Tulpen uit Turkije

Ebru Göktaş (Theatre Teacher) graduated with the theatre performance "Tulpen uit Turkije" connecting past, present, and future by providing insight into the migration background of the actors.

Ebru shared, 'As a third-generation Turkish Dutchman, I became aware while searching that the migrant workers are a generation that is disappearing. An unknown, and otherwise forgotten story of a generation disappearing. Together with 7 Turkish Dutch youngsters with a migration background, I started searching for what 'we' have become and how connected we still are to them, and they to the Netherlands. Through musicality, playing, dancing, writing, eating together, crying together, we went out to explore. All my performers had creative backgrounds from theatre, music, media, and film. Coming together with these young people was a dream come true for me.

"Tulpen uit Turkijke" is about the struggle of opportunity equality, economic disadvantage, cultural preservation and norms and values, about connecting with yourself, with others, and the environment where you live but also about sacrifices for a better future. "Tulpen uit Turkijke" is not made just to show the viewer a performance, but rather to be in touch and together through the actors, take the journey from 1961 to the here and now. That's why the iftar after the performance was a intentional choice. I hoped that people would talk about the performance, about the process, about the exhibition, about history, and that food would serve as a tool.'


"Tulpen uit Turkije, not just a performance, but a journey through time, a full stomach and a memory..."


Dennis Meyer, dramaturgy supervisor on this project, expressed, 'Ebru uses her work as a Dutch-Turkish theatre teacher to make stories related to diversity discussable and tangible in our current Dutch society. Tulpen uit Turkije departs from her deep desire to honor her Turkish grandparents, who left for the Netherlands for a better future for their children and grandchildren, and to give them the place they deserve in our society.

Güleç Isik-Dirim, Senior IND employee and Alzheimer's whisperer and speaker with an eye for first-generation migrant elderly, stated, 'The theatre maker succeeded in telling with the actors in an original and moving way about how their grandfathers came to the Netherlands from Turkey as first-generation guest workers. The third-generation players explore their origins, and at the end, the audience gets to answer the question: was it worth it? I am pleasantly surprised and deeply moved by the play. For me personally, it feels like a tribute to the first generation of guest workers; so also to my father who has since passed away. I feel sad that he did not live to see this. In his place, I feel proud and grateful for the way our family history has been incorporated into this special performance.

Tulpen uit Turkijke also serves a social interest. Especially at a time when migration flows dominate the news, this performance is invaluable. This play makes a penetrating contribution to raising awareness about the lives of guest workers in the Netherlands and creates recognition and acknowledgment among audiences with a migration background.

A project by:

Ebru Göktaş