>Today’s game, the first semifinal:
20:45, in Basel: Germany vs Turkey 3:2.
Tonight’s game is getting a lot of positive-spin press because of the fact that people of Turkish (and Kurdish) descent make up Germany’s largest ethnic minority, with around 2.7 million living in the country, and conversely, Turkey is a popular vacation destination for many sun-seeking Germans. It seems that everyone is sort of hoping there will be no fighting, and up to now there hasn’t been. Turks on television have said things like (paraphrased): “Of course I want Turkey to win, that’d be fantastic. But Germany often wins these things, and if they do, that won’t be so bad either!” The press has also made sure to show a lot of cars that have both the Turkish and German flags flying (of which there may well be many. Here in Austria I have seen quite a few with Turkish and Austrian flags together.)
My own experience after Turkey’s last win, out on the street, was rather exhilarating. People were smiling at strangers, honking their car horns, shouting out their joy. Whole families out celebrating their win.
People in the Turkish community must often find themselves stuck between identities, wanting just to build peaceful, prosperous lives for themselves in the countries in which many of them (and their parents) were born, and yet feeling the national and ethnic pride (and the discrimination) of being “from” a country where many of them have never even been.
I’ve been following the German team’s games, and I’ll be rooting for them tonight (between scenes during a performance; hooray for the tv in the non-smoking lounge,) but hey, if Turkey wins, that won’t be so bad either!