Cem Gülay

Overall Rating: 7
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Author: Cem Gülay
Title: Kein Döner Land. Kurze Interviews mit fiesen Migranten [No Döner Country. Brief interviews with nasty migrants.]
Time: 2009-2012
Destination: Germany
Length: about 2 years
Type: interviews, reading tour

a second opinion about “Turkish Germans”

[Note: this book was co-authored by Helmut Kuhn. I don’t think it’s out in English yet.]

The story: CG is a German of Turkish descent who has published an autobiography about his abortive attempt at a “career” as a criminal. While promoting his book, he travels all over Germany, reading mostly at schools and at cultural festivals. This second book is about his experiences on those travels, about the people he meets and about the social unrest he encounters. Mostly, it’s about the struggle between rich and poor, and about the difficult relations between native Germans and their immigrant neighbors from places such as Turkey or North Africa.

Cem Gülay’s valid points

It’s a simple read, you could even call it overly simplistic at times. That goes for the use of language as well as some of the reasoning. But that only makes it slightly flawed. CG and his co-author work hard to get some of their points across: 1) German immigration policies have mostly failed. 2) The problems between “German Germans” and “foreign Germans” are not limited to metropolitan areas, but have long since arrived in small-town Germany. 3) Neither politicians nor journalists seem to have an understanding of the situation of the “foreign German” youth that gives credit to the particular situation of the individual – one second generation Turkish German might be totally different from another second generation Turkish German.

These points seem to be valid.

European problems

I think you should read this if you are interested in the situation of immigrants and post-immigrants in contemporary Europe. Of course you shouldn’t take all of the authors’ opinions for granted – but that probably goes for everything you read. Some of their observations and thoughts are worth pondering over anyway. Why does Neo-nazism seem to flourish more in the East of Germany than in the West (with the West having a much higher percentage of immigrants)? Should there be quotas requiring schools to be “mixed”? Why do girls from immigrant families seem to fare better than their male counterparts?

Germans who have read Sarrazin should probably read this as well. Or something else of the sort, just to get a second opinion.


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