My name is Firuze and I was born in Kassel in Germany. My parents came to Germany as part of the recruitment agreement between the Federal Republic and Turkey. The first of my family to come to Germany was my maternal grandmother. She left her 5 children with her family and my grandfather, because she got the chance to earn a lot of money in Germany.
It was a difficult decision, however, like many others, she decided to return to her home in Ankara before the end of the employment contract.
While she was working in Germany, there was a tragedy at home. Her husband, my grandfather, had cheated on my grandmother with a widow. The affair blew up and as the culture and traditions demanded at the time, the shame had to be washed clean with blood.
Different cultures in one heart
In order to clean the honor that the mother and my grandfather had soiled, one of the two had to die. The sons of the woman who had an affair with him murdered him despite knowing that he had 5 children. It ran according to the ideas of the time and did not consider it any way around it. His throat was cut open with a knife. My grandmother received the news of my grandfather’s death in Turkey by letter and thus much later than would be possible today. This tragedy allowed my grandmother to travel to Turkey and return to her children. So she came traumatized back to Germany after burying her husband in Turkey. Alone with 5 children. She still had the thought of returning home when the contract expired.
My father came to Germany at the age of 19 through the agreement. He came to NRW with his father and brother first. My mother met my father when he was about 20 years old. He was already 30 years old. For him, Germany and the West were an advanced and free country. Free of religious and social constraints and that’s exactly how he wanted to educate us. It may sound strange, but that’s exactly how it was. My mother also found Germany to be very advanced and far-sighted. She has always admired the correctness and orderliness of the Germans. Both parents were convinced of Germany, but found the German mentality culture in the coexistence and family area too cold and distant. However, they respected the German way of life very much and sometimes lived it themselves. But they kept telling us children.
Don’t forget where you come from
My mother spoke German well since she came here young. Not my father. At home we spoke both languages. Integration took place insofar as my parents consciously decided to move to a small village on the Fulda with the knowledge that there are hardly any foreigners there. My parents wanted us to grow up with Germans and thus moved away from the Turks. It worked well because outside of our 4 walls there were only German children and families around us at home. As a result, we siblings all speak perfect German and, in a way, have been brought up quite German, which we feel is expressly positive.
The importance of the roots
But Turkish has also always been omnipresent. On TV, the music in the car, the food, the conversations of humor.We grew up very freely and at the same time conservatively. My father thought a lot about emancipation and let us girls live freely and openly. But he didn’t think much of the idea of the individual. Not that he didn’t raise us to be individual, his concern was always that one day we could think that we could do what we want and that nobody would mind.
He always told us, “If something happens to you, it bothers me or even destroys me. “You are not alone. Everything that concerns you also affects the whole family.” Today I know that it was a good and important thing to stick together as a family. We have all been in close contact till this day, even though we are all grown up and have our own families and live further away from each other. The family feeling as our roots are deep in our hearts and cannot get out of it.