So-called "guest workers" at Vienna railway station. Vienna August 30, 1973.
  • Cengiz Günay
  • Magdalena Übleis-Lang
  • Manuel Julius Bonat

The Turkish Diaspora in Austria

In most countries of Western Europe, the Turkish diaspora is a stronghold of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). In Austria, the Turkish diaspora is mainly characterised by labour migration, and migrants from Turkey constitute the largest Muslim community. Since the early 2000s, they have become the object of right-wing political discourses on integration and Islam. Long neglected by the Austrian and the Turkish state, migrants from Turkey have established their own cultural and religious associations. Today, many of them are largely affiliated with the AKP and have become important instruments for the AKP’s voter mobilisation efforts. With increasingly blurred boundaries between the state and the party in the last two decades, Turkey’s diaspora policy has also become increasingly partisan. Against this backdrop, this report provides an overview of the history and composition of the Turkish diaspora and its legal status in Austria. The second part highlights the AKP’s mobilisation strategies and sheds light on the complex network of associations, civil society organisations, and state agencies working in the party’s service.

Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS), CATS Network Paper, No. 05, 07 May 2024, 44 Pages