on the outskirts … not paradisical at all

Film maker Aysun Bademsoy (pdf) describes in her documentary On the Outskirts the life of so called “Deutschländers” – turkish families who return after a life time work in Germany to designed areas on the cities’ outskirts in Turkey. And despite the superficial luxery they again live a life untied to the environment, but are torn between two ‘folkloristic stages’ … the one they have just left in Germany, like for example the multikulti scenerio of suburban Kreuzberg, and the installed clean modernity of the new buldings near the shore, seemingly more accidently, than necessarily located in Turkey. It seems just to be an exchange concerning the fringes they live at: one time in a society which never offered them a real acceptance, and by returning to their first country their situation, to never fit again, becomes symbolically expressed by the location on the outskirts, despite the paradisical impression near the sea ….

Settlements whose structure and appearance are completely new to Turkey have grown up in the past few years along the main traffic arteries on the outskirts of the larger southern coastal cities. Huge high-rise residential buildings are built in a circle around a kind of park in the middle of
which are swimming pools, meeting areas, restaurants and bars. This is where the so-called “Deutschländer” live, for the most part Turks who worked abroad, mostly in the Federal Republic of Germany, for many years. They have saved up for years, living in small flats and investing their money safely, in order to enjoy their retirement here.
But they haven’t really arrived back in Turkey – too much time has passed by. .. “The more I come to understand the situation of the Turks living in Germany through my documentary work, the more I notice how far these Turks have distanced themselves from Turkey,” says the director Aysun Bademsoy. …
” .. The belief that everything can or must be better in their home country impels them to return – into the newly created ghettos on the outskirts of the big cities. There, where life has long since moved on without them.”
” ..There is nothing folkloristic, like in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. The ghetto attitude there, the complexity, modernity, this being torn – that’s all folklore, too. I like to watch and experience how people deal with families falling apart, how they try to resist changes or, vice versa, try to accelerate progress.”
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