Tuğsal Moğul: “For years I wanted Germany to lose”

Tuğsal Moğul is a doctor, actor, director and football fan. He grew up as the son of Turkish immigrants in Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia, and socialized in football there. Next summer he will stage the play “Our Eleven – A Slightly Different National Anthem” at the Hannover State Theater as part of the cultural program of the European Football Championship.

ONLINE TIME: Mr. Moğul, Germany is playing against them. Türkiye? Who are you for?

Tuğsal Moğul: Difficult … (considered) I think the Turkish team is doing very well at the moment, they have improved a lot. But there are both souls in my chest. I also think İlkay Gündoğan is great. I can’t decide, I’m for both.

ONLINE TIME: How representative are you of this disunity among the millions of German Turks?

Magnate: Many will probably support the Turkish team more than the German team. That is football fanaticism. It always surprises me that many are still fans of Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray or Besiktaş. I always think: Hey, okay, I’ve been a Borussia Mönchengladbach fan since I was a kid. But there are also people like me. The community is very divided on this.

ONLINE TIME: What relationship do you have with the German team?

Magnate: For years I wanted Germany to lose. I was born here, my native language is German, but for a long time I couldn’t identify with this team.


Magnate: Don’t know. Maybe they were all too bio-German for me and I didn’t see myself there. In 1986, in the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany, I was very happy that Argentina won 3-2. I was 17 at the time and I don’t know why. Of course I knew the German players better than the Argentinian ones, but that feeling was not there. I would never have worn a Germany shirt.

Tuğsal Moğul is a German-Turkish doctor, director and actor. He appeared in several film and television films. His theatrical work focuses mainly on the themes of migration, racism and right-wing extremism. More recently he directed “And Now Hanau.” He is a fan of Borussia Mönchengladbach. © Linda Rose Hall

ONLINE TIME: Does that seem to have changed at some point?

Magnate: To the 2006 World Cup, the so-called fairy tale of summer. There was a lot of euphoria in this country and I also found the team friendly. It was more diverse and set up differently. But also the sporting aspect, a few years later, Mesut’s legs and Mesut’s playing style, seemed excellent to me. For me he was one of the best and Jogi Löw never wanted to do without him. Then I bought my first Germany shirt.

ONLINE TIME: Of Mesut Ozil?

Magnate: Yes, the one from the 2014 World Cup. Curiously, I even bought it in Türkiye. It was my birthday at the World Cup final, so I sat in front of the TV wearing the shirt and watched the game with bio-German friends and neighbors. That was exciting. I would have liked Özil to score the decisive goal. But even that wouldn’t have stopped what happened four years later.

ONLINE TIME: They say it: everything seemed to be going well. In 2010 the photo appeared with Angela Merkel and Mesut Özil in the locker room, in 2014 he was proclaimed world champion. He now has a Gray Wolves tattoo. What just happened?

Magnate: Özil even got the integration bambi. With him, with his example, it would have been possible to involve many young people and further promote integration. But he was also the wrong person for it. He never aggressively addressed the issue of integration. And then the radical change he made after Erdoğan’s photo and his resignation via Twitter, perhaps also whispered by false friends and advisors. But I also think a lot of racist resentment happened to him. It is a mystery to me why the antipathy towards him was so great beforehand.

ONLINE TIME: For example?

Magnate: It has been said for a long time: he will not sing the national anthem. But in 1974 no one sang the national anthem, so it wasn’t a problem at all. He also once said that he prays during this time to concentrate. Yes, then she will. What’s wrong with it? I still don’t understand that. I am an East Westphalian child, I feel very Westphalian, but at the same time I always have the feeling that it is never enough. Even with a name like Mesut or Tuğsal, which is always mispronounced. The ğ in my name remains silent, but is said constantly, even after an explanation, Tugsal. But now there are other letters that also belong to Germany. We are a country of immigration and we are the children. Germany has to get used to those faces, those eyes. That’s Germany.

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