Klaus, the tutor of the workshop, sent us a link to this great page with old photos of Kadıköy. It’s funny how at the moment I’m building an image, an conception of this place only out of photos and texts. But I guess that is why I wanted to start this blog so that I can follow this process and when I’m there compare it with what I actually see.

As I have no idea about Istanbul and Turkey except hearing about stuff on the news (Kurdish question or the headscarf debate) or reading in the history books (Otoman empire and its influence on Serbia) or the very few things I learned from living in Kreuzberg and Berlin with it being the biggest Turkish settlement outside of Turkey (at least that is what people say), I thought I should read some books beforehand, get informed. It is scary how little I really know what with living in Germany and having this big Turkish community here – and I’m not an exception.

So I read two books in the last few days that were helpful. One is “Türkei. Ein Land jenseits der Klischees” by Jürgen Gottschlich which is a perfect introduction if you have no idea like me. It gives an overview about the history, politics, everyday culture, mentions some films and books, so that I now feel that I have a basis where I can dig deeper. Of course it would be great if I could speak some Turkish but I guess I won’t manage to learn more than evet, lütfen and merhaba in the month that is left until the trip. Continue reading “Preparations”