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Is Germany Reluctant on Turkish-German Couple’s Vaccine?

“When it comes to immigration, nothing in Germany is simple.” says Anna Sauerbrey in her article in New York Times. As known, starting from 1950s, to fuel its post-war industrial boom, Germany recruited laborers mostly from Turkey.  Germany called them ‘guest workers’  because they were not meant to stay. But many did, and today their children and grandchildren are an integral part of the country’s society. Despite the fact that, every elementary and tiring work is done by Turkish Immigrants, yet they are often overlooked and underestimated.

When the German company BioNTech announced last month that they had very promising results for a vaccine against the coronavirus, all citizens of the World has been hopeful. Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, the couple who founded and run BioNTech, are, originated from Turkey, German citizens. “Their story promised to challenge the resentment against immigrants that over the past decade has become pervasive in German public life. If anything could unseat anti-migrant sentiment, surely a Turkish-German couple saving the world from a deadly virus would do it.”

Germans keep migrants apart from the rest of German society. If a topic is releted with an immigrant, even it is the most spectacular success, Germany is not willing to co-operate. One should remember Mesut Özil, who is a Turkish originated German citizen and football player in German National Football Team, has been always very successful and loyal to his team; however, he was discriminated by Germans and German Media just because he took a picture with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

That is why particular successes such as Dr. Sahin, the son of a factory worker, are highly important to correct actions against immigrants. It should be underlined that the invention of a vaccine by a couple with Turkish names seemed to come at the right time. It is not going to be just a vaccine for the disease, it is also possible to promise changing the perspective on immigrants.

“Ten years ago, in a book titled ‘Germany Abolishes Itself’ a formerly high-ranking Social Democrat, claimed that the educational gap between immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and Germans was rooted in genetic differences.” He called it ‘intellectual deficits’. Immigration, he warned, was threatening Germany’s economy by decreasing overall education standards. That is a shame the book became a best seller and still sits on many middle-class bookshelves.

Against this claim that defends ‘intellectual deficit,’ Mr. Sahin’s and Ms. Türeci’s success felt like a welcome opportunity to celebrate the benefits of immigration, to recognize how migrants enrich and deepen German society. Their stories are crucial. Because, Mr. Sahin is the son of a Turkish laborer, came to Germany as a child while Ms. Türeci is the daughter of a Turkish doctor who moved from Istanbul, born in Germany, and their story underlines hidden history of postwar immigration to Germany.

People know that, as German Authorities realized too, if immigrants, including over 3 million Turkish people, leave the country, German economy will collapse. Young and promising Germans are not willing to stay in Germany, they are leaving to reach their goals, mostly to America, especially to Sillicon Valley. Even if they stay, they will not be willing to be a taxi-driver.

In Germany, unfortunataly, where you come from still plays a major role in determining where you’re going to be. It is a sad truth that if someone has a Turkish name, he or she will always have to be better than anyone in order to find a job or a shelter.  Someone with Turkish name will be watched closer in every stage in Germany.

Germany is still ill at ease with its immigration history, also far from providing everybody with the same chances. That is why Dr. Sahin and Dr. Türeci’s story is essential. It shows that Germany’s successes are inseparable from the migrants.