Pola81 Readings Nov9
Turkish Headscarves and the “Foreigner Problem”: Constructing Difference
through Emblems of Identity (Ruth Mandel)
-Berlin Wall has many graffiti codes messages.
-One message says “the world, the earth, is not a foreign land, so there are no foreigners”
-Kreuzberg’s reputation as Turkish ghetto, the district is named “Little Istanbul”
-Foreigners called “Gasterbeiter”, guest workers were recruited to West Germany
following the erection of the wall.
-Turks account for the largest guest worker population, 2 million of the four making them
the largest foreign population.
-Foreigners were recruited by West German industry for the importation of labor.
-Bilateral agreement was designed to import temporary workers to fill the gap left in the
-Turks provided the back bone for work and brawn.
-Famous boom economy- “Writhshaftswunder”
-Oil crisis led to evaluation of all guest workers.
-“Foreign problem”- we called for manpower, but people came instead.
-“Gasterbeiter” guest workers, underlines the ambiguity of their status.
-Guests are by definition temporary, and are expected to return home.
-Guests are bound to rules and regulations of hosts.
-Second half of the word- “arbeiter” worker
-Worker refers to the economic and use value of the migrant determined solely in relation
to his or her labour.
-This reduces the migrants to their function
-Headscarf can effectively illuminate some of the facts of the encompassing foreign
-Headscarf illustrates the ways in which identity and inequality are structured.
-Turkish woman wearing a headscarf expresses a specifically mediated identity, signifying
the relation between the wearer and number of things, such as her relatives, her personnel
religion- political views, her financial means, or here region of origin.
-Political pulse of the Turkish Diaspora community is often remarked upon as either
slightly distorted echo of the political climate back in Turkey.
-Turkish secularism was not a separation of the church to the state.
-Female students were paid to wear headscarves to class.
-Headscarf provides a rallying symbol, an alternative to the government policies and state
-There have been protests against the wearing of headscarf’s.
-If the government ignored the headscarf activists, the problem would cease to be a
-That the government is playing into the hands of the fundamentalists, who can cite
persecution and justify their actions on moral grounds by asserting religio-moral
-Government introduces “new” alternative they called it the modern turban.
-It was a headcovering that resembles a cross between a small scarf and a shower cap.
-Obvious marker of the religiosity of a Muslim woman is the headscarf.
-The more the scarf resembles a totally covering veil, the higher the piety/prestige value.
-One mode of differentiating oneself from the Alevi is the type of headgear.
-Power structures are mediated through it, as it has assumed a new meaning of anti-state
-“Over-foreiginization” was feared as a threat to German Cultural Integrity.