What are the characteristics of Turkish men

The devilish triangle

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Kazim Erdoğan can explain why that is the case. He opens the door of the Aufbruch Neukölln club room in Berlin and routinely serves Turkish tea. The 64-year-old psychologist and sociologist has made a name for himself as an expert on the integration of immigrants of Turkish origin. Aufbruch Neukölln is a self-help group for men of Turkish origin. In 2012 Erdoğan received the Federal Order of Merit for his work.

What stands in the way of German-Turkish love? The "diabolical triangle," says Erdoğan. "Religion, tradition and nationalism: the more these characteristics are developed in families, the more partners for their own children are reduced to their origins." The hurdle for a German-Turkish love relationship is so high that men and women of Turkish origin rule out such relationships from the outset. "When fathers come to me and tell me that their children have a German partner, it seems like the end of the world for many," he says. "I then tell them that it is not the origin but the person that plays a role."

For men it is a little easier to convince the family to have a German woman. Conversely, it is more difficult for daughters. Figures from the Federal Statistical Office show that more than 5,000 German women married a man of Turkish nationality in 2016 - more than any other country in Europe. There were fewer marriages in the same year between German men and women with Turkish citizenship, namely 3,189.

Erdoğan explains this inequality as follows: "It is believed that a man can steer the relationship more strongly and ensure that the Turkish identity is preserved. When it comes to a woman, the fear is greater that the Turkish culture in marriage will be replaced by the German Man gets lost in the long run. " That also says a lot about the position of women in Turkish society.

Never a German friend

Religion, tradition and nationalism - these three things have always played a major role in Emre Bulut's life. The IT consultant has been single for many years. His family is religious. The sisters wear headscarves. Visiting mosques on festive days is normal for Bulut. And the joint in his right hand? "A very old and bad weakness," he says.

Bulut is sitting on his couch in Berlin-Moabit, a Galatasaray Istanbul football game is playing on the giant plasma TV. Next door in the hallway, a robot vacuum cleaner is cleaning the laminated hallway. Bulut bought the two green plants, to the left and right of the television, only a few days ago: "The green is good for you. And to be completely honest, you don't feel so lonely with it," says the 37-year-old.

"I didn't treat German women any differently than Turkish women. But it is quite possible that my attitude stood in the way. Maybe otherwise one or the other chance would have arisen," he says. It was always clear to the German-Turkish that he would never introduce a German girlfriend to his parents. "My parents' generation has absolutely no connection to German society," he says, pulling the joint again. Many Turks also believed deep down that Germans don't like Turks anyway.

In his youth, Bulut was in a mosque association and had lessons in the Koran. Although he is Germanized, he says, religion and Turkish identity are indispensable for him. A woman for him would at least have to accept Turkish and Islamic holidays. Precisely because he lives in Germany and has to be careful anyway that his parents' culture is not completely lost. "I would be afraid that resistance would build up in a German woman with whom I have a problem."