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Society & Stories

Successful integration is when…

Surprisingly, I can still remember the date that I successfully became integrated in Germany. It was 17 August 1999 at 3 a.m. I had the chance to experience what it feels like to be successfully integrated into German society.

On that day I could even feel it in my entire body from head to toe. The process lasted exactly 45 seconds. And I didn’t have this feeling in Dortmund, but in Istanbul. I was in a hotel. 4th floor. Room 401. Alone. Unfortunately. At 2 a.m. I went to sleep and at exactly 3 a.m. I was torn out of my sleep. A very strong earthquake had taken place. An 7.4 earthquake on the Richter scale. I wanted to cry for help. But I couldn’t. Why not? Because at that moment, I couldn’t remember what “help” was in Turkish… “Neydi lan, neydi? Hay Allah!” …

And then it was clear to me for the first time: You’re integrated. Welcome to Germany!

Text: Ilhan Atasoy

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