Fatih Özçelik
Translation: John Christensen

Cafe/Bar “Mittelmehr”

Punkt 4: Café/Bar “Mittelmehr”

Many young people from Vorarlberg were curious about the Turkish people, who often gathered in Turkish coffee houses. These cafes were intended mainly for male guests. Backgammon and various card games were popular leisuretime activities. The Turkish tea, “cay”, would often be served. In the back rooms people gambled and drank beer and Raki schnaps, which is rarely talked about these days. Passing the tables, you could overhear conversations about news from home when somebody returned from their vacation. At one of the tables letters from home were translated. Newcomers were welcomed with a cup of tea. The first question to them usually would be: “Memleket neresi?“ which translates to: “Which part of Turkey are you from?” After they answered, the waiter would introduce them to their fellow countrymen. If someone didn’t have a place to stay yet, people from the same village would offer him one. Meeting places like this were important, since regular inns didn’t always offer housing to guest workers.

Foto: Tamer Barbaros

Versammlung im Türkischen Kaffeehaus, Vielfaltenarchiv