"Personally I look back on that time with mixed feelings. We soon realised it would mean something for the Turkish community, those changes, but it has changed society, too."

Berrin Alpbek on German unification, 2021

Who is Berrin Alpek?

Positive and negative experiences after 1990

Life with the Wall

Involvement in political and cultural societies

Welcome money in 1989

From a divided city to a multicultural metropolis

Hospitality and jobs

Berrin Alpbek‘s Turkish parents moved to West Berlin in the early 1970s. Their children stayed in Turkey to complete their schooling as they feared it would not be possible in Germany for the children of "guest workers". Berrin Alpbek visited her parents every year in the school holidays. In 1982 she, too, moved to West Berlin to study business economics. After graduating she worked in a bank. Today she runs a career-finding project for female migrants. Alongside her profession, she has been an active volunteer for the Berlin Turkish Parent Association and Türkischer Bund Berlin for several decades. Thirty years after the fall of the Wall, Berrin Alpbek remembers the sense of euphoria at the time but also how the social climate changed and Turkish-Germans and East Germans found themselves competing for jobs.

"The Easties, the Westies, we Turks … we felt as if were all showing solidarity with one another, or were trying to. It wasn’t the same later when jobs became an issue."

Berrin Alpbek on competition in the job market, 2021

Contemporary witnesses