ARAMIZDA – Turkish speakers in Berlin and the role of civil society

A social anthropological study by guest researcher John McManus

The research project of John is called ‘ARAMIZDA’, which means “between or among us” in Turkish. There have been many waves of migration to and from Turkey, going back over 60 years. All too often in Germany, these people are labelled simply as ‘Turks’ when, in reality, there are people from a multitude of ethnicities, religions, classes and political groupings. Though they live side-by-side, they often have little contact. Sometimes they harbour disparaging, even hostile feelings towards each other.  

The research project seeks to better understand the issues dividing and uniting Turkish speakers in Berlin and the role civil society organisations play in easing and exacerbating those divides. It does so through a mix of methods, including ethnographic fieldwork, diaries and interviews. The overall goal behind the project is to create a better understanding of the diversity of Turkish-speaking people in the city of Berlin, both among Turkish-speaking communities and also in the general population.