German Turkish Perspective On Islam

Necia Kelek is a woman who spans the world of Germany and the Turkish experience which allows the emergence of an interesting perspective concerning issues confronting those who have migrated into a new nation. She was the child of Turkish immigrants and quickly encountered feelings of being the outsider in school and slightly apart from her fellow students. One part of her life was in democratic Germany which urged females to be independent while at home her father ran the family and wielded all authority. Once when she defied father, he broke down the door of her bedroom with an axe and grabbed her by the throat. Fortunately, he left the family shortly afterwards.

Although trained as a sociologist, but when discussing Europeans, her remarks are about “the Europeans,” not “we Europeans.” It is the duality of the immigrant child which continues dominating her life. The major impact of living in Germany was falling in love with the sense of freedom that has made her a champion of virtually unlimited freedom and an individual who could never become adjusted to constrictions on women that are so frequently encountered by females.

Many who have interviewed Ms. Kelek become aware that in her criticism of Turkish life there is a tendency to ignore the vast number of Turks in Germany who welcome freedom and the number of German-Turkish women who live an independent life. In a sense, there is an aspect of her fight for tolerance that results in being intolerant of those who do not accept tolerance as a way of life.

At the core of her beliefs is acceptance by those of Turkish heritage of European ideas that support democracy, secular concepts and individual freedom. The question is whether there is desire for such goals among German-Turks.