Turks say Germans would not pass citizenship test

The Turkish association in Berlin and Brandenburg has harshly cricitized the federal government’s plans for a citizenship test, saying it was too hard for most Germans to pass.

Turks say Germans would not pass citizenship test
Feeling at home - really? Photo:DPA

The test is due to be introduced at the beginning of September, and contains questions arranged in sections labelled “‘politics and democracy,” “history and responsibility” and “people and society.”

Would-be Germans must pass the test before being granted citizenship – but can take the test, at a cost of €25 per test, as many times as they want.

But Safter Cinar, spokesman for the Türkische Bund in Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB) told Die Welt newspaper, “After the tightening up of the conditions for naturalization with the new immigration laws, the test questions which have been released show that the government has no interest in creating at least a formal equality for people with a migration background, or improving their connection to the country by introducing a fast naturalization process.”

He said he was not sure whether many native Germans would pass the test and criticized the government’s integration representative Maria Böhmer, saying she was not capable of doing the job.

During a parliamentary debate on Friday when asked about how many Germans would pass the test, Böhmer said, “If it is really the case that many Germans, having finished school, cannot answer the question of what the difference is between the government and parliament, then we urgently have to do something about the quality of education in our schools.”

She also pointed towards the US where citizenship tests are standard and are often updated to take new developments into account.

The tests make sure migrants know their rights, she argued. “We want migrants to have equality of participation. How should they achieve that if they don’t know their rights?”