The glowing success of Turks in Germany
I begin my post with the migration wave of Turks who flocked to Germany in the 60s, and of which all their income and asset information was first shared with Germany and I will share my thoughts on these individuals’ potentials and achievements which reminded me of my experiences. This week's post is about them.
Last week, interesting news about Turks in Germany caught my eye. Many people might have overlooked this news because it didn't make much of the headlines. According to this news from Germany, the country of Turkia and people of Turkish origin and their earnings from all kinds of legal entities and bank account information will be “officially” announced at the end of this year. With an understanding and agreement with Turkia, The German Ministry of Finance will be sharing a letter explaining their bank account details from January 1, 2021, and expecting approximately an additional 10 billion Euros of additional taxes from these accounts. The auditing firm KPMG warned its customers by making a statement that "Germans can do retrospective research". You can read the full text of the news at the link https://www.sozcu.com.tr/2020/dunya/almanya-turklerin-hesaplarina-erisebilir-1-ocakta-resmen-basleyen-6035923/. You can find the chart below that describes this new taxation system of Germany:
In this way, the German governments, which forces many people to become or dismiss German citizenship with a "choose your side" approach against dual passport holders, continues to protect its national interests with another sharp strategy to collect more taxes. These strategic moves can often be a matter of debate, and you can hear criticisms that these practices are not compatible with universal values. Of course, in this last tax move, there are Turks in Germany at the tip of the barrel.
The bright face of the Turks in Germany
The Turks in Germany and the Turkia and Germany relationship have much to share about their issues. Experiencing integration problems, the political strife between Germany in Turkia, the Syrian immigrant’s issue, how the Bergama (Pergamon Altar) being an ancient ruin was allowed to be transported to the city of Berlin, how evident the sectarian differences are and because of the different opinions divided between Turks living in Germany, issues such as conflicts, racism and racist attacks in Germany are all topics that can be blog posts. However, in this article, my aim is to convey the bright face of the Turks in Germany to you.
When the Ritz-Carlton Hotel opened on October 6, 2001, our first General Manager was a man from Monaco. Imagine this, 25 days after the events of September 11, the occupancy rate of the hotel is around 8%, 1 day after opening the hotel, America entered Afghanistan and the hotel was almost empty, and it was like the General Manager who opened the hotel, was living in a furnace, that he proceeded to conducting more business by opening the most "fine dining" (gourmet) restaurant ever and bringing one of France's young award-winning chefs over. Frankly, I liked the fact that the food was futuristic at CAM restaurant, especially having mini tasting options that you could not find anywhere else. However, the restaurant, which was governed by very strict rules such as not accepting more than 25 people, was also very expensive. So, it was literally running at a loss. In the end, the Monaco general manager left and instead of him, came a German General Manager, Rainer, and then the French chef of the CAM restaurant left (which, sadly, Rainer and I were part of). We managed to ensure the financial sustainability of our investment with the operational restructuring of the hotel and the financial restructuring. The moves we made even enabled us to come out with the least damage from the effects of the terror bomb attacks that took place in Istanbul in 2003. I enjoyed working with Rainer, who managed a very successful operation. He was both German-disciplined and fun and conscientious. I was upset when he transferred to Germany after Istanbul.
A pleasant conversation with Rainer years after
Years had passed, and during one of my visits, I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, Germany. Of course, I informed Rainer that I was coming. Continually progressing in his career, Rainer welcomed me in the best way at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin as the director of several hotels. During this encounter years later, I asked him the first question on my mind, so we tackled an interesting subject together. Our dialogue had developed more or less like this:
Serhan: What are the differences between Turkish hotel professionals and German hotel professionals?
Rainer: I was trying to teach employees how to be more efficient in Turkia, and here I have to teach them how to be more friendly, such as showing a smile and being hospitable like people are in Turkia.
S: Well, there are Turks here too. You can create that environment by directly recruiting them
R: You are right. Actually, I thought about that at first. Our human resources searched and met with the German-Turks we were looking for, but somehow we could not find the professionals with the exact qualifications we wanted.
S: Are there any Turkish people working in this hotel?
R: There is. But unfortunately, as I planned, there is no Turkish manager or candidate for management. Working Turks are generally less qualified. Still, they do their best for their jobs.
S: Can you show me a Turk working here?
R: For example, we have a shoe shiner working next to the reception at the entrance. It is not as successful as in Istanbul, but he still does his job well. Although it’s not much, I tried to being the atmosphere from Turkia here, customers are satisfied with this extra service.
S: You can recruit them from university and raise young Turks from scratch.
R: Yes, I thought of this alternative as well, but it takes at least 5-7 years for me to teach and raise them to achieve the desired result. By then, I’ll be gone, you know, we all stay in a certain place for a limited time, so I wouldn’t even see the final result.
S: You can sow your seeds now.
R: Yes, I could. Frankly, it is interesting to me that when there are Turks in Germany and Berlin who carry so many hospitality genes, I cannot find someone with the qualities I want.
S: Honestly, it seemed strange to me that you could not find qualified Turkish professionals in Berlin. I hope human resources will solve the problem and more Turks will have the opportunity to work in such a business.
Efficient like a German, friendly like a Turk...
After talking about all this, this topic really got to me. I got upset when I thought about it and I opened up this subject to some of my German Turkish friends. All of them had different explanations on this subject, but the information they provided contained some similarities. In the 1960s, Germany, whose labour force opened the way of immigration to Turks, still has Turks who have not been able to integrate for generations, as well as Turks who are more like Germans than Germans. This somewhat has an influence from where they came from in Turkia, their beliefs, their associations and whether they are open to change or not.
However, a small majority have created a little Turkia in Germany. This, of course, angered the Germans who were sensitive about integration. Lack of training for hotel professionals at international level is also a matter of human resources. If they give importance to this issue, I think they can train many hotel professionals who work efficiently like Germans and are friendly like Turks.
Is there anyone who grew up this way? Of course, there is. When I went to Germany at different times, I met wonderfully educated and good character Turks there. There are also Turks who were raised in Turkia and immigrated to Germany. Most of these are Turkish professionals working in qualified German companies or institutions, specializing in niche areas such as engineering and architecture. I even came across German Turks who started their own initiatives. These are the bright faces of the Turks in Germany. Of course, we should not forget the parents and relatives who have made great sacrifices in order to raise these people. Without them, these luminous faces would not have arisen. A big hello to all of them from here.
Workshop on "Higher Education Turkish Immigrants"
Ferhan, who founded the CTC group while working at the IMF, managed to bring together a great group of Turks who are experts in their own fields in many parts of the world. The CTC group, which initially issued declarations on 92 issues to set an example, once worked like a "think tank" group. Gozde, whom I met from this group, lives in Germany and worked in the innovation department of Mercedes. During our speeches, the Union of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMB) in Germany stated that there are Higher Education Turkish Immigrants (YÖTG) working groups and that they will hold their workshops titled "Renewable Energy and Environment" in Frankfurt on 9 November 2019 and invited me to this workshop as a speaker. Having already met Gozde and the attraction of speaking to Turkish immigrants with higher education in Germany made me say "OK, I'll come" without thinking too much about it. This talk to be made in the field of renewable energy fits well with my mission to share the concept of renewable energy everywhere. That's why I organized my program and I was present at the workshop on November 9, 2019. You can find the program below.
In the program that started at 1pm, my panel started around 4.30pm. The hall was full. Amongst the 3 speakers on our panel, I took the second place. Although it was the last speech of the day, I can say that I made a very productive speech on my behalf, as I had enjoyed the things that had been voiced and the environment so far. A positive environment and people affect me very positively. I literally went into autopilot. The questions and posts also showed that the audience was involved. I made my presentation with great pleasure.
The speech I made was in the workshop report (you can find the whole report at http://yotg.tmmb.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Calistay-2_Rapor_SON_2.pdf) and as follows:
Serhan Suzer: 100% Renewable Energy in Turkia
As the last speaker of the second panel, Eko Group General Manager H. Serhan Suzer took the floor. Stating that the world population exceeds 7 billion and fossil fuels are still used predominantly in per capita energy consumption, Suzer said that he had a perception for years that solar energy is not suitable for investment. Over the years it has changed and that today solar energy in Turkia, where the average solar radiation rates are higher where available production unit costs (LCO A) were under, and as per the report by TMMB - Turkish Engineers and Architects Germany Workshop, stated that highly educated Turkish Migrants had reduced to 13 and according to Suzer, energy can be produced with solar energy technologies without the need for incentives.
Stating that solar energy has two different radiations, namely Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) and Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI), Suzer said that GHI is used for electricity and DHI for heat. Suzer also stressed that the potential of both in Turkia was high and in terms of the Global Horizontal Irredian, he underlined that after Spain, Turkia's was second in line to this.
In case of applications in the field of solar energy and for Germany and Turkia to be united as one, Suzer said together they can create much value and that Turkia is the China of Europe. However, he added that this potential has not yet been utilized by either country.
Suzer said that Turkia needs to gravitate to the use of solar energy and listed the following reasons why:
-Economic: A very important part of our current account deficit stems from energy imports. If we produce energy with our own renewable energy sources instead of importing it, our country can have a current surplus every year and create a serious economic advantage.
-Ecological: By burning fossil fuels, we increase carbon emissions every year and thus cause climate change by destroying nature.
-Energy Independence and National Security: We are dependent on countries such as Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia in areas such as natural gas and oil. Some countries can use the energy supply as a threat. This is a national security issue. We need to achieve our energy independence as soon as possible.
The CEO of the EkoRe companies and the facilitator of the Nigde Bor OSB which integrated a combination of all processes of a solar panel, Suzer indicated that they started the production facility with the project-based incentive granted from the Republic of Turkia from which 19 companies entered. Saying that they will use Swiss-German technology, Suzer emphasized that they will create a cluster around the factory where both solar panels and other parts of solar energy systems are produced. Stating that it targets markets in countries such as America, Canada and Australia, Suzer said that the competition with the Chinese did not scare them, but that the biggest power of the Chinese was doing many projects in their own countries, reducing their costs and gaining experience. On the contrary, he said that Turkia has many advantages over China, and two of these advantages are as following: technological superiority in terms of productivity, the geography that we are based in and the fact that some countries have quotas against China.
Titling the project "100% domestic solar panels for energy independence" Serhan Suzer stated that the ultimate goal, after silicon mines and the most recent solar cells and solar panel production, was to take advantage of its own high solar power potential, and with the addition of electrical storage systems, the country won’t need anything else in terms of energy.
While I was talking about all these issues, the following words came out of my mouth without thinking: Us Turks are the synthesis of East and West. The important thing is to take the good sides of the Eastern and Western cultures that we are all so familiar with and act accordingly. We are people who are capable of doing this. If we manage to discipline ourselves, we will make a difference in every environment we are in with different perspectives.
Here is the presentation I made to the Turkish architects and engineers in Frankfurt:
Sharing and learning
Afterwards, we took some questions and ended our conversation in a pleasant way. Immediately afterwards, we ended the event after receiving the certificate of appreciation they gave us as a speaker and had a final photo shoot. After this, an event was organized for us Turks. We went to a typical German restaurant together. The pleasant conversations that took place continued here as well. Again, the Turkish style group of about 20 people left the restaurant and went to the hotel where they hosted us. I returned home on Sunday morning, at the earliest hour of the morning. Despite all the tiredness, it was worth it for me to go to Frankfurt for a day and return. I enjoyed it very much and I learnt new things. I especially learnt new things from Suat Bakir's presentation about Turks in Germany and the conversations that followed.
I remember having this thought inside me: “This is it. I wish the calibre of Turkish immigrants living in Europe were as high as this. Then these issues will not even be discussed. Us Turks, can make great contributions to the society we live in beyond prejudices. But were still dealing with unnecessary things".
Increasing the success of Turks in Germany
On this occasion, I would like to express my greetings to my three German Turk friends. Dear Selda, who was my neighbour at the residence where I lived in at the time, worked as a senior manager in a world-class German company and helped me personally with the work to be done to save our turbines when the German turbine company went bankrupt, and then to my beloved Ilknur (and her brother) who I don’t remember how we met but we crossed paths in many different places, who opened the door to me being a founding member of the Soho House, who is also the master of networking, and finally to one of the few experts in Germany on artificial intelligence whom I enjoyed talking to about technology, and someone who has much initiative on these issues, who is also the dean of the Berlin Technical University, greetings to my dear Mr Sahin.
To summarize, it is necessary to increase the number of glowing Turks in Germany, which I mentioned in this article. In fact, there are very valuable Turks living not only in Germany, but also in other countries of Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Asia and many different countries of the world. Increasing their numbers will benefit both the society in which they live and the land of their origin. Us Turks can eliminate the negativities of the geography we live in and, on the contrary, turn the positive aspects into a power that can be beneficial for humanity. This potential exists in all of us. As long as we go through good education and make disciplined work our custom.