Twofold Muhajirs at the Crossroads of Three Cultures: Turkish Georgians in Bergneustadt, Germany
The contemporary world has been facing legal or illegal migrancy, based on social, economic, political, and religious determination. The number of migrants is growing every day. Mostly they are moving from the East to the West or Europe. Movement is not only physical activity, but it is displacement of culture, traditions and customs from one ethnical space to another one. During migration people take with them part of the total culture. On the new soil they encounter new reality, which could be the reason of dual existence, dissatisfaction.
Our research addresses issue of migration of Turkish Georgians in 1960s, from Turkey (Village Hayriye) to Germany (Bergneustadt). Three different cultural elements: - Georgian, Turkish and German, influence their mode of life and affect everyday perception of reality.
During the Russo-Turkish War in 1877-78, Achara and other historical provinces of Georgia were attached to the Russian Empire. One part of the Georgian population came under Russian rule; the other part emigrated as “Muhajirs” to Ottoman Turkey. As a result of living in culturally different countries (Russia, Ottoman Empire), the life ways of the Georgian Muslim communities began to diverge. In 1960s due to high levels of unemployment in Turkey and the need for inexpensive labour in the expanding economies of Europe, Turkey concluded bilateral agreement to supply workers to Germany. Approximately one million Turks crossed the border up to 1974, hoping to get rich fast. Twofold Muhajirs at the crossroads of three cultures, without (home) land, the real and permanent one, strangers in foreign and “native” land, torn apart by two sorts of memories, try to make a new beginning, to fit in with new “motherland” (Germany) and at this time to maintain ethnic culture, space and identity.