Dogan Akhanlı

Obituary: Doğan Akhanlı


Below is a translation of an obituary which appeared in several newspapers in Germany. It was issued by the Family and Friends of Doğan Akhanlı, as well as civil society, human rights, cultural and religious associations, including from the Armenian, German, Greek, Jewish, Kurdish and Turkish communities.

Doğan Akhanlı

March 18, 1957 – October 31, 2021

The “Magic of Solidarity” was something incredibly real for Doğan Akhanlı. He lent it verbal shape. For him, its existence was a source of patience, impatience and hope. It protected him against animosity and he was sure that it had carried him out of prison in 2010 and 2017. But it was not able to save him from death. Doğan Akhanlı succumbed to cancer on October 31st.

He had not fallen for the delusion that violence could be eliminated from the world. But, when faced with violence wielded by state power which claimed for itself a higher form of necessity, he took it on – all his life: politically, personally and through his writings. In so doing he also denounced the mercilessness in political organizations he came from. He was convinced that disputes among those who fought against arbitrary rule, nationalism and racism could be overcome. The magic of solidarity should also embrace us – that was his credo.

He charted a new, irreversible course in the culture of remembrance, in commemorating the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide. He stood on the side of persecuted human rights activists, especially in Turkey, Kurds, refugees and undocumented immigrants.

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Since his arrival in Germany, his writing activity had become increasingly important for him. Among the literary gifts he showered on us were “The Judges of the Last Judgment,” “Anne’s Silence,” and “Madonna’s Last Dream” – profoundly political, filled with life and love, oft disturbing but always challenging literature.

Though suffering nightmares, he was a dreamer. His wrath was productive. It was more important to him to commend others than insist on having everything right. His humor was mischievous, he was an empathetic listener, his writing was demanding, his fairy tales moved us to tears.

Now we weep over his death.

In the “transnational space of remembrance” that he entered together with us, we will see him forever and continue to be able to return his love.

Signed by:

PEN Deutschland, Verein EL-DE-Haus e.V., Allerwelthaus, Recherche International e.V., Tüday, Öffentlichkeit gegen Gewalt, Initiative Völkermord erinnern, KulturForum Türkei Deutschland, Friedensinitiative Griechenland/Türkei, Hrant Dink Forum Köln, Stimmen der Solidarität Mahnwache Köln e.V., Melanchthon-Akademie, Evangelischer Kirchenkreis Köln Mitte, Diözese der Armenischen Kirche in Deutschland, Armenische Gemeinde Köln, Dialog-Kreis, kein mensch ist illegal, Keupstraße ist überall, Ein Platz für alle/Herkesin Maydani, Chancenwerkstatt für Vielfalt und Teilhabe, AWO, Runder Tisch für Integration, Literaturhaus Köln, Bilz-Stiftung, Schauspielhaus Köln, Theater im Bauturm, Theater Bonn, Navend-Zentrum für kurdische Studien e.V., Kurdische Gemeinde in Deutschland, Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Glokal e.V., Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte. Haus der Wannseekonferenz, Akebi e.V., Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste, American Jewish Committee Berlin, Arbeitsgruppe Anerkennung – Gegen Genozid, für Völkerverständigung (AGA) e.V., IBIM e.V./Intersektionales Bildungswerk in der Migrationsgesellschaft, Verein der Völkermordgegner, Frankfurt, Internationale Armin T. Wegner Gesellschaft e.V., „Dodekapolis“ Pontische Vereine aus Baden-Württemberg, Friedensbildungswerk Köln e.V., Sujet-Verlag, Interkulturelle Denkfabrik Hamburg.

Topics: Obituary
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