by Ferdinand Kohle (Graduate, Chemistry)
Re-photographed image set
Using the widely accessible street view imagery data base of the American web mapping service application by Google Maps I virtually travelled from Cornell campus to my home country, Germany. I wanted to explore the extent of the visibility of the influence of Turkish immigrants to European countries, particularly in Germany.
I was born on the European continent, and my country is part of the European Union. But do I feel European? Foremost, I feel German. I was born and raised in Germany. More than anything else I would consider it my home. However, as a German, I also feel like a part of Europe. Maybe the key to a European identity is the preservation of a unique national identity within a European Union.
But how does a student in Germany of Turkish heritage identify himself; Does he feel German? Does he feel European? Geographically, Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Politically, Turkey is a candidate to enter the European Union. From the about 4 million Turkish citizens living in European countries approximately 50 % live in Germany. This number makes the Turkish population the largest ethnic minority in Germany.
Just from my conversational experience I would call the presence of Turkish culture in Germany a lesser known “fact” outside of Germany.
What Turkish influence can I see from an outside perspective, non-German and non-Turkish? Many probably know the popular fast food restaurants called “Döner-Kebab”, but is a larger Turkish influence visible on the streets?
How do these immigrants create their own identity in Germany, and is a Turkish influence possibly contributing to a new German identity?
Imagery was created by using the relatively limited Google Maps street view in Germany. Images were then re-photographed from the screen using a digital SLR camera. Color and perspective were adjusted as necessary. No additional censorship was performed.
 Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkish Citizens Living Abroad. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://www.mfa.gov.
 Ausländerzentralregister (AZR), Anzahl der Ausländer in Deutschland nach Herkunftsland. Retrieved December 31, 2011, from http://de.statista.com.