Berlin NPR – Closing Events of ICD “German-Turkish Week”

Following up on their earlier coverage on the German-Turkish week, the ICD event focusing on cross-cultural understanding and problem solving, Monika Kroll of the Berlin NPR reports on the closing events which focus on the theme ‘Germany’s Next Generation”, featuring talks from the musician “Sefo” on the difficulties face of growing up as a migrant, and an expert panel discussion on the challenges posed by the current job market.
  June 18th, 2009

German Turkish Week Comes To A Close at ICD

Today marks the final day of German-Turkish Week at the Amerika Haus in Berlin. A mixture of R&B and Middle Eastern music fill the large auditorium at the event’s closing ceremony.

On stage, 19 year old musician “Sefo” is speaking about growing up in Germany with Turkish heritage. He represents the theme of the closing event: Germany’s next generation. P>

Sefo speaks about growing up in Germany with Turkish heritage.

“Home is where I feel comfortable and I feel good in Germany- more than in Turkey. I grew up here, I am a Berliner. I enjoy living in Germany.”

An expert panel discussed the challenges of German’s young generation with a focus on the current job market.

Nihat Sorgec, head of the “Bildungswerk Kreuzberg,” educates disadvantaged and unemployed teens and young adults. Sorgec introduces a new program: training unemployed academics in journalism. He sees it as a key profession.

“Every fifth person in Germany has a migration background, but in the media only every 50th. That’s unacceptable,” Sorgec says.

Another panelist is Prime Lee, creator of “Schools Talks,” a program that brings role models from the German-Turkish community into classrooms. He dislikes the description “migration background,” and thinks it promotes the feelings of victim hood.

“If you are thinking of a vision, a vision of the next German generation, you have to think about possibilities, about idealistic ways. I think it’s not good to tell the people that the next generation is characterized by helplessness.”

Following the panel discussion, an audience member with Turkish roots shared her experience about how she overcame her conflicted relationship with Germany.

“I learned more about Germany when I was outside. First time with sixteen, I went to America and there my host mom told me a very important sentence.

‘It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just different. And this is what gave me a lot of self esteem for my whole life.’”