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<   No. 5122   2024-01-30   >

Comic #5122

1 Haken: You are my prisoners. March!
2 Monty: Why are you in Turkey, Haken?
3 Haken: I like a good döner kebab.
4 Haken: Und I cannot see any way that Berlin will have decent Turkish food in die future!

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You kind of need to know a bit about modern Berlin cuisine to appreciate this one.

Let's just say that Wikipedia's article on doner kebab (current as of this comic) uses a photo of a German döner kebab as its primary illustration; and under "Regional variations" the section on Germany is three times the size of the sections for any other country. It also points out that in a 2007 survey, döner kebab was voted the "most characteristic food of Berlin". The BBC says that döner kebab is Germany's most popular street/fast food and that Berlin boasts more kebab shops than Istanbul.

Historically, of course, it wasn't this way, and specifically in the period in which this comic is set. Turkish immigration to Germany only really began in earnest in October 1961, when post-war West Germany and the Republic of Turkey signed a labour recruitment agreement, which allowed Turks to get jobs in Germany. They were so well received that German employers pressured the government to remove a two-year limitation on their stay, so that the Turkish workers could keep working for longer. Then in 1974, West Germany introduced family reunification migration laws, which allowed Turks who had initially planned to return to Turkey to bring their families over to Germany instead.

The relatively large immigrant population from Turkey of course brought their cuisine with them, and then adapted dishes to suit German tastes, resulting in the delicious and widespread availability across Germany of döner kebab and other Turkish dishes that we are blessed with today.

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