Alkan, Burcu and Nazan Maksudyan

Children at the Margins of Labour Migration in Füruzan’s Works After Germany

In 1975, novelist and short story writer Füruzan came to West Berlin following the invitation of the German Academic Exchange Service and spent the next five years on and off in Berlin until 1980. Following her travels, she published her journalistic essays/memoirs Yeni Konuklar (1977) and Ev sahipleri (1981), her children’s book Vom rotgesprenkelten Spatzen (1980), and her novel Berlin’in Nar Çiçeği (1988). While she gained a transregional perspective on issues concerning labour migration and class during her time in Germany, her works resulting from it introduced these subjects to her readership in Turkey. Her Yeni Konuklar and Ev sahipleri in particular provide a significant amount of data on the subject of labour migration to Germany, while her Vom rotgesprenkelten Spatzen and Berlin’in Nar Çiçeği elaborate upon the inherent large cultural shifts on both sides resulting from labour migration. This article examines the works Füruzan produced following her stay in Germany in the 1970s. It discusses the ways in which she presents the perspectives of the children as previously underexplored material on issues concerning global labour mobility. It looks at how children’s experiences reveal a more complicated reality in regards to social and cultural integration with an emphasis on the difficulties that they face and go unnoticed. Moreover, it also argues for the distinct potentialities of integration rendered possible through the relationship between the immigrant children and the elderly Germans due to a shared experience of marginalisation.

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