Panel discussion: Heymat

Panel discussion: Heymat

Aysun Bademsoy, Can Erdoğan-Sus, Mely Kiyak, Lale Akgün

»My way of looking at what is happening in Turkey is the perspective of a German-Turkish woman, and that is also the perspective that will form the basis of this talk. We all grew up here, attended German schools, and this is where our socialization took place. The understanding we have that we are due certain rights – whether freedom of opinion, expression, civil rights – has influenced the way we think and act. This is something that differentiates us from the same generation in Turkey, which doesn’t have this same understanding. How do we German Turks look at  Turkey as a homeland that has left behind traces in our lives, our upbringing, the paths we have taken in life, our family histories? These traces have been shaped by the notion, by our parents’ dreams of a homeland that is no longer ours. Since the events in Gezi Park, a new generation in Turkey is demanding rights that are normal for us. We German Turks look at this movement in  Turkey with a kind of longing for our homeland, which is marked by affinity and memories. The women who will be talking to me are women who – in their work as journalists, authors, filmmakers and politicians – will be discussing and putting up for discussion their personal view of Turkey.«
– Aysun Bademsoy

»Although Turkey has never been a role model for democracy and human rights, I have been observing the developments there for the past eleven years with a great deal of worry. The extensive state interference in private life, an increasingly dictatorial government, censorship and corruption were practically an invitation to the Gezi protests to happen. The movement came perhaps too late, but it still constitutes an enormous gain for the Turkish people: there is finally some tolerance for those who think differently, believe differently and have a different ethnic background!«
– Can Erdoğan-Sus

»Summer 2013 in Istanbul: I met people from Istanbul who were impressed about the fever that a city can develop when the population is fed up to its back teeth. When the wrath of an East Anatolian mixes with the hot temper of a Black Sea Turk, with the energy of students and the self-confidence of an old Armenian woman. When these people managed to shake up a country within a few days together, then they were all proud to be Istanbulites. But happiness, they know, is something else.«
– Mely Kiyak

»My understanding of homeland follows Bloch’s philosophy. He writes in The Principle of Hope: »If (an individual) has grasped himself and established what is his, without exploitation and alienation in real democracy, there arises in the world something which shines into the childhood of all and in which no one has yet been: homeland.« This understanding of homeland is where the principle of hope can be found and it is not bound to any particular time or place. I share this view: we are not born in a homeland, far more we create a homeland for ourselves through our encounter with the world. And when we succeed in the sense Bloch alluded to, the world becomes our homeland. Seen in this way, the Gezi unrest has become the homeland of the democratic movement in Turkey and, seen in a broader sense, it has become a homeland for all democrats.”
– Dr. Lale Akgün

Aysun Bademsoy

Born 1960 in the Turkish city of Mersin, Aysun Bademsoy has lived in Berlin since 1969 where she also studied drama and journalism at the Free University. During her studies, she appeared as an actress in made-for-TV movies and series as well as working for Harun Farocki’s production company as a production manager, editor and assistant director. Since 1989, she has been an independent film-maker. Her first directorial debut was the documentary film Fremde Deutsche Nachbarschaft. Yet in her later work too, Ms Bademsoy has repeatedly examined issues relating to coexistence between Turks and Germans.

Films by Aysun Bademsoy (Selection)
Ehre 2011 | Ich gehe jetzt rein 2008 | Die Hochzeitsfabrik 2005 | Deutsche Polizisten: Viele Kulturen – eine Truppe 2004 | Nach dem Spiel 1997 | Mädchen am Ball 1995 | Fremde Kinder 1994 | Fremde Deutsche Nachbarschaft 1989

Can Erdoğan-Sus

Can Erdoğan-Sus was born in Turkey in 1979, where she grew up and completed her studies in classical piano at Eskişehir music school. In 2000, she moved to Germany, where she studied at the Music University of Karlsruhe. Finally, she studied sound design and film composition at the Film Academy of Baden-Württemberg. She has composed the music for cinema films like Kuzu, Habib Rhapsody, Der Turm (The Tower), Die Unsichtbare (The Invisible). In 2013, she also collaborated as a composer and musical director in a musical drama about the Gezi protests that emerged in Istanbul named »Taksim Square«. The première took place at Berlin’s Neuköllner Oper. Since 2006, she has been living and working in Berlin as a film composer and piano teacher.

Mely Kiyak

Mely Kiyak ist Autorin zahlreicher Bücher, Anthologien und publiziert in verschiedenen überregionalen Medien. Bevor sie als Kommentatorin ins Maxim Gorki Theater wechselte, war sie viele Jahre lang als politische Kolumnistin der Frankfurter Rundschau und Berliner Zeitung tätig. Mely Kiyak engagiert sich als Initiatorin in verschiedenen Initiativen für einen Dialog zwischen den europäischen Kulturschaffenden. Mit den Schriftstellern Antje Ràvic Strubel, Nicol Ljubic, Tilman Spengler lädt sie im Mai zur Europäischen Schriftstellerkonferenz 2014 »Europa. Traum und Wirklichkeit« gemeinsam mit Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin ein. Im kurdischsprachigen Diyarbakır eröffnet sie zudem ab Sommer 2014 mit der Künstlerin Hito Steyerl und den dort lebenden und international ausstellenden Kulturschaffenden Şener Özmen, Cengiz Tekin, Berat Işık und Lal Laleş bis Ende 2015 die temporäre Galerie Kültür Dükkanı. Dort stellen sie sich für ein Jahr vor Ort die Frage: 100 Jahre Genozid, Vertreibung und Kriege. Welche Rolle spielen Künstler in diesen Konflikten und »Wie leben wir?«

Lale Akgün

Dr. Lale Akgün, was born in Istanbul in 1953 and came to Germany at the age of nine. She has been living in Cologne for more than 30 years, where she studied medicine and psychology, then worked in youth welfare and finally completed her doctorate from 1984 to 1987 in the area of ethnopsychology. Dr. Lale Akgün is also a licensed psychotherapist, was a lecturer in intercultural education at the university of Cologne and built up the Landeszentrum für Zuwanderung (LzZ – federal state centre for immigration) from 1997 onwards, of which she later became head. It advises the federal state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on questions of migration / integration and immigration.
She has been a citizen of Germany since 1980, and in 1982 she became a member of the SPD, and was a member of the German Bundestag from 2002 to 2009. For the SPD parliamentary group, she was spokesperson for European policy and vice-spokesperson for migration policy as well as Islam officer. Following her period in office, she moved to the state chancellery of NRW where, since March 2013, she has been head of the unit responsible for fair trade and sustainable procurement. Lale Akgün was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and was awarded the Giesberts-Lewin-Prize. She has written several articles and books dealing with the themes of immigration, integration and interculturalness. In 2008, her bestseller Tante Semra im Leberkäseland was released. This was followed by Der getürkte Reichstag (2010) and Der Aufstand der Kopftuchmädchen (2011), which looks into the issue of an enlightened Islam. 2011 saw the publication of Kebab Weihnacht, which is a plea for a reconciliation between religions.