Gerdien Jonker on German-Turkish Relations and a Common Historiography (in Turkish)

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Ekko von Schwichow/schwichow.de

In this summer, Dr. Gerdien Jonker wrote the foreword to the Perspektif issue “Migration im Gedächtnis – 60 Jahre Anwerbeabkommen mit der Türkei” (“Migration in Memory – 60 Years of the Recruitment Agreement with Turkey”), which is published by Millî Görüş.

The text deals with the collective forgetting, for example of the German-Turkish friendship, starting with the recruitment of the so-called “Gastarbeiter” (“guest workers”). Jonker shows how in the West German public sphere of the 1980s “the Turks” were constructed as “the other” and that this perception differed from their migrant experiences. In her article, the ethnographer pleads for the rewriting of the stories of the guest workers and their families from an internal perspective. Such a rewriting should be part of broader German historiography and of a common collective cultural heritage, she argues.