Journalist Alev Karakartal is conducting research about Afro-Turks both within the association and personally. Karakartal recalls that as a child, she was marginalized specifically at times of crisis. “In good times, you are cute and sweet. But at the slightest crisis, the children would yell ‘Arab, Arab’, and you are excluded. In my childhood they did not know ‘negro’. When I was an adult woman, they learned ‘negro’ from American movies and started to say ‘dirty negro’. Once, I even heard someone call me ‘negro’ in English. We are a funny country. We learn the history of slavery in our country and its relation to black people through the USA.” The association has been inviting Afro-Germans (citizens of Germany with African background) to Turkey and getting them together with Afro-Turks. Assistant Professor Körükmez describes an observation which caught her attention especially with regards to children: “We realized that Afro-Turk children are interested in Afro-German children’s books, because Afro-German children’s coloring books have black children and black or mixed families. For this reason, curriculum is really important… The fact that they are given a place in coloring books and textbooks gives the message that the child is recognized. This is a long process, but it has to start at some point.” From time to time, Afro-Turk families make demands to media channels and publishers for books and cartoons that have black representation. As of yet, they have not received a response.
Aynur Tekin in The Organization that Made “The Arab Girl Looks from the Window” (Bianet)
Lees ook deel 2 en 3: How They Work/Cannot Work, Breaking Down the Stereotypes en They Marry White People to Avoid Discrimination (Bianet)