Many German Turks are pressured to marry only within their ethnic and religious group. But the practice of “importing” partners from Turkey creates new immigrants and stands in the way of integration. “Whether Turks are prepared to marry Germans depends a lot on the importance of religion,” said Amparo Gonzalez-Ferrer, a comparative sociologist at the Juan March Institute in Madrid. The vast majority of Turks are Muslims in a predominantly Christian culture that has become increasingly secular. “One reason why more [Turkish] men marry Germans is that Islam permits them and not women to marry non-Muslims,” Gonzalez-Ferrer said. According to the latest 2006 figures from the Federal Statistics Office, Turkish men accounted for 14 percent all foreigners that German women marry, followed by Italians and Americans.

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