Turkish Émigrés, European Artists: Re/Discovering a Web of Turkish-European Artists in 1980s West Germany and Europe1

Berna Gueneli


In 1980, the (third) military coup in Turkey resulted in mass emigration. Among the émigrés were several artists, including filmmakers, actors, singer-songwriters, painters, and sculptors, who moved, for example, to Germany, Sweden, and France. They began to form a European web of émigrés working on music, film, theater, and paintings, thereby creating an artistic diaspora. This article identifies a group of lesser-studied émigré artists in Germany and Europe, lays out their networks and creative practices, and ultimately shifts the perspective on migration in the 1980s. Films such as Yilmaz Güney’s The Wall (1982) in France, Tuncel Kuritz’s Hasan the Rose/Gül Hasan (1980) in Sweden, musical recordings such as Cem Karaca’s “Die Kanaken” (1984) in Cologne, and the work of artist Ismail Saray in London of the 1980s, among others, help to show their asymmetrical web of trans-European connections. (BG)

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