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Aalstern Spaniards


In the 1950s, many Spanish families migrated to Limburg to dig for a better life in the coal mines. When there was talk of mine closures, some of them started looking out for a new source of income and they found it in the Aalst textile industry.

Indeed, the personnel director of Filature du Canal, one of Aalst’s largest textile factories, went to Limburg to recruit (former) miners.


Spanish guest workers found their way to Aalst’s textile factories from the 1960s onwards. Many of them had already been working in the Limburg coal mines for a while then, but when the economic situation started to deteriorate, the personnel director of Filature du Canal started to warm them up for a life in Aalst.

Aalstern Turks


Turkish migrants came to Aalst from the 1970s onwards. Most of the Aalst Turks or Turkish Aalst residents are from the town of Emirdag. Emirdag is a town in Afyonkarahisar province in Turkey. It had some 21,127 inhabitants in 1997. There is a lot of agriculture, animal husbandry and handicrafts in Emirdag, but the town is mostly known for the many immigrants who immigrated to Western Europe, mainly to Belgium. Thus, many people from Emirdag are represented in Aalst, Ghent, in the Brussels municipality of Schaarbeek and Saint-Josse-ten-Noode.