Necla Kelek – Turkey and Germany

Linked with Sie haben das Leid anderer zugelassen! Added on April 20, 2008: linked also with Seyran Ates – Turkey.

Necla Kelek … (born December 31, 1957 in Istanbul), is a German feminist and social scientist, holding a doctorate in this field, originally from Turkey. She gave lectures on migration sociology at the Evangelische Fachhochschule für Sozialpädagogik /Protestant Institute for Social Education in Hamburg from 1999 until 2004 … (full long text).

Necla Kelek … moved to Germany at the age of 10. She studied economics and sociology in Hamburg and and conferred a doctorate on the subject “Islam in Every Day Life”. Her books include Die fremde Braut (The Foreign Bride) about arranged and forced marriages of Turkish migrants, which won the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis in 2005, and Die verlorenen Söhne (Lost Sons) about the sozialization, violence, and the faith of Turkish-Muslim men. (PEN).

She says: “Es gibt einen Ring des Schweigens, der zum Machterhalt der Väter gehört / there is a cercle of silence to maintain the fathers’ domination”.

Her book in german/ ihr Buch: Necla Kelek, die verlorenen Söhne /the lost sons (über die Gewalt der Väter / about the power of fathers … Die „verlorenen Söhne“ werden gehätschelt und geschlagen, Nährboden für den Extremismus? / the lost sons are pampered and beaten / a fertilizer for extremism?), May 7, 2006.


Necla Kelek – Turkey and Germany

Two articles: Imported Muslim brides isolated in Germany, May 15, 2007. / and: Zwangsehe & Ehrenmord in Deutschland – Muslimische Frauen fordern: Schluss mit Multikulti-Toleranz, Juni 2005.

French philosopher Pascal Bruckner accused Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash of propagating a form of multiculturalism that amounts to legal apartheid. His fiery polemic unleashed an international debate (here). Below Necla Kelek stakes out her position … (full long text).

She found solace in school, but her life was bound by prohibitions: no swimming, no sports, no playing outdoors and no German friends because they were infidels. At age 17, Kelek could no longer bear it. She ran away the day her father threatened her with an ax. Years later, she investigated the forced marriages of thousands of Muslim girls in Germany, many of them “imported” for that purpose. Her book “The Foreign Bride” became an instant best seller this year and focused attention on a widely ignored issue. Up to 15,000 girls, many of them between 14 and 18 years old, are forced into marriage every year to Turkish boys living in Germany, Kelek said. The imported brides become the transmission belt for other relatives who join them in the name of “family reunion” … (full text).

Necla Kelek im deutschen Wikipedia.

Controversy: Kelek Against “60 Migration Researchers” … Kelek’s Answer: Kelek was given the opportunity to reply in the same edition of the newspaper,[6: Sie haben das Leid anderer zugelassen! / You have allowed the misfortune of others!] (which was also reprinted by the daily paper taz on February 3). She refrained from going further into the accusations directed against her and on her part, accused those who signed the petition of arguing unscientifically. Despite the actual state of affairs, they represent the illusion of the successful integration of Moslem migrants. Despite daily events which contradict this view, the representatives of the academic majority opinion would rather criticize the bearer of bad news than their own views or their “ideological concept of multiculturalism” She intensified her reply, by accusing the “critics from the well-equipped world of the publicly financed migration research” of being “responsible for the failure of the integration policy for 30 years.” The true purpose of their objection is “anxiety about their research funds”… (full text).

Author Necla Kelek gives Germans a glimpse of the parallel Turkish society that exists in their country. Sometimes an issue hangs in the air for a long time … The only thing Schily (a former gov. Minister) can fault with the Hamburg sociologist is the fundamental nature of her criticism against Islam. Kelek is quiet clear: ”A culture that doesn’t respect human rights cannot be democratic,” she writes. This sort of speech causes pain to generations of post-WWII Germans who are reluctant to criticize minority cultures. They have long defended a policy of generous tolerance when it comes to accepting cultural difference. But Germans who know almost nothing of what takes place in this insular, ultra-religious community are beginning to take great interest in the goings-on in this parallel universe … (full text).

She writes: … Mosques, masjids, locations at which one throws oneself down. In Islamic tradition, these are not holy sites, but places where the men in a community gather for prayer and for business. In Islamic tradition, the mosque is a social and not a sacred place. The Koran only mentions mosques in one verse “…in houses, concerning which God has given His consent to have them built and to have His name mentioned within them. …”(Koran Sure 24 , Verse 36). Mohammed met his followers there; as the scholar of Mohammedanism, Peter Heine wrote in his ‘Islam-Lexikon’, (Dictionary) mosques fulfilled administrative functions: “Meetings of the tribal councils took place here, and they (the mosques) were the gathering grounds before men sallied forth on a crescentade”. Two types of prayer houses have emerged. One is the prayer room for believers’ daily prayer, and the other is the “Friday mosque”, in which prayers are made and sermons are held on Fridays. Friday mosques have always had a political character; it is from these mosques that the Caliph announced his doctrine. The size and the interior of the Cologne mosque signify that it is not a house of prayer, but rather one of these “Friday mosques” … (full text).

She says also: ” … I try to convey what I see every day in the immigrant community in Germany. What’s happening there is a scandal, not the fact that someone is making it public. I don’t deny that there is an open-minded Turkish middle class. But I’m interested in the losers, those who haven’t made it. I’ve been accused of only talking about the exceptions. But you only have to look at the statistics to know that’s not the case. The majority has not truly arrived here. Only a third of the Muslims born here even speak German. Every other mother who sends her kid to school here, is an imported bride … (full interview text).

And she says: … “When I first evaluated my interviews with young Muslims from 1997 and spoke of neo-Nazi developments, my professor made it clear to me that I should never say that in public. There are critical tones in my dissertation but I adjusted my results in accordance with the institute’s wishes. I didn’t think that anything else would be possible. Of course I was unsure and allowed myself to be convinced, by Werner Schiffauer in particular, whose writings I was devouring. I still find much of it right … “. (full interview text).

And then she says: “So wie die muslimische Gemeinde die Einmischung Außenstehender nicht akzeptiert und einen Ring des Schweigens um die Umma zieht, so verhüllt auch die Familie die Geschehnisse im eigenen Haus mit dem Mantel des Schweigens und so versucht jedes Familienmitglied, möglichst sein eigenes Geheimnis zu wahren … Probleme werden oft unter den Teppich gekehrt, denn Ehrverlust bedeutet Machtverlust / in the same way as muslim societies do not accept interference of outsiders and put a wall of silence around the Ummah, every family member surrounds intern incidents with a total silence, and every member tries to hold the secrets … problems are ’swept under the carpet’ (tried to be hidden), as loss of honor means loss of power“. Schools in Germany shall start offering classes on Islam to fight against Islamic radicalism, the German Islam Conference says. There are some 800,000 Muslim children in Germany, but Muslims do not have a central institution to represent them … The Geman-Turkish sociologist Necla Kelek, who participates in the conference, however, said that the real work was still to be done. Some of the promises made are so far only spoken words. “The social reality looks quite different,” she said warningly, claiming that there is still no equality between men and women among Muslims. … (full text).

Some Videos in German with Necla Kelek’s participation:

And she says: ”

Find her and her publications on wikipedia; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

In ihrer Dankesrede für den gestern in München verliehenen Geschwister-Scholl-Preis nennt die Soziologin Necla Kelek als Grund für die oft gescheiterte Integration von Türken in Deutschland mangelnden Willen, sich auf das Land einzulassen. (full text).


Eurasia NGOs, a database on RADA Institute, Ukraine;

women in turkish society (a Google book result);

articles on women on the travel planer;

contemporary turkish women artists;

the whore lived like a german (death of a muslim woman);

Turkish Women, Harems and Polygamy;

Turkish women get equal rights, January 1, 2002;

Turkish Armenian women’s magazine, April 3, 2008;

The Internet in the Lives of Turkish Women;

A video on Turkish women in Security Forces, 4.54 min, October 27, 2006.

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