The epigraph is taken from Emine Özdamar’s Mother Tongue (1994: 13).
The terms ‘‘Turk,’’ ‘‘Turkish German,’’ and ‘‘German Turk’’ are all used in this
book. Though some writers have tended to prefer ‘‘German Turk,’’ I often opt
for the less seen and perhaps more controversial ‘‘Turkish German.’’ Though
rarely encountered (but see
Senocak and Leggewie 1993), this usage implies a
shift in emphasis from a ‘‘Turkish’’ essence, however adjectivalized, to a sug-
gestion of a di√erently configured civic identity within Germany’s public
sphere, where a wide range of types of Germans—again, however adjec-
tivalized—might be envisioned. Cf. German Turk/Turkish German with the
ethnic labels common in the United States.
The term ‘‘Turk’’ has a fascinating semantic genealogy, embracing ideological,
imperial, and nationalist projects. For a more elaborated account of this
history, see, for example, Lewis 1961; and Kafadar 1995.
Yet to speak of ‘‘spaces in-between’’ raises problematic red flags. It is not my
intention to assume static borders in between which characters in a troubled
space bounce o√ one ‘‘side,’’ then the other. This is not to posit that ‘‘there is
no there there,’’ either—rather, I am interested in a space open to new forms of
This is discussed in Spyer 1993: 2.
On the debate in Germany on the modern transformation of German iden-
tity, culture, and politics, including the revival of the politics of national
conservatism, see Habermas 1989.
Some of these have been outlawed in Turkey. For a graphic description of the
sorts of political repression and human rights abuses in 1980s Turkey that
many migrants and refugees sought to escape, see, e.g., Helsinki Watch Report
from 1986.
L. Soysal 2003.
Cranshaw 2004: 107.
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