It must also be assumed that the arrest of D. Akhanli and the double rejection of his release by the prosecutor are directly related to the author’s commitment for the recognition of the still officially in Turkey denied genocide against the Ottoman Christians. This view is shared by the known German writer Guenther Wallraff (Cologne): "Certain sections of the Turkish judiciary try to take revenge on an incommodious author, who has addressed the genocide against the Armenians for years." The Jewish novelist Edgar Hilsenrath, who has been friends for years with Dogan Akhanli and represents his literary model, said after a meeting with the Deputy Turkish ambassador on 27 August 2010, he, Mr. Hilsenrath assumes, that in fact D. Akhanli’s literary activity is the underlying cause of his arrest. He asked the Ambassador to investigate the clear references to the non-law approach in this case and called for the immediate release of his friend Dogan Akhanli. E. Hilsenrath is the author of the novel "The Tale of the Last Thought" (1989) about the genocide of the Armenians.

With the human rights NGO Working group Recognition – Against Genocide, for International Understanding e.V. Akhanli Dogan maintains close contact since the spring of 2000, when AGA introduced a petition into the German Bundestag, demanding the legislative recognition of the genocide against the Armenians, Arameans/Assyrians and Greeks of Asia Minor. Dogan Akhanli was among the first signatories of this petition. In subsequent years his public readings, cross-cultural study tours and participation in panel discussions significantly contributed to the enhancement of a critical view on history among the Turkish diaspora in Germany.

For current and continuously updated information, visit the website of the Kulturforum TürkeiDeutschland: http://www.das-kulturforum.de/archiv/presseschau-dogan-akhanli-verhaftung/

Biography and Achievements: Akhanli Dogan was born in 1957 in the northeastern Turkish town Şavşat and lived after the military coup of 1980 in the underground. 1985-1987 he was imprisoned as a political prisoner in a military prison in Istanbul where he was tortured. He fled to Germany in 1991, has been recognized here as a political refugee and later deprived of Turkish nationality. Since 1992 D. Akhanli is living as a freelance writer in Cologne; since 2001 he has German citizenship.

In novels, essays, interviews and in his various projects in Germany, D. Akhanli promoted the open handling of historic violence and the indivisibility of human rights. The focus of his civic commitment are the commemoration the genocides of the 20th Century (including the genocide of the Armenians) and the interculturally oriented dialogue on reconciliation. Among others, D. Akhanli’s projects were sponsored by the Federal Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future and awarded by the Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance. Dogan Akhanli has been intensively committed for solving the murder of Hrant Dink and points to the reconciliatory significance of this journalist and author.

Dogan Akhanli is actively committed to memory and human rights. He is a volunteer manager at the Nazi Documentation Center, initiator of Raphael Lemkin Library at the Allerweltshaus (Cologne) as well as an employee of the nonprofit organization "Inter-national research”. The association is concerned with the educational work on genocidal experiences of violence and the project "The third World in the second World War "(http://www.3www2.de).

D. Akhanli processed the experience of his generation with state violence and political persecution in his 1998/99 published in Turkish contemporary trilogy Kayip Denizler (The disappearance of the sea), whose last volume Kiyamet Günü Yargiçlari (The judges of the Last Judgment) deals with the genocide of the Armenians in 1915 (German translation by Hülya Engin 2007, Klagenfurt). His last novel Madonna’nin Hayali Son (The last dream of the Madonna) was published in 2005 in Istanbul. The book is about the Romanian vessel "Struma", which was sunk in 1942 in the Black Sea and ripped 769 Jewish refugees to their death. Akhanli’s novels were selected among the most important novels in. In 2009, he received the Literature Prize of the newspaper "Hürriyet". D. Akhanli also translated and edited the Turkish edition of the 1921 court proceedings against Soghomon Tehliryan, who assassinated the erstwhile Turkish Home Minister and main responsible for the genocide against the Armenians (Talat Paşa Davasi, vol. 1 and 2, Istanbul 2003).

In April 2005 he visited Armenia on the occasion of the 90th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

Today we ask you to support the efforts to secure the release of our colleague:

– Sign our online petition on the website http://www.aga-online.org/de/aktionen/detail.php?newsId=395
 
– Write to the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Turkey, Mr S. Ergin, and request the closure of the questionable case against D. Akhanli (address in the factsheet). Please forward copies of your letters or emails to [email protected] and [email protected]

– Participate in the vigil for the immediate release of Dogan Akhanli, organized by the Working Group Recognition (AGA) and the Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste on 2 October 2010, 14:30 to 16:30 at the Brandenburg Gate / Pariser Platz (more information at our websitewww.aga-online.org)

La Turquie emprisonne un intellectuel gênant

Le 10 août 2010, l’écrivain turc et défenseur des droits de l’homme Doğan Akhanlı a été arrêté à l’aéroport d’Istanbul, en provenance d’Allemagne où il réside depuis 1991. Doğan Akhanlı, est inculpé pour des motifs de droit commun, concernant sa prétendue implication dans l’attaque d’un bureau de change, pour son « rôle » de chef de gang, et le fait qu’il serait l’instigateur d’un complot visant à renverser l’ordre constitutionnel en Turquie. Par ces accusations mensongères, l’Etat turc cherche à se débarrasser d’un intellectuel turc gênant : l’engagement de l’écrivain turco-allemand en faveur de la reconnaissance du génocide des Arméniens et des Assyriens, toujours officiellement nié par la Turquie, est en lien direct avec son arrestation.

En essayant de « dépolitiser » la procédure engagée contre lui par la Cour criminelle, Ankara cherche à tuer dans l’œuf les protestations et les mouvements de soutien qui s’organisent déjà en Allemagne et qui devraient, espère-t-on, s’étendre partout en Europe et en Amérique. Il est du devoir de chaque citoyen attaché aux valeurs démocratiques et à la défense des droits de l’homme, de ne pas laisser Doğan Akhanlı croupir dans les terribles geôles turques : elles n’ont guère changé depuis l’époque du film Midnight Express. Les refus de remise en liberté sont, d’après ses collègues allemands, destinés à briser totalement cet homme déjà emprisonné et torturé par le passé.

C’est la première fois depuis qu’il s’était réfugié en Allemagne, que Doğan Akhanlı, appelé au chevet de son père, revenait en Turquie. Il avait fui la Turquie en 1991 et vivait à Cologne. Il était devenu citoyen allemand en 2001. L’écrivain Doğan Akhanlı est proche de l’Association allemande AGA de Tessa Hofmann (Reconnaissance, contre les génocides, pour l’entente entre les peuples) et de celle d’Ali Ertem (Association contre les génocides, SKD – Soykirim Karsitlari Dernegi), toutes deux partenaires des actions annuelles du Collectif VAN pour la sensibilisation aux génocides et à leur déni.

Soutenez Doğan Akhanlı.
Liberté pour Doğan Akhanlı.

Séta Papazian
Présidente
Collectif VAN [Vigilance Arménienne contre le Négationnisme]
BP 20083, 92133 Issy-les-Moulineaux – France
Boite vocale : 09 50 72 33 46 – Email: [email protected]
http://www.collectifvan.org
http://www.info-turk.be/385.htm#Petition

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