This gathering of images, taken in the second half of 2000, collects events contributing to an understanding of a Turkish diaspora in Berlin. The many psychical and historical layers that constitute the numerous publics of Berlin are, like in most cities, ever shifting. All taken on the street, these images reveal aspects of a public life, of interactions at most times random in a district that plays home to the greatest number of Turkish people to be found outside of Turkey. This district is called Kreuzberg, known for being a hub of Turkish life in Berlin as well as for its radical political, cultural and artistic history in the time of two Germanies. Turkish life in (West) Berlin began in 1961, the year of the physical separation of Berlin. As "Guest Workers", 284 Turks were welcomed in an effort to counter labor shortages. What began in this time of extreme social re-organisation for all Berliners, was an invoking and founding of Turkish life. It is estimated that currently some 170,000 individuals form the Turkish community in Berlin - such a presence bringing forth manifestations of re-established cultural and social spaces previously specific only to Turkey.
The production of this project was made possible by the generous financial support of The Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University, Toronto, Canada. Thank you also to Victoria Straub, Rosemary Shevlin, Ken Shevlin, Adam Segal, Lorraine Hardie, Sally-Anne Rowland, Sarah Clift, Britta Hauschultz and Amparo Kuhlmann.
These images may not be reproduced without the permission of Peter Shevlin.