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Why I Can Never Be a Proper German – Essay on Racism: Growing Up Turkish in Germany

By Özlem Gezer

07 Nov 2013 · 7 min read

Turks make up Germany's largest ethnic minority, and SPIEGEL reporter Özlem Gezer grew up in the port city of Hamburg as a part of this community. She describes herself as a "model immigrant," but explains how Germans have made her feel she could never be one of them.

"Would you sleep with someone who isn't circumcized?" I was 14 and had just arrived at a party thrown by my friend Marie, and this was one of the first questions of the evening. Others followed: "Are you allowed to have a German boyfriend? Does your father talk to you about sex? Wouldn't you at least like to try a bit of the pork, after all?" New people, old questions.

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