De eerste generatie
Deze zomer keren we terug
uit de wereld van de spullen
naar de wereld van de warmte
we kopen een tractor
en we ploegen het land
Vólgende zomer keren we terug
als we een auto hebben, we werken
nog even door, zeggen we in het
Turks tegen de kleine Mustafa
en de kleine Neslihan
We kéren terug op een dag
als we een huis kunnen bouwen
van zeven verdiepingen
als we drie auto’s hebben
als er een Turkse tortel danst
op onze hand
We komen nooit meer thuis
onze kinderen zijn hier geboren,
zij zijn hier gaan horen. En wij
werken bij Droste, zijn gestrand
tussen twee landen, spreken vaak
de woorden, mooie woorden
‘Ooit’ en ‘Als’
Bu yaz geri dönϋyoruz,
Bir traktör alıp,
bir arabamız olursa.
Biraz daha çalışalım diyoruz,
Tϋrkçe kϋçϋk Mustafa’ya,
Bir gϋn geri döneriz
Bir ev yaparsak,
Dans ederse kumrular, elimizin ϋstϋnde
yurdumuza hiç bir zaman
Burda doğdu çocuklar, buralı oldu onlar.
kaldık iki memleket arasında,
çalışıyoruz Droste fabrikasında.
Hep o kelimeleri
O gϋzel sözleri söylϋyoruz
‘bir zamanlar’ ve ‘olsa’ diyoruz
Vertaling: Mustafa Öcal
Jolanda Prinsen Fodor Amsterdam 1975 Turkse gastarbeiders in Haarlem
After 30 years
In the beginning of the seventies, a few hundred turkish gastworkers lived in Haarlem, a little town near Amsterdam. Half of them were illegal. They were taken here by one of the the big compagnies like Hoogovens and Shell.
They were recruited by representatives from the steelfactory Hoogovens in Ijmuiden to do the work where they could not find Dutch workers for. The crimps went to the poorest parts of Turkey, like Anatolia and showed the people there films of Holland like ‘Luilekkerland’ and offered them jobs.
It was told that if they worked two years in Holland, they would have earned enough money to return, buy a piece of land and start their own farm. Also housing was promised. As soon as they came here and worked a few months, it seemed that two years
of working would not be long enough to earn the money for the return.
The social systeem in the countrysite of Anatolia is organised in such a way that the younger male can hardly be missed for the work in the family. When a couple marries the son brings his bride into his fathers house. The older couple than takes care of the newborn children while the younger couple is doing the hard work in the fields.
As soon as the younger male leaves, the family is in trouble, nobody can do the heavy jobs. The men, who left for work in Holland sent the biggelt part of their earnings to their families. What they had to spend here to live on was too little to pay the rent of the houses offered by Hoogovens, so ,they tried to live with as many as possible in the houses. When even this was not enough to push expenses, they rented out their beds if they had night-shifts. Some of them learned fast, bought a house to rent it out to their illegal brothers. Started a pension instead of doing the dangerous work in the factory.
Many of them did not want to return to their country, but let their families come here.
There the problems started.
The Turkish families concentrated in the cheapest parts of Haarlem like ‘Leidse Buurt’, ‘Rozenprieel’ and ‘Stationsbuurt’. These parts of the town were not especially the most tolerant parts, as most of the Dutch people here just bought their first own houses and
defended their properties as it was The New Kingdom. The towncouncil namely desided to sell the old houses to the people who lived there already for a convenient prize, to avoid the costs of necessary renovation. In this perspective ‘others’ were not too welcome.
In 1974 50% of the gastworkers had taken their wives and children to Holland. Then housing problem became even worse as the men could not live together with 8 or 10 people in one room. The women had to go out for work too and put the little babies in sometimes dirty pensions, they looked for the cheapest not the best, or let their children home-alone. The ‘buurtcentrum’ tried the besst but had not enough capacity to solve all these problems.
To have a more direct intercourse with the citizens and to solve problems like renovation, parkings, playgrounds, childcare, schools, safety and gardens the city-counsel (PvdA) installed in 1970 7 ‘wijkraden’ under supervision of a municipal official.
I decided to take place in the ‘Wijkraad Leidse Buurt’ and told the board that I was only interested in the problems of the gastworkers. So we started in collaboration of the ‘Stichting Peregrinus’ and with ‘Het Bak’ (buitenlandsearbeiderscollectief in Amsterdam) to teach Turkish women, to look after the little children, to translate the medical advises and recepies, to find places for abandoned babygirls, to fill out forms and to make pensions more safe by changing the permits of the owners; Turkish or Dutch.
We tried to get the attention of the political parties for help, but the city-council denied the existance of the Turcs and their families. So I went to their houses and pensions and took pictures to prove that there were indeed all these people and brought the whole story
to the Mayor. In the meantime we closed the Buurtcentrum and asked the people to go to the Townhall. As a result the Corporation founded a special committee for the housing of ’difficult categories’. Nothing really changed, it was only a political gesture, so I decided to leave the board and bring the whole matter ‘clear in publication’.
My only chance was my own field. As I could not impress the social organisations with this matter I called this project:’Gastworkers in Haarlem, the utterly consequence of engaged art’ , collected one year reports of debates and meetings with officials of all kinds and Turcs and together with 50 pictures I sent it to the Municipal Art Acquisition of the year 1975 of Amsterdam. I was purchased for a symbolical amount of money (1 gulden) and shown in the Museum Fodor.
Now the political debacle of the Haarlem City councel was spreaduot claerly, revaeled for everyone to see. I invited the Mayor and his board and 40 Turcs to come to the vernissage and they came.
After this many things changed and I felt my task as fullfilled.
Now,thirty years later the situation is completely changed.The second and may-be third generation of foreigners are living in Holland and a part of them developed an independent existance. Also the Dutch attitude is changed. I would like to make these changes visible by asking the Turkish people or their relatives, who are still here or the ones who went back to Turkey or to other places to share their experiences in these years and how they manage now. Making interviews and films of their houses and families. Now and then.