About the symposium

As is well known, the date of October 30, 1961 is important for both Turkey and Germany. The year 2021 coincides with the 60th year of the Turkish presence in Germany, which was guaranteed by signing of the recruitment agreement between Turkey and Germany.Being aware of the responsibility brought about by this special situation, Turkish-German University will organize the Symposium on the 60th Anniversary of the Turkish Presence in Germany between 31.01.2022-01.02.2022.

In the Symposium of the 60th Anniversary of the Turkish Presence in Germany, which has an international character, it is aimed to examine the Turkish presence in Germany from a broad perspective by focusing on many areas such as education, culture, science, art, commerce, economy, technology, sports, politics and law. In this context, academics and researchers from different countries and disciplines are invited to come together, think together and share their ideas.



A history of flops and a new turn: The Turkish-German music interplay

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Turkish-German music interplay the article outlines a history of the reception of Turkish music in Germany. What remained the story of a rather unsuccessful effort to connect Turkish-speaking and German-speaking people in the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, has changed with German-Turkish hip-hop since the 1990 and more significantly over the last few years with (neo-)Anatolian pop – with vocals in Turkish – now being well received in Germany and internationally.

In a first step, the article examines why the earlier attempts to establish a Turkish-German music interplay flopped, how the cultural framework of reception and distribution of music was built in Germany for both audiences, and which social, cultural and musical conflicts were in play. To this effect, the main focus is set on a special case of interplay serving as an example: Musicians singing Turkish pop music in German and musicians singing German pop music in Turkish.

After decades of flops in Turkish-German music interplay and after decades of German-Turkish hip-hop it now works even the more complicated way, that is with vocals in Turkish and Turkish elements in the musical structure and instrumentation. The latter have been an obstacle for gaining non-Turkish people’s musical appreciation in Germany for a long time. But what has been an obstacle now turns out to be an asset, as for the first time a considerable non-Turkish speaking audience in Germany is enjoying (neo-)Anatolian pop. This leads to the second step of the analysis, which will address the question of how this could happen by investigating the elements that induced this change.

The analysis of the described topic will draw on Popular Music Studies, decolonial discussions as well as a comparative perspective. The latter is focused on (non-)transfer, (non-)exchange and (non-)interplay to enlighten inter-ethnic and inter-cultural issues of connection or separation.