“Our goal was for the children to achieve something great!”

BOn some questions, Hakan Civelek seeks refuge in irony. If, for example, someone wants to know again whether they think more Turkish or German. Until eleven o’clock in German, he then says, the rest of the day in Turkish. He made it that way because people often ask him about his inner turmoil. Civelek, an elegant man with gray hair, says he has no desire to constantly add his German and Turkish shares to the scales. With which daily varying result? In such situations, he always remembers his father.

Hakan Civelek is 54 years old, but he often thinks about how his father absorbed Germany. Salih Civelek came to Germany in 1961, shortly after the signing of the recruitment agreement with Turkey on October 30th, as one of the first Turkish guest workers. For the time being, only ten skilled workers were to be sent to Lübeck, the 33-year-old bricklayer from Rize, a town on the Black Sea, was assigned to them. He got lucky. At that time, so they tell each other in the family, guest workers in the region were still something special. Whoever employed you spread the word.