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