Why do people feel spirited when they clap

I know I shouldn't be saying that. Sentences like: "The blacks have the rhythm in their blood" or "The Africans can just dance". (Who are "the Africans" again?) I shouldn't say this ... because it's just fucking nonsense.

Only ... it's true with Turks!

Turks. Are. Musically. It is so.

While the audience in the Musikantenstadl is swaying geriatrically from one side to the other, Turks can play at least ten old Turkish folk songs by heart at every opportunity.

Turks can clap along syncopated! And they do it all the time: bam badambam, bam badambam, bam badambam instead of Teutonic umtata, umtata, umtata. Turks can be cooped up in a restaurant, no matter how small, at an advanced hour some guest like Inspector Gadget will certainly pull a saz, a Turkish long-necked lute, from under the chair and the guests will begin to dance in rows in every little crack and corner (and without having to look at one's own feet) to dance.

The temper has to get out somehow. It was the same with my brother and me. We were by far the loudest kids in the neighborhood. To the outside world we probably looked like two naughty people in the best Bavarian tradition, I quote Gerhard Polt: Hundskrüppel. In reality, however, only a genetically deep treasure of Turkish songs went through with us if we practiced for hours how to syncopally correct a football against the entrance gate, or tested our own vocal range with reverb in the underground car park.

Why the melodic noise?

So the next time you catch a horde of adolescent suspected German Turks in the subway with loudly turned up music, they can't help it. Or don't know how to behave.

A long Turkish halay dance is possibly going on in their heads, which only ends when they fall into bed tired in the evening.

Why the melodic noise? I boldly say here that it must all be due to the Turkish language.

Attention, little digression: Turkish is mainly characterized by the vowel harmony, which you learn in every first Turkish lesson. The small vowel harmony means that the vowels e, i, ö, ü must be followed by an e. After the vowels a, ı, o, u there is always an a. But it gets really interesting with the great vowel harmony: e and i are followed by i, a and ı are always followed by ı, and after o and u there is always u. And the best: ö and ü are always followed by ü.

That might sound a bit confusing, but it explains a lot. So if you have always wondered why there are so many Ü in the Turkish language, it will now probably fall from your eyes like scales. The Turkish language is bursting with vowels, therefore: Where there is an Ü, there are usually several at the same time. Turkish Ü are pack animals. They feel uncomfortable alone.

My mother's favorite Turkish word: Kültür Müdürlüğü

And what might look stupid and sound strange at first, actually sounds pretty melodic as a result. Just like music.

For example one of the first Turkish words that my father taught my mother and that has been her favorite Turkish word ever since: Kültür Müdürlüğü. That means nothing else than culture department. Or in Isar Turkish then Kültürabteilung.

When I moved back to Germany with my family, my teachers in the new kindergarten noticed me, but they couldn't say with what. I spoke German as normal. But something was different. After a few weeks my parents figured it out: I spoke German with Turkish singsong. I didn't speak German, I sang it.

By the way, I am amazed that I was noticed at all in Bavaria with my German sung in Turkish. Because at least the Bavarian and Turkish have one thing in common: a very unique form of the genitive. For example, if you want to express in Turkish that it's about Hansi's mother, you write: Hansi'nin annesi. Literally translated it means: the Hansi his mother.

So if that's not Bavarian ...

Column "Die Isartürkin"

Something is going terribly wrong in the relationship between Germans and Turks. SZ editor Deniz Aykanat, 34, carries both sides. Most of the time they get along well. Here she writes regularly about her life between Bavaria and the Bosporus. You can find all episodes of the column here.