Kurds in Germany
(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. 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.
In Germany, Kurdish immigrant workers from Turkey first arrived in the second half of the 1960s. 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.
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.
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. The group is not well known and its existence is controversial. Other Kurdish motorcycle club and gangs include Median Empire and Red Legion.
Some cases of honour killing have been reported among the Kurdish diaspora in Germany. 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. In 2016 a Kurdish woman was shot dead at her wedding in Hannover after refusing to marry her cousin.
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).
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