Ok, one last time, then enough has really been said, written and complained about the Federal President’s kebab. This is followed by a brief rescue of honor for the kebab and for Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s idea of ​​taking the Berlin snack bar operator Arif Keleş and his 60-kilo meat skewer from Berlin to Istanbul.

The kebab is the staple not only of this journey, but also of the journey of those many young Turkish men and women, which began in 1961 at Istanbul’s Sirkeci train station, which Steinmeier visited on the first day of his visit. The kebab is a symbol of the ultimately successful arrival of those people who were once called guest workers in Almanya. A quick dish developed from a local dish that over the years and decades has become the not-so-secret national dish of the Germans.

If you consider the rejection and hostility with which the German majority society has treated immigrants for many years, the disdain with which they have looked down on their culinary specialties in particular, on garlic and kofta as well as on spaghetti, and then you see the fervor with which these Germans show on a daily basis today eat tons of kebab – then this kebab doesn’t seem to be a bad symbol of how these original Germans have taken in the once strangers.

Ten years ago, the gesture might have seemed condescending, even thinks Eberhard Seidel, the journalist and sociologist who researched and wrote about the cultural history of the kebab. Today, however, the outstanding achievements that immigrants and their children’s children have achieved and continue to achieve are much more firmly anchored in the Germans’ consciousness – from the director Fatih Akin to the Biontech founder couple Türeci and Sahin, from the Bundestag member Güler to the DHL manager Tonguç, from from penny cashier to third-generation snack seller.

The kebab is also a symbol of this success story. The Berlin kebab has now become an export hit itself. You can even get it in New York City today. A few years ago, an Iranian opened a snack bar in Dubai called “German Döner Kebap,” reports expert Seidel. In England, a Pakistani man formed the idea of ​​a whole snack chain, whose franchise branches will almost certainly soon be opened in Germany.

And one thing remains, despite all the owl-to-Athens polemics and Erdoğan-brings-potato-salad-to-Berlin jokes: for Arif Keleş, the Berlin snack bar operator from Yorckstrasse, the trip to his grandfather’s homeland was at the side of the Federal President the recognition of his family’s life’s achievements. A great honor. And also great fun.