Place: Turkish ‘Gastarbeiter’ and their children between different identities (“Germans or Turks”)
So far the postings on this story have presented different episodes of refugees’ life stories – critical situations or moments of relief. We have also presented insights into migrant communities and into grassroot intiatives that seek to promote integration.
Focusing on episodes may hide the long-term processes of integration. We also need to consider, what does it mean to become integrated into country that is not your own. Now it is time to have a closer look at these issues. Below, we will first have a look at a fictive story of Turkish migrants in the 1960s and their current situation forty years after.
The film: Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland
The trailer of this lovely film can be found under the following URL:
Already the snapshots presented in the trailer give an overview of the cliches and the prejudices that the Turkish migrants had to overcome on their way to Germany. And in the same way the film deals with the cliches and prejudices that the Turkish migrants have to face in thew present-day society. Time and again the film poses the question “what are we?” and lets the characters of the story continue their trip to find it out.
The document: Alamanya
After the fictive story it is worthwhile to have a look at a real story in which migration plays a role – but this time the other way round. The document of the TV channel arte presents the story of Volkan. He was born as a son of a Turkish family in Germany.There he grew up as a Turk in Germany (Deutschlandtürke) but started to feel more like a German with Turkish roots (Deutscher mit Türkischer Abstammung) when he was studying. Only after he had graduated an looking for a job he realised that he was treated as a non-German.
His individual solution was to find a job in Turkey – working for a large German company. Now, the fact that he has Turkish family roots was not a problem for the company. And in his everyday life he is catching up with the Turkish language. This is a typical story of the young Turks who were born in Germany and grown up in the German society. In Turkey these ‘returners’ are called as “Germaners” (Deutschländer, Almancilar). But, as the video shows, many of them feel that they are most welcome ‘back’ to the country of their ancestors.
Here the link to the video:
The stories speak for themselves – people tell of their multiple identities and different experiences with migration. There is much more to learn about these stories in Europe.
The next station of the story you will find here.
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