They answer the phone as Ralf Becker and Ilona Manzke. Friendly, patient and competent, they work for a company based »down south« as they explain to customers enquiring as to the business location. But these call centre agents who speak perfect German with endearing regional accents are actually based a little further south than their customers might imagine, namely in huge, open-plan air-conditioned offices in Istanbul. German companies from Lufthansa to Neckermann have come here to find qualified staff for low wages.

Bülent (30), Murat (39), Fatoş (43) and Ciğdem (33) share the memories of their childhood and youth in Germany. Now all of them live in Istanbul, three of them against their will. Only Ciğdem, the young manager with a German passport freely opted for a life in Istanbul. Bülent was deported five years ago; Fatoş and Murat were forced to go to Turkey by their parents. Even after decades in their parents’ country of origin, the three have never really managed to make it their home. 20 years later it is very insecure if they can make their dream of returning to Germany come true. Meanwhile they live in a a »surrogate Germany« they have constructed for themselves.