Because the interviewees in the various studies belong to the second generation of Turkish immigrants, i.e., were born in Germany or have spent the greater part of their lives there after their immigration in childhood, it is not possible in the strict sense to speak of a return to the country of origin. The migration of this group is thus largely to be assigned to the category of the "emigration" of highly qualified German citizens. The subjective view of things held by the interviewees may, however, deviate completely from such a categorization. While the interviewees in Pusch’s/Aydın’s study (2011) regard their migration to Turkey entirely as emigration and only understand the relocation of the center of their lives back to Germany to be a "return," another picture altogether emerges in the study by Ηanewinkel (2010). The majority of the highly qualified women interviewees of Turkish origin in this study consider themselves to be "returnees." The author sees an explanation for this (rhetorical) self-image first in the adoption of this term in line with the self-definition "regulars’ table of returnees" in Istanbul. In addition, the term serves to highlight the emotional-native soil bond with the country of origin of one’s parents, to which contact has always been maintained through vacations and networks of relationships with one’s relatives. Turkey is seen as one’s (second?!) home country. And one does not emigrate to one’s home country. One returns to it.
This text is part of the policy brief on Interner Link: "The Emigration of Highly Qualified German Citizens of Turkish Descent to Turkey".