[i] Today’s 16.08.2018. Today we’re in [name] house. We will conduct an interview with colleague [name]. Thank you very much. You took your time today, invited me to your house and welcomed me as a guest. Let us get to know you. Who is [name]?

[r] Yes, please. [name] is a county Akcadag, belonging to the province Malatya, in the village Tatarusagi, therefore in a Kurdish village, born on 10.04.1959, any Kurdish child. Hmmm, our mother tongue… Since we were born in a Kurdish village, our mother tongue, therefore from our first words, is Kurdish. When we were of primary school age, we went to school. We could not speak Turkish. We started to learn Turkish at school. And hmm, from the moment we started to learn in the primary school, we of course had various difficulties with the language, so to learn a new language and to be schooled in it. Experiencing these problems we learned Turkish. According to the curriculum, pupils should not only speak Turkish at school, but should also continue to do so at home. And so we had… Well, since our mothers and fathers spoke Kurdish at home, we had to speak Kurdish sometimes. In order for someone to denounce the conversations resulting from this misery, the teachers, even though they were Kurds themselves, gave the excuse: “We only use the curriculum”. …us…well, the… the most naive students, so naive that you could call them stupid. He denounced us to the teachers that we had spoken Kurdish at home. Because of this news the teachers discriminated against us again, but the Kurds themselves were very zealous with the argument why we had spoken Kurdish at home despite the ban. They put our hands together like this and hit the tips with sticks. So from time to time we say: We learned Turkish by brute force. This is not a parody or a bad joke. This is the bitter reality we experienced. We learned Turkish under violence! In this way I also finished primary school. Well, as it is in every Anatolian village, it was also in our village. When I finished primary school, I was not yet registered as a citizen. So if I now get an excerpt from the register of births, deaths and marriages with police clearance certificate, then the day of my registration is my final day of primary school. I wasn’t a registered child before, so I didn’t have a passport. Until I finished primary school I was an illegal. Officially I started school when I finished primary school. To get my primary school diploma I needed an identity card. I registered myself at the residents’ registration office. From the Residents’ registration office… Well normally I was born on 10.04.1985. We let me register one year younger, so that I am older if I must to the military service. So I was born in 1959. I was normally born in 1958. Hm, after I finished primary school in the village, I moved to Malatya in a bachelor household and started middle school. There I attended the first three years of school. After I had gone to school in Malatya for three years, I had to leave the school at the end of the 1st semester because of family problems. In 1975 I graduated from the Gülveren Primary School in Ankara with the final examination of the secondary classes. So I became a graduate of the secondary school Ankara Gülveren. Then I enrolled in Ankara at the Ünil Gymnasium. After attending the grammar school in Ankara for three years I became a graduate. I used the deferment of compulsory military service for two years. But I was not able to matriculate in my desired field during that time. I went to military service. During my military service I also prepared myself for the matriculation exams. I passed the exam. I won the University to Ankara Department of Economics. After I had studied 4 years at the University of Ankara at the Faculty of Economics, I completed this. Then I moved to Istanbul. My professional life began in Istanbul.

[i] Where did you do your military service?


[r] My basic training was in Balikesir (Aigais). A logistical unit. I had the position of a deserter. But because I had postponed the service, I could not get my draft in time. Because I couldn’t get the conscription, the Etemeskut Panzer Division was planned for me, but since I was considered a deserter, I couldn’t go there. I was drafted after the military coup in September 1981 in which I was caught. Of course I remained imprisoned for a while. Afterwards I was pardoned, and I came to the logistics unit and I came with the entry at times absent to the military. After three months of basic training I was transferred to Istanbul. My regular unit was in Istanbul and I served 18 months under normal circumstances.

[i] When you were in Istanbul afterwards, you started working in Istanbul right after graduating, didn’t you?

[r] After I finished university, I started working. I started working in a textile company called Cemotext. During that time I also applied for public positions, e.g. Halkbank, Telecommunications Administration, Some family songs, with identical surnames, were condemned for political reasons. During this time I passed the entrance exams. When I expected my atama, I got a letter that I would be unsuitable for the civil servant position. With the letter I went to the personnel manager. I asked the telecommunications administration what that was. I passed the exam here with a good result. I submitted all my documents. While I was waiting for my appointment, they sent me an answer like this. They said to me that they do not normally make statements, but since they are classified as dangerous by the security check, they cannot be in the civil service. I experienced a similar situation with the Halkbank. They are not suitable for the position at our bank because their security question was negative. So I could not go into the civil service. I started to work in the private sector. As I said, my first job was with Cemotext, a textile company, after which I worked in various fields, be it in the construction industry or in the editorial department of a newspaper. Mostly as head of accounting, sometimes as managing director and head of accounting. I have always held a leadership position in the private sector. After working in the private sector for 25 years, I retired. All my jobs were in Istanbul. I was also retired in Istanbul.

[i] Let’s get to another topic, let me ask you a question about your private life. You’ve been married before, as you mentioned before. How did your first marriage start? Was it a love marriage, coincidence, how did it come about?

[r] My first marriage. My wife was a civil servant then, she was a laboratory technician for the Ministry of Health. The wife of a friend was a nurse. She was also a mutual friend. So I was friends with the husband and his wife. When I visited the nurse one day at work, I met my wife from my first marriage. So I met her through my girlfriend the nurse. Then we became friends. Feelings developed between us, so I can call it a love marriage.

[i] What year was that?

[r] We got married in 1986. October 1986 I got married and in March 1988 my eldest daughter was born. Later I had a second daughter. She was born in December 1997. My daughter, who was born on 8 March 1988, studied pychology at the Middle East Technical University. My younger daughter is currently studying International Relations and Political Science.

[i] In Istanbul?

[r] In Izmit. at the University of Izmit.

[i] What is your relationship with your family? Do you keep in touch by phone, do you visit them?

[r] Sure, I talk to my children on the phone a lot. When I travel to Turkey to Istanbul I visit my children. I often see my daughters, my children.

[i] For example the living conditions, and well: the political situation in Turkey is not exactly cheering up. After you had difficulties, you were forced to leave your homeland.

[i] Can you tell us anything about it? How did you feel about leaving your family, especially your daughters?

[r] Well, on the one hand I have an entry with the state security in 1984, on the other hand I was arrested several times during my student days in Ankara after protest actions by the state security. So I also had an entry with the state security in Ankara. Therefore our apartment was stormed in 1984, I was arrested and detained 15 days by the state security. During that time I was physically tortured. Because of my brother our house was stormed. One of my brothers was active in the Partizan organization after the split in 1979/1980 on the side of the Bolshevik Partizan splinter group. The friends with whom they were in contact visited us frequently. During that time they were observed by the police. They were arrested. As their contacts were traced back, or based on information they gave themselves during the interrogation, our house was stormed. Everyone from our house was then taken into custody for 12 days. Our oldest brother, a bank clerk, and I were taken away. The own brother, the teacher, whose friends they were, was not caught in that time. He was wanted by arrest warrant. For a while he left the country and went to Germany. He stayed there for 10 years and returned to Turkey. I was constantly harassed by the police because of this entry. When together with Erdogan the pressure, the violence and the persecution of opposition members increased, I was also confronted with such a danger. That is why I left. Then I married a friend I met here for the second time. So this happened after I came here.

[i] When did you come to Germany and to which city? I came to Bochum in March 2013.

[i] Did you know Bochum before, did you hear about the city?

[r] I came twice as a tourist for a week/ten days. I came, saw and got to know the city. I couldn’t speak the language, so I had immense difficulties at first. But because my wife knows Turkish and also German, she has been here for 25 years, she helped me a lot in terms of language. Be it with the Jobcenter or with the Foreigners Authority. When I had contact with the authorities, when I had to audition with them, my wife was always with me as an interpreter. Hmm well, I came to this city and live in Bochum.

[i] When you first came to Bochum, what was your impression? The city you come from Istanbul is a big metropolis, the second city your study city is beside Istanbul also a big metropolis. If you compare it with Bochum, Bochum looks like a district. When you compared it with what difficulties were you confronted with and what did you like?


[r] Of course I’m a person who loves working. I think that’s one of the material reasons why racism is developing in this country today, why those foreigners who come to this country and lie on their lazy skin are racism. To consider it as their work to live from the state. I did not want to live like them, I wanted to work. I couldn’t do my job because I didn’t speak the language. I did bookkeeping on the level of a tax consultant, with this experience. In addition, accounting works everywhere with the same logic. The accounting is the same everywhere. Debits and credits, liabilities and receivables are applicable worldwide in the same pattern. The accounting system follows a universal logic. Although I have mastered this system, I could not practise my profession because I did not master the language. As a result, we became independent. So I work for our own company. On the other hand, if there is a good job, or a possibility to practice my profession, I would like to work there as well.

[i] Clear language is a big challenge. Have you tried to learn the language?

[r] The Jobcenter sent me first to a nine month course, then to a six month course as usual. I attended language courses for a total of 15 months. But learning a language after a certain age, hmm, now language learning is of course much easier as a child. At an advanced age, and we are among them, I am almost 60, it is difficult to understand and learn the language. It is more difficult to learn and understand. I experience this challenge today. Because my wife knows the language and has mastered it, this has caused me a certain laziness. I didn’t try very hard to learn the language. I like to read. If I had invested 1/10 of the energy and time I spent reading books in learning the language, I could now be at a very acceptable point with the German language. Well, I love to read. There are some German thinkers and authors I would like to read in original. But if I read any of them now in German, I don’t know hundreds of terms. I have to mark them and look them up in the dictionary. Under these circumstances it takes a long time to read a book. Maybe this will help me to develop my German further. I would like to give this development a chance and of course I will continue reading. I want that, I want to learn this language. Because I have decided for my permanent living space. As far as the city is concerned. After I came there were some changes, be it OPEL, Johnson Controls and many other companies were closed. I see unemployment developing as a serious problem. From time to time I see, when there is a strike, that the German media presents the strikers, i.e. the wage worker who seeks his right, as guilty. For example, during the strike of the locomotive drivers* there were a lot of reports with travellers waiting at the stations. In the majority, those who complained about not being able to come to work were broadcast. While this prevailed in the media, those who considered it a justified action, the supporters, were hardly shown in the German media. And if they didn’t do it on the channels that watched. I did not see them with the public broadcasters, but the opinion that the right to strike should not be exploited. Because this country has a tradition. The working class was able to get strongly involved and achieve achievements through labour struggles. Although democratic rights are actively used in this country, precisely through the elimination of the pressure from the most socialist system on the capitalist system, social gains are rapidly diminished. Unemployment and the dismantling of the welfare state cut back rights. E.g. the Hartz IV laws. The lives of people who cannot work and are dependent on the state are severely curtailed and made more difficult. Through savings measures life becomes even more unbearable for people on low incomes. These things lead to more difficulties in the lives of low-income and unemployed people, and lead to new problems.

[i] If I’m not mistaken, when you came here you took a memento with you.

[r] Yes.

[i] If I’m not mistaken, a book.

[i] You also said you read a lot. Can you show us the book?

[i] and tell me why you brought this book?

[r] The book is called “The Robbery of Fire” by Galina Serebryakova. She is a Soviet historian and author. If we take the book into our hands now. It is about Marx, Karl Marx, from his birth, his childhood years, his youth years. As well as his mature years. The series consists of a total of 5 volumes. That is, so the book in my hand is the 5th volume. I took this with me. Because from this book I learned Marx privations. The political work of Marx, or the work on the Marxist program. Behind the energy and work he put into this is a great sacrifice of Jenny Marx. This devotion of Jenny Marx touched me very much. So against the background of the popular movements of the 19th century, the labour movements, the revolution of 1848 as well as the Paris Comune of 1871. So while social events are told in the background, Marx’s private life is also told at the same time. Marxs himself is banished into exile in many countries. He emigrates to France for political reasons. He is expelled from France. Goes to England, is banished from there for some time. Goes to Belgium, from there back to England. In the end he dies in England. In England he was affected by great poverty. He sacrificed three children to this misery. They died in childhood. Because they lead a very miserable life. If the support of Engels, his best friend, had not been there, maybe he or his wife would have become victims of this poverty. They were especially supported by Friedrich Engels. In this book Engels is reported as a second violin. So Marx theories for the liberation of mankind, the Marxist theory, did not develop under simple circumstances. A work like capital. Marx himself says: “The plan for the future, that is, what is the alternative to the present system, that is, socialism and communism, is not based on dogmas. We do not say that here is the truth. Kneel before it.” He says: “The corruption, the brutality, the inequality, the exploitation, the pressure that this system produces, we have developed our theory on the basis of these problems”. This is also a summary of how and why Marxism came into being and what its aims are. The book has influenced me very much. I took it with me so that many people could read it, especially my wife.

[i] Very nice, that was very good of you. When we get back to Bochum.

[i] When you were new in Bochum. Of course you didn’t know the language, you didn’t know your environment, you didn’t know the culture. So you had some challenges. Now 5 years have passed. In these 5 years, what does Bochum mean to you?

[r] Well, it’s an area where racism is weak. Racist parties or a fascist danger, civil fascist danger is weaker in this city than elsewhere. For this reason alone I can say that fortunately I have decided to live in such a city. Especially since it is a pleasant city. It has no confused mass. So metropolises have their advantages as well as disadvantages. A metropolis means more volume, more air pollution. In many respects, life here is more natural. There are still untouched green areas. The structuring of the city did not take place uncontrolled. It is a city with a beautiful environment. Therefore I see myself as lucky to live in this city.

[i] Have you lived in different parts of the city? Which one did you live in first?

[r] I lived in Weitmar. And I still live in the same neighborhood. Because this part of town is beautiful.

[i] What is there in Bochum that you especially like and that is indispensable?

[r] So now of course she has many places that are beautiful. But for example is a particularly beautiful place. The lakes there are. The nature there. How the ducks swim in the lake, that the nature is clean, that the air pollution is low, these are very nice places. I visited the botanical garden in Bochum. I am fascinated by the plant. There are many different kinds of plants. Plant species were brought from many places in the world. They were specially taken care of. Some in closed rooms, some in open spaces. It is a beautiful place. The botanical garden here is a special place for me. It gives me pleasure to go for a walk there.

[i] Do you have bad memories of Bochum? Have you been confronted with things you couldn’t handle well? Be it with the people, racism, or also e.g. to the Foreigners’ Office?

[r] From time to time we naturally see signs of racism in some people. We parked our car at a place where we got electricity. By car, I mean we used it for business. We have a breakfast wagon. With this car we supply businesses with breakfast in the morning. Daily the batteries of this car must be loaded about 7/8 hours. So we need a power source. When we parked the car on Hattingerstrasse, we didn’t harm anyone. We were told that due to the size of the car we couldn’t see a road at the crossroads. That was the complaint. It was not so that only our car would obstruct the view. A normal car would also block the view at this point. We got the electricity from a kiosk. The friend who ran the kiosk, we noticed that his landlord, due to a racist point of view, showed such reactions. He threatened the owner of the kiosk to cancel the lease. Of course we didn’t want our friend to be disadvantaged because of us. So we moved away from this place. That disturbed me very much that by a racist owner we received such a reaction. I thought about it. On top of that we… So even if racism in this city doesn’t have the support of the masses. So there are racists in this city too. In this city racists are not a mass movement, racist and fascist parties do not enjoy a broad basis. Unfortunately, it cannot be denied that there are a few racists. Unfortunately there are such racists. From time to time we can recognise this in our everyday life by the behaviour of people.

[i] But they exist in the minority.

[r] Yes, they are in the minority. Okey, how is your relationship to your neighbourhood? The apartment you lived in before, this one, your dialogue with them and the relationship.

[r] Now our neighbors. In the area we live in there are mostly Russians and Poles. The social adaptation of our current neighbours is problematic. Let’s see that despite the ban on smoking someone smokes in the elevator, it is not used cleanly. We cannot seriously complain about our German neighbours, our difficulties are rather with the Poles Russians. So the building we live in has 12 floors. Each floor has 4 apartments. Sorry, our block has 3 apartments per floor. If you multiply that by 12 those are hmm.

[i] 36 Yes, that’s 36 apartments. We live in a building with 36 apartments. So there are people of all kinds. There are good people and those who have difficulties with their social adaptation. That’s how we try to deal with it.

[i] How is your relationship with your neighbours? Can you sit in the garden with the neighbours and have a coffee, a beer or a barbecue together?

[r] Take you home and invite you for tea? Do you visit your neighbours? Neighborhood Relations

There are certainly reasons to complain about your neighbors, but how are your neighborly relationships? Neighborhood relationships are weaker in large blocks of flats compared to buildings with 3/5 flats. You only greet yourself at the exit or in the elevator. Apart from that, there are no cordial neighborhood relationships here. In the previous apartment, it was a 3-storey building with 6 apartments, there we visited especially our neighbors from across the street. We often sat on the Bolkonen, drank coffee together and talked. But here, in this building, there is no such thing.

[i] From which country did they come?

[r] They were German.

[i] Yes, even if foreigners live here, i.e. in large residential houses, or if neighbourly contacts are not so frequent, there is the German in the area. How is your dialogue with the Germans? How do the Germans see you here, what is their perspective on you? Do they see you as part of their own group or as different? How do you feel about that?

[r] Well, with the Germans. Of course, their perspective on foreigners also changes depending on the political sings. The German racist doesn’t want to be friends with Turks, that is, with Turks and Kurds. He is not in a position to do so. They behave very distantly. A simple greeting is enough for them. But German democrats and revolutionaries are more open to foreigners. They have little difficulty accepting foreigners. Most Germans with whom we make friends, as family friends, are revolutionaries, democrats and socialists, such people. Monotonous, adapted, those who approve of the official ideology, the official policy of the state, under all circumstances, who see themselves as super humans, with such Germans, it is not possible for us to make friends. Such friendships do not arise, for whatever reason, for us.

[i] That’s the way it is in the country you come from.

[r] Yes.

[i] There, too, you choose your friendships and friendships.

[r] It is easier to make friends with people with whom you share the same thoughts, the same idea, the same political line.

[i] It’s exactly the same here.


[r] Yes, that’s true.

[i] Therefore…

[r] So you’re saying there’s no intention behind it.

[i] There’s nothing unusual about it. Let’s also talk about the following topic: Culture. Here, in Bochum, as you also know, there is another culture. If you compare it with Istanbul, Ankara, Malatya, the culture there and here. What are the differences, positive and negative?

[r] Before I came I was watching a TV show with a German journalist. She spoke Turkish. The journalist did not speak German. One asked: “What is the image, the Turkish image in Germany? The German journalist was also asked. All the guests were journalists, otherwise hmm, political scientists, journalists, writers. Among them was the German journalist. This woman was asked what the Turkish image was like in Germany. The lady made the following statement. She said: ” The first group of workers who came to Germany came mainly from rural areas. From this it follows that they come from a less educated class. The rural areas were also the education-weak areas. When they came, they formed a ghetto closed to the outside. And with social adaptation, well at that point social and cultural adaptation to the German society they met with resistance. They resisted. For they had their own relationships in the small ghettos they had formed. They themselves build obstacles to integration with and into German culture. Therefore the Turkish image in Germany is not so good.” In addition there are the criminal crimes they have started. Especially the Turks did the wrong things here. All these things did not leave a good impression in this country, of course, and damaged the image. One of the primary reasons why Turks are not liked is their own behaviour. As someone who is Kurdish, but was also born in Turkey, I sometimes witness this myself and it also bothers me as a human being. One day I waited in Gelsenkirchen at a stop to take the tram. At the stop there was a vending machine where you put money in what you choose and it falls out below. He probably threw in 2 Euro. They were 5/6 young people, but asocial young people. They spoke Turkish to each other. They probably threw in 2 euros, allegedly didn’t get what they wanted, the machine was defective. Under loud screaming and cursing they kick against the automat. I went to them and asked them what they were doing there. They said: ” Brother, it has swallowed our money.

[r] We wanted Coke and he didn’t give it to us.” I said: ” How do you do it because of 2 Euro? Here takes your money and stops. When the Germans see people like you, and here everyone is watching you, all the Germans and that is very shameful.” I didn’t tell them I was Kurdish. A Kurd in Germany who was born in Turkey and learned Turkish under duress. I told them:” I am a Turk, but when I saw you I was ashamed. I am ashamed of your behaviour. Now some German here evaluates all Turks about your behavior and thinks all Turks are like you. That’s why behavior like this is why such behavior is not only unattractive, but also promotes the spread and growth of racism in this country. You give them good cards to play with your behavior.” So I admonished the children. I gave him 2 euros. Of course they didn’t want to take it. The behaviour really disturbed me. I felt disturbed as a human being. Since I don’t care who is doing this, such a behaviour is neither good nor ethical, I interfered. I am convinced that I acted correctly. Because of such things some things are evaluated in this country. In this country, well, some people, well, some people evaluate, some ethical groups, because of such stories that come from everyday life. So in a certain way they are all seen as inappropriate, cultureless and uneducated. Well, sometimes you can see from such examples that you have to agree.

[i] How do you live out your own culture?

[r] I live my culture the way I emphasized it before: I like to read. Reading is an important part of my daily routine. I read books, magazines. Some magazines I get that appear in monthly periods. Some typical classics: for example I read the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin. From time to time I notice that I have to read them again, although I have read them before. I think some I have to read again, because today, well I belong to those who think the following: Marx explained yesterday on three building blocks: German philosophy, English economy and French socialism. His theories were based on these three building blocks. Marx is not satisfied with explaining the present, the political structures that have existed until now, he also explains our time. As he describes what he experienced in the past, he also explains the present. Because I think so, yes exactly, that’s why I think I have to read some books again. That’s why I use a lot of time every day to read.

[i] What other things are there in culture?

[r] For example, theatre, I like theatre.

[i] For example, there is still cinema…

[r] These are things I like. I want to see at least the films with awards. Theatre plays that draw attention to social problems are important to me and I would like to continue to visit them. These are art forms that I like, theatre and especially cinema.

In Bochum, for example, the Theatre is not far away from them.

[r] That’s close to us.

[r] Yes, but now.

[i] The music forum is nearby here.

[r] Well, because I don’t quite speak German, I don’t understand plays in German quite. That’s why I get bored. I mean, I look at it. Sometimes I switch on the German TV channels. Mostly Arte, for example, in German, but also 3 Sat. They often broadcast political films and films with awards. Sometimes I watch them. We mostly watch on the Internet stations that broadcast in Kurdish, as well as Turkish stations. but use such news sources free of corruption and diffusion. Thus we try to be informed as far as the homeland concerns on further. Consequently, I then also watch the appropriate stations and programs for it over the Internet. Like for example Medya haber, Arti TV, I watch such stations.

[i] There are also museums in Bochum. What is your relationship to museums, do you visit them? Have you ever been interested in museums and churches?


[r] I’m someone interested in history. My religious feelings are weak, I don’t belong to any religion, I’m an atheist. Some church or mosque can only attract me because of its architectural art. So I want to go in and visit it. I want to see the historical remains there. This is the only side (of churches) that attracts me. It doesn’t attract me because I write her a higher power or higher grace. Because I think that all religions are in the service of the ruling classes. They push people into fatalism. I belong to those who think that passivated masses are developed, who do not rebel and do not demand justification for everything they experience as fate.

Here live not only Germans but also many foreigners, especially Turks, Turks and Kurds. Both have a large community in Bochum. How are your relations with them?

[r] We cultivate relationships with the community through Didf. I am also a member of the association. I often take part in their events and meetings. Besides I have also, now a Kurdish side. I also supported the Kurdish liberation movement and stand by it. Also at this point I am endeavored. Therefore I have good relations with the Kurds here. Besides my political identity I also have my national identity. My national identity is to be Kurdish. My political identity is to be a communist. I am a communist. But, yes, for some, political identity comes second. For me, my political identity comes before my national identity. Then my identity as a human being. That is also what is right, I think.

To enter into dialogue with these people, to establish relationships, how does that work for you? For example, it is difficult to find a dialogue with Germans because language is an obstacle. The milieus you visit, be it the association or others, how is your dialogue there and the friendly relations?

[r] They are good. I am a social person. I have no difficulty making contacts. Through years of research and reading in many different things, I have knowledge about many things. That’s why I have no difficulty communicating with people. Yes well, with some topics… In the circles in which I am in contact, I awaken a certain respect in the points in which I master the subject. Because I have mastered some topics and thus arouse respect, I have no difficulty in establishing relationships. I am an active person.

What is criticized about us, among the foreign groups, especially by the German politicians and society is the lack of integration. For example, the association you visit, how far away is it from integration? Are they conducive to integration or, as the Germans say, an obstacle to integration?

Of course people who have chosen this country for their lives spend their whole life and family life here. Their future projects will also be based on this country. ????? In a country like this everyone justifiably expects the state and its citizens, well. Of course the people who have decided to live in this country should integrate themselves. This state is also binding for me. If I want to integrate into this society, and I want to do so. Because I have chosen this place as my new living space. Since I have chosen this place as my living space, I have to integrate myself. That is a justified demand. If this is brought up by politicians, it is just as justified as it is by an ordinary German. The same applies if a German brings it up, with whom I fit politically, but with whom I can only communicate with difficulty. So when a German communist says to me: “You should learn German well and integrate yourself into this society”. I see this as a serious and respectful demand. In addition, I, as well as the association in which I am active, defend the following position: “For us it is clear that this is our home, of course. We are interested in the country and its development. But what interests us is what is happening in this country, that is to say here, be it the situation of the working class here. As soon as the decisions are made by the politicians, the laws that the government issues, I am as concerned as any German. As soon as a German feels disturbed by the new tightened police laws, that must disturb me as well. The police have not been able to carry out any searches without a court order, with the new police laws they can. With these laws we legalized police terror. I also protest against this. This invites arbitrary actions. Now laws are coming which have Germany designated as a police state. The laws confirm this statement. The laws increase the pressure and violence of the police state and the state pressure on people. Now why should the police be allowed to search me everywhere arbitrarily? What kind of law is that? But these laws are out, and also the German population has something against the laws. The application will be even more offensive. We will see and experience that together. What is the structure of this association, is it small, is it big?

[i] Can you describe it? How does your network work, how do you get in touch with each other and learn about each other?

[r] Didf, is the name of the Federation of Democratic Workers’ Associations. So they are Democratic Workers’ Associations, democratic mass organizations. If a German can express him/herself here and finds his/her way back, he/she is just as welcome. The organization is open to everyone. Of course there are elementary prerequisites: Of course everyone is welcome here, but the person should at least be humanitarian, not racist and not xenophobic. This can be a burden for Kurds, or just for Kurds. But it is also open to all other foreigners. So also for example Irani, Iraki, Syrians. Also these can come and become members, and participate in the activities of the association. What is important here, what we would like to achieve as an association is: We live in this society and have chosen this as a living space and would like to participate in all political and economic decisions. We also want to support the part of the population that protects the democratic rights here. This also includes the German democratic organizations and parties active in Germany. For the preservation of democracy we would like to stand with these organizations. We have set ourselves this task.

[i] The one network, one organisation, like this one in Bochum gives

[r] Is this a chance? Is this a chance? What advantages does it have for Bochum? What role does it play in your life?

[r] In this way we want to bring together Turks, Kurds, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghanis, no matter from which corner of the world. Finally, many of them have either been granted political asylum, paid for their services or received a residence permit in some other way. Those who do not work here, live by the support of the state. With what is called Hartz IV. They live with the help of the job centre or the employment office. This support does not give a person a normal life. The money given is for housing, food and clothing. For the rest, i.e. more than accommodation, it is not enough. This leads to a constantly growing problem. These people or also Germans who live from Hartz IV have difficulties and problems with it. The collection of deposit from the mill barrels is spreading more and more. Even to an extent that it is damaging to the image of the country. In everyday life we all witness it. Even people who can no longer work are disadvantaged by the Hartz IV laws. That these measures are unfair is also known to the politicians. That it is unfair or contains many injustices is discussed again and again. It was introduced by the SPD, but also within the SPD there are many discussions because of the Hartz laws. Also the other parties find this insufficient, because it will release a crisis. What is the overproduction crisis? They produce a lot, but if people, that is in the economic cycle, if the consumer cannot buy what they produce, then the overlapping of goods will start. This leads to overproduction crises. The biggest threat to the capitalist system at the moment is an overproduction crisis. An elementary reason for the overproduction crisis is the decline in demand. If you don’t allow people to live their wages well, don’t offer them such jobs, after a while your production will not be sold and the overproduction will start. The decline in demand develops from the wear and tear of purchasing power. Why should demand decline? You have essential needs to secure your life. If you do not have the income to buy this, then you cannot buy it. So you will not have the demand. But they have the supply permanently. They produce without interruption. What happens if you don’t have the demand anymore? Because of the overproduction the overlay starts. And this overproduction triggers a crisis. It produces the material foundation for the crisis. It creates such a danger. Finally, the German politicians and the people who run this country also see that. That’s why they are also discussing this issue. On the one hand, the wage earners are seriously attacking their rights. We say that this association today at least, So the association is a federation of democratic workers. The associations consist mainly of wage earners. Nowadays, if they even use their right to strike, they have to struggle with a series of pressures and obstacles. The right to strike is an acquired right. Here, too, there are more and more dangers for the right to strike. As can be seen from the example of Eben, the train driver on strike. There are serious measures to ensure that these rights are not used. There is counterpropaganda. State propaganda or the official attitude of the state does not want any desire for its own rights. According to the motto: The more we can prevent it, the better for us.

[r] We have done our best in our duties to the ruling class. They would like to experience this fulfilment. Their task in this country is to serve a handful of lobbyists. The more we serve them, the more they crawl our backs. The more support we get. According to this pattern this business runs in this system. I would also like to know what role the club plays in your life.

When you go into the clubhouse the members, the workers, are mostly from the same country. Turks or Kurds, sometimes Germans. But they all share the same political perspective. If you are there, for example, you have no language barrier. Can express yourself more easily

[r] Yeah, that’s right. I would like to know more about that. Why don’t you become a member of a German workers’ association or trade union? If you could open that up a bit.

[r] Yes, clearly my goal is this. My goal is to be a German, and not just one, in the German associations and trade unions. About this system, the dilemmas of the system, what it brings to the society to show in terms of bad habits I have to master the German language and be able to explain this in German. So do I. But I do not remain only with the desire. I try to learn the German language and also the political language. For example, I would like to read The Capital of Marx in the original language German. That is what I would like. Read it not with the Turkish translation, but the capital in the original. That’s what I want. Now my current situation is suitable for it? Am I so powerful in the language? No I am not. But I have efforts in that direction. My goals on the subject of language, i.e. mastery of the language, are at this point. I absolutely want that.

[i] We are of the same opinion on this subject. Why do people start an association? Whether it is a chess group or another. One goes there around at least in the spare time

[r] to spend time with people who share similar thoughts or have the same hobby. You are a member of the association Didf.

[i] You don’t just go to the association to protect workers’ rights or because they are based in Bochum. You can express yourself there more easily because you speak the same language. Or understand what you are told more easily. Mostly Turkish is spoken there.

[r] True

That’s what I’m talking about.

[r] Clearly this property has the whole thing too.

[i] I don’t mean that negatively, but the positive meaning of the whole.

[r] Sure, of course. I agree with that.

[i] I mean you as a person.

[r] Your statement is correct.

[r] I really can only join. When I go there I always advocate that education, that is, a person wants to educate himself culturally, politically, wants to raise his cultural level, this path leads not only through reading books. If you are a good listener and pay attention to your counterpart. Can they also take something with them from what they have heard? They then observe life. In the history of the Soviet revolution Svetlov (Mikhail Arkadyevich Svetlov) is asked: “How did this come about? He answers: “I have checked the book with life, and I check life with the book”. The correctness of a book, whether it teaches something right or wrong, corresponds it to the reality of life or contradicts it. Therefore we check the correctness of the books against the reality of life. They examine life with a book. So what is the counterpart in life to this book? Is there a real basis in real, practical life? With this they test the book. And they test life itself with a book. In the end the whole thing is intertwined with each other. They influence each other. Now what do we do when we go there? Not all people around us have the same level. There are always those who come new. To educate these people, at least to thematize the reasons why one is there,

[r] The system has brought me into the situation of selling my labor for a wage, and surviving through this sale. But who am I, while I am doing this I am the person who produces. My class reproduces everything for life. When it stops, life stops. So that he becomes aware of it and becomes a part of this class. In such an effort you are also involved in some way. I am also a worker, I have also worked against wages. I have worked with ??? but I have worked for a wage. I have sold my labour. I spent a certain amount of time working. I invested effort and work. When I sold it to him, I was also a worker. I have been pensioned as a worker by the SSK. I have been pensioned as a wage earner, have led my life as a worker and here too I am a worker. Even though I am self-employed. If I don’t run the business for three days, and I have to give up the business, I am back in the situation of having to work for wages. Something like that is a matter of moments. We live in a time where small businesses are forced into bankruptcy and quickly. In the course of one day, instantly, hourly every hour every moment of the day, the pressure of large corporations leads the small businessmen to social bankruptcy. As small traders, they can lose their trade at any time and become dependent on wages again. These are things that occur very frequently in this system. This makes them wage earners again. So you are the one who reproduces life and survival. When they explain to them how powerful and important he is. If a worker looks at life differently. But when he thinks that he is only a single worker. He thinks I get my salary, pay my bills and nothing else interests me. Whoever has this attitude can also discuss his humanness. You at least show that all this should not be so. You make him think. That what he produces is part of the work process. So that he perceives his own position, you blow the scales off his eyes. The whole thing for enlightenment. If you are a scholar, you have this task. You may be a worker, but you are also a learned one among the workers. This is also called the scholars of the Poletariat. To enlighten him in various subjects, to blow the ashes out of his eyes into the wind. You are confronted with such a task. You have this task.

[i] What does a day in Bochum look like for you? Please tell me how a day of you runs off.

[r] What does a day of me look like? Of course, not every day is exactly the same. I get up at 3 o’clock at night. At four o’clock we have finished the preparations and are at the car. At 4 o’clock / 4:30 o’clock around we pick up the rolls from the baker. At 5 o’clock we are at the first place of delivery of a company called Klaus Union. Then we stand in front of the gate. Then we prepare the rest. I cut the rolls and lubricate them. My wife occupies the rolls. There we prepare everything. From there we drive to Essen to the gate of a company called Sivilex. We arrive there around 6:30 o’clock. Then we drive to the Ausländerbehöre Essen. There we also sell. From there we drive to a company called Allmol. After that we have 1/2 more places to go in Essen. Then we drive back to Bochum to a company called Bebenak that is in the direction of Herne. From there we make closing time. If I would like to sleep then

What time is it then? At 10:30/11:00 a.m. It’s about 11:00 a.m. We’re off work.

[i] during the day

[r] Yeah, sure, by day. Then the car has to be cleaned daily.

[r] The car must be washed and prepared for the next day. This takes about an hour. Around 12:00 / 12:30 we load everything we take home into the smaller transporter and bring it here. Here the preparations for the next day continue. The preparations for the next day you make at home are for example the salads, the warm meals, the cooking of the eggs. So boiled eggs. I make scrambled eggs in the car all the time. With our words I break eggs. Sometimes with spring onions, sometimes with bacon… Sometimes we make scrambled eggs with spring onions and bacon. According to the customer’s wishes. Sometimes he wants it without anything and just says eggs. Say only salt. So you only add salt. You take 2 or 3 eggs, if no roll is desired then I take 3. That’s what I do. Some would like mixed with tomatoes, some with Sucuk. So that’s all we do during the day. Then we go home. When we sleep afterwards, sometimes I also read. I always have a book with me, and I always have one in the car. On the way from Essen to Bochum I read. Sometimes I get involved in political discussions on Facebook and write. Such things happen.

But you don’t drive and read at the same time.

[r] I don’t drive my wife.

[i] Are you on the road every day? How many days a week?

[r] 5 days, 5 days a week.

[i] Five days a week.

[r] Saturday and Sunday we do not work, then we are at home.

[i] How does your weekend go, how and where?

[r] Sometimes I go to the clubhouse. Sometimes I stay at home and read. Because we can’t sleep well during the week, we sometimes sleep longer on weekends. What you call “long sleep”. We sleep long, but most of the time I read on weekends. Or we go to club meetings or events. I usually go to the clubhouse on weekends. If I should go there on weekdays I cannot stay long, because we get up at 3 o’clock in the morning.

[i] Let’s get to the bureaucracy of Germany. You know, Germany is a bureaucracy state. Forms and letters, what impression do you have of it?

[r] I’ve never gotten warm with bureaucracy. Of course it’s good that some things here in this country are regulated by law, there’s a discipline. Sometimes it takes forms of icgüzarlik. Then you see people grind away their creative side and discipline how programmed robots work. Being like a programmed robot and working disciplined are different things. Now the two of them. A programmed robot will be addicted to icgüzarlik. Where he has to show initiative, he will not do it. Because when he shows and uses inititative, he thinks he is doing something illegal. He gets caught up in such a perception. Well one should not be a programmed robot. For all the discipline and disciplined work, don’t behave like one. The human has a brain and sometimes behaves unroutine. Of course you cope with everyday life routinely, but sometimes you should think to yourself, hey this is my movement falls, I can make something else useful for me for it. You hardly see that in German society. I have also noticed that in my own observations. Clearly disciplined, it’s a country that likes discipline. It should also be disciplined. Life is bound to rules. There is no life without rules. For example, I went to the driving test. When I turned right, my right tyre crossed the dividing line. I didn’t pass this test and still couldn’t get my driver’s license recognised. I drove a car in Istanbul for 25 years in Turkey. And here I fail because of such stupid rules. There’s a driving style I’m used to right now because of the cars I drove. I often used automatic gearshifts. Here I went with a manual shift into the test. Because I took the corner too early, my right rear tyre crossed the dividing line. I should have turned in later.

[i] You come from a place like Istanbul. Let’s also talk about freedom and democracy. I) The patterns of behaviour there. If you would compare them with each other.


[r] Yes, of course. Please compare your life in Istanbul and here. The coup d’état of September 12th in this country… Now our Sirri Süreya Önder (HDP deputy) says that it was the biggest mess of all. He says that if we should describe September 12 with a short sentence, then September 12 was a big mess. In this country one experienced a millitary dictatorship. The dictatorship especially drenched the left-wing and socialist opposition in blood. In the meantime, religious reactionism in Iran, in Tunis, in Algeria and in Turkey itself, has been pushed into religiousness by the intervention of people such as X Tümer. Because a religious person will consider what he has experienced to be destiny, will not rise up and will not demand accountability. Such people are easier for you to lead. If they think that everything they experience is fate, that their life was born of a divine providence, such a man will not rise. Such a man or man, of whatever sex. Now the 12th of September nourished religious reactionism. The Office of Religion had a cadre of 8,500 people on September 12, 1980. Until the reestablishment of the parliamentary election in the 1983s, no, sorry around the 1993s, in those 10 years this cadre was raised from 8,500 to 85,000 posts. In the cadre schools of the Office for Religion, the Imam Hatip as well as the office itself there was thus a 1000% increase. This is also true for the Kuran schools and courses. What happened? The generals who presented themselves as particularly Kemalistic and secular, they nourished the foundation of religious reactionism with state control, built all the bricks of the wall on it and now people like Tayyip walk on these paths. Tayyip’s power and influence grew on the devastations of September 12, from him and people like him. Well today, in the aftermath we saw this in the following way. We wanted to enter the EU, with whose pressure we have been under heavy pressure to enact laws according to EU directive. A few of them came as a grace. Among the people there had been actions among the wage-workers again in 1989. The first, I was there too, on Freedom Square in Sisli/Istanbul, was the first legal workers’ demonstration after 12 September. It was organized by the trade union Otomobil Is. There we were also attacked by the police. Some of them did anarchist actions, provocative things. Under the pretext of attacking them, they attacked us all. I also got it with the baton. It was just the first legal rally after September 12th. At the rally on the Freedom Square I was beaten off with a baton, because the police beat the crowd with a devil’s ear. Even if the dynamics among the resistance achieved some democratic achievements, most achievements were achieved by the desire to be part of the EU, that is, by the pressure of the EU. But what happened? Tayyip sawed them off in all areas as soon as he was sure of the power of his political camp and his. He currently holds the world record as the country with the most imprisoned journalists. Turkey holds this record. He can say of himself: I arrested many journalists, I arrested many progressive people, I was particularly thorough with the Kurdish politicians. The HDP leaders elected their mayors as well as county and district councils. All these people and tens of thousands more were arrested with banal allegations during the KCK operations. These repressions are still going on. Elected abortees, Selahattin Demirstas above them, the leaders of the previous era of the HDP sit in, their abortees sit in. This system is like a nightmare. I once watched a TV show with Ümit Kivanc. That was before IMC was closed by the authorities. On IMC Ümit Kicanc was asked by callers: “This man says that he became the government with 49%”. By the November elections, the elections after the annulled elections in June, the election on November 1. He did not like the results of the elections on June 7 and so he had them annulled. In the new elections in November, they again became the ruling party with 49%. So now he asked Ümit Kivanc: “He has an opposition of 51%. How can he be so ruthless?” The man said: The 51% against him have no gendarmerie, no police. These 49% control all military and bureaucratic positions. So they have all fascist forces in the ranks. They know no inhibitions. He fired tanks, cannons and weapons at whole Kurdish cities in which the HDP won more than 92% of the votes. The people experienced such immense inhuman torture that even cemeteries were bombed. An entire region was reduced to rubble. Civilians were murdered with weapons and tanks. In Sur, Cizre, Nusaybin thousands of civilians were slaughtered. Some of them were burned alive in cellars. Such cruelty is experienced. In this country, of course, we still have hope. Human history has never seen empires, tyrants and dictators last indefinitely. This will have an end. We are convinced that all these human rights violations of this government will not go unpunished, that they will pay a bill for it. I do not think that this brutality will go unpunished. In any case, something will happen so that they will be disempowered by the government and brought to justice. They will pay for the crimes they have committed. They will be brought to justice.

[i] Okey. Arikan has such a plan. Turkey is in crisis. So that Erdogan can get out of this crisis, he would have called the people against the US and called for a boycott of US products.

But even the shirts he wears are Made by USA. How would you feel about that in the context of the crisis?

The result of the crisis is exactly what we talked about. If over the years you cut back more and more on participation in the national profit for wage earners, farmers and small businesses and pass it on to your people, who like you are proven crooks loitering around you, if you throw the state estates after the big farmers, that will of course have an end. To this day it is supported from outside with funds from Quarar and Saudi Arabia. So the crisis was only postponed. That was the reason for the early elections. You could already hear the signals of the crisis from afar recently. The reason why they decided to hold early elections, one year or 19 months earlier than they were due, is that they feared: We will lose cpower and become incapable of government. If the early elections had not taken place, the crisis would have escalated beforehand. The elections postponed that for a while. In the end, we all know that the Pentagon has been in charge of the general staff for 70 years. 36,000 m² of land is in the hands of the American bases. I have served in this country. There was a depot of large stones. Nowhere was there a window. It had only one door, an iron door. There were 30/40 civilian workers working there. I asked them if they had seen the depot from the inside before, if they knew what was inside. Many of them had been working there for 10/15 years. They replied that they were not allowed to enter the Arial. Only First Army officers accompanied by U.S. Army delegates come in. The door opens, you look in and nobody else comes in or looks at the right one. What is that? It’s a depot with nuclear explosives. So American weapons, nuclear weapons were deposited in different places in your country. The axis shift or such things are only stories to heat up the feelings of Chovinists and racists within your country. There is no displacement of the axis. It’s not that easy. If you have had a master and servant relationship for 70 years, have only ever done what your master told you to do, you cannot exchange your masters today. They don’t allow that so easily. If there should be such a wish, well. As you sometimes say, Turkey is not the only country to be interwoven with Syria, Syria is now in Turkey. The Syrian Jihadists, the remaining IS groups that Syria can’t cope with anymore are all in Turkey at the moment. Yesterday I watched a broadcast. He wrote a book, “The IS and its Network”. This was broadcast by Medya Haber. It was a young person, he said: “If they don’t attack Turkey when they opened the Incirlik base for the coalition, they will damage their reputation on the IS side because of the support they give at the base”. Many of them are taken care of in Turkey.

The Erdogan is a dictator, a thief, a fundamentalist, we all agree. How can it be explained that a country like Germany receives him splendidly despite all this with a state protocol?

[r] The German state needs relations with arms buyers, with the arms market. They see him as a customer. They cut back on the sale of tanks and helicopters. The whole relationship is built on this business. The German state is one of the largest arms producers. To sell weapons and Due to others Also the German state knows that it is not trustworthy. Sometimes this led to problems, even crises. This is based on reciprocity. Finally, the relationship that dominates here is the economic interest. Tayyip and his relations with the arms lobby, the fact that he is regarded as a good market.

The first time you were confronted with a foreign language of primary school age.

[r] Yes.

[i] With the 2nd foreign language after retirement.

[r] How was your encounter with the German language? What did you feel about it? Well, it’s obvious: I’m going to a new country and there’s a new language there. Of course this language… Now clearly at secondary school and grammar school I had English as a foreign language. If you don’t use the language, you forget it too. When I finished grammar school, I was able to explain my concerns broken. When I stopped using it later, the language was forgotten. I am a Kurd and have lived in Istanbul for 20/30 years.

[i] Come to German please.

[r] I’ll tell it as an example.

There I did not speak Kurdish as I did in my village.

[r] So not in everyday life. When I visited my village after 5 years and wanted to speak Kurdish, I noticed that I had forgotten many things. If you don’t use a language, you’ll even forget your mother tongue. In German I am in the middle of it, my everyday life is shaped by the German language. I conduct many dialogues. Where did you take your course when you came from? With… When the job centre sent you there. Aud der Kortumstrasse, AFK or something like that. That’s where I was at AFK. After that I was on the Hernerstrasse, hmm what were their names again? Anyway, I was there afterwards. 6 months was with him on the Kortumstrasse. 9 months I visited the course on the Hernerstrasse. The Jobcenter sent me there back then.

[i] So you say a second foreign language from a certain age is

[r] difficult

[i] too much

[r] too much

[i] difficult. What do you think about the future? What are your plans for the future? Do you want to live here, or do you dream of returning to Turkey? At the moment you are working…

[r] As long as nothing extraordinary happens, I want to stay here. So if I am contacted with a reason to return, it can only be for my children. So serious problems of my two daughters, only then would I return. Otherwise my thought is to stay here and live.

[i] Let me ask differently, what is home for you?

[r] For me, home is not the place where I was born, but the place where I get full. For this is the meaning of fatherland and homeland. We belong to those who think that wage earners have no fatherland, but why do workers not have a fatherland? If you think about it within capitalism, you come to this conclusion. We are people who put their heart and soul into a project to use our homeland one day on an equal footing. In the phase when all the means of production are of public use, that is also the fatherland of public use.