Migrant Media: Turkish Broadcasting and Multicultural Politics in Berlin

Migrant Media: Turkish Broadcasting and Multicultural Politics in Berlin

Migrant Media: Turkish Broadcasting and Multicultural Politics in Berlin

Migrant Media: Turkish Broadcasting and Multicultural Politics in Berlin

Synopsis

In this innovative and thought-provoking study, Kira Kosnick explores the landscape of Turkish-language broadcasting in Berlin. From 24-hour radio broadcasting in Turkish to programming on Germany's national public broadcasting and local public access channels, Germany's largest immigrant minority has made its presence felt in German media. Satellite dishes have appeared in migrant neighborhoods all over the city, giving viewers access to Kurdish channels and broadcasts from Turkey. Kosnick draws on interviews with producers, her own participation in production work, and analysis of programs to elaborate a new approach to "migrant media" in relation to the larger cultural and political spaces through which immigrant life is imagined and created.

Excerpt

It was hot on a late summer evening in Berlin in 1994. the living room windows of Deniz and Zerdi’s apartment were wide open, facing a busy street in the western district of Schöneberg. the kids had just gone to bed, after an hour of exchanging banter with me in English at their parents’ request. the English lesson was over, and we were to move on to the Turkish part, with me as the student. Yet, Deniz and Zerdi, both in their early 30s, were firmly placed in front of the television, channel-zapping as they tried to catch news on the Kurdish rally that had taken place earlier that day in Frankfurt. They had wanted to go, but could not leave their newspaper store, where they worked long hours six days a week. Deniz got lucky with the German public service channel ard, which briefly covered the rally in its evening news program. the report stated that 15,000 people had attended the rally from all over Germany. Deniz exclaimed, “Not true—there were twice as many!” Zerdi told me that they had heard about the numbers who attended the rally from relatives who had participated. “But television always lies,” Deniz said, adding that “the Turkish channels are fascist anyhow, and the only place where you can get the truth is the Kurdish programs on the Open Channel.” There were lots of programs produced by migrants from Turkey on Berlin’s open access television channel, they told me, and some of their friends were broadcasting there as well.

At that time, the summer of 1994, Berlin was teeming with migrant media projects that used television to proclaim their own truths and speak for different kinds of constituencies. These projects broadcast against the grain of large network television stations in both Germany and Turkey. Five years later, Berlin became the first city outside of Turkey to have its own twenty-four-hour Turkish radio station. Satellite dishes have appeared in migrant neighborhoods all over the city, providing access to television channels from Turkey, but also to transnational Kurdish channels broadcasting . . .

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