An Investigation of the return motives, Turkish and German identity perceptions and language preferences of second and third-generation Turkish-German returnees

Öztürk, Havva
The aim of the present thesis is to explore the return motives, Turkish and German identity perceptions, and Turkish and German language preferences of second and third-generation Turkish-German returnees. A total of 93 informants participated in the study (10 second-generation and 83 third-generation). A mixed method research design was adopted in the study. The data was collected by means of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. In the analysis of the data, SPSS 24 and MAXQDA 2018 were used. The results of the study indicated that the Turkish identity identification scores were significantly higher than the German identity identification scores, which indicates that Turkish-German returnees identify with their Turkish identity significantly higher than their German identity. Additionally, a significant positive relationship was found between a sense of belonging to the Turkish identity and language preference. In addition, no significant difference was found between the Turkish and German proficiency levels of the Turkish German returnees, which indicates that Turkish-German returnees are balanced bilinguals who are proficient users of both languages. In addition, while participants prefer Turkish more than German, they continue to use German across different topics and in different procedures. During the qualitative data analyses process, the overarching themes emerged were integration to Germany, perceived discrimination in the host society, post-return experiences in the country of origin (adaptation to Turkey, perceived discrimination), and difficulties related to Turkish language proficiency. According to the qualitative data analysis, it was seen that Turkish migrants were successfully integrated into Germany and a failure to integrate was not a determinant of the return itself. Discrimination was also found to be a factor which cannot solely explain the return decision of the participants. Moreover, the post-return difficulties reported by the participants were mostly associated with language, differences between the two countries in terms of way of life and education.