelocal.de. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  21. ^ Palash R. Ghosh. "Honor Crimes in Britain Far More Prevalent than Formerly Thought". International Business Times. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  22. ^ "Erschlagen, weil sie schwanger war? – Killed, because she was pregnant?". Der Bild. 3 April 2009.
  23. ^ "Kurdish woman shot dead at wedding for refusing to marry her cousin". The Telegraph. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2017.