TÜSIAD-BBI Commemoration on occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Germany-Turkey Recruitment Agreement

November 23, 2021 TÜSIAD-BBI Commemoration on occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Germany-Turkey Recruitment Agreement


«A Business & Industry Perspective and Experience Sharing»

2021 is a very special year for German-Turkish relations. 30th October marked the 60th anniversary of the so-called German-Turkish recruitment agreement. Without the workforce, who came to Germany under this agreement, the economic miracle in Germany would not have been feasible. With this commemorative webinar, TÜSIAD-BBI aim to remember and reflect upon the valuable contributions of the Turkish ‘guest workers’, to the German economy from a business and industry perspective.

Moreover, speakers shared their personal accounts and experiences in German labor market to reflect upon diversity and inclusion and drew parallels with the current situation. The first generation of 1960s were pioneers, heroes, workers, who deserve particular respect and gratitude. Today, their grandchildren are citizens, relatives, entrepreneurs and so on, but they are undeniably part of German society. Though the situation remains far from perfect, in hindsight, it will be fair to acknowledge this unique success story, in the sense that people were capable and able to discover new opportunities and grow together.

Key take-away: The 1961 Agreement was more than just a contract between the two countries, but an initiative, which laid the foundation for a future cooperation and diversity, giving an impetus for further growth.

The webinar was moderated by foreign policy correspondent Değer Akal. The speakers were as follows:

Part I: A Business and Industry Perspective | Economic Contributions of Foreign Workforce to the Labor Market Then and Now

  • Dr. Hüseyin Gelis, President of BBI Executive Board & TÜSIAD Germany Network and President and CEO of Siemens Turkey
  • Dr. Gunilla Fincke, Head of Division II a5 at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) responsible for Basic issues of Migration and Integration Policy
  • Dr. Yaşar Aydın, Lecturer at the Hamburg Protestant University and Senior Researcher at Foreign Policy Institute (METU)


Part II: Personal Accounts and Experience Sharing | Diversity and Inclusion in German Labor Market

  • Dr. İbrahim Karasu, Managing Director of Association of German Banks (BDB)
  • Dr. Ahmet Lokurlu, Director of Turkish German Energy and Environmental Institute (GTEI)
  • Özcan Mutlu, President of Disability and Rehabilitation Sports Association (BSB) Berlin
  • Bilkay Öney, Managing Director of Berlin State Office for Building Management Part B (LfG-B) responsible for Refugee Accommodation
  • Coşkun Yasa, Head of the Turkish Network of Daimler (DTT)