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Kur­dish author Mer­al Şimşek was expect­ed in Old­en­burg Ger­many for the reg­u­lar Kur­dish PEN con­gress, of which she is a mem­ber, and which is sched­uled for this July 8,9 and 10th.

As would any oth­er cit­i­zen of the Turk­ish Repub­lic, Mer­al request­ed a visa from the exter­nal ser­vices of the Ger­man consulate.

Despite a com­plete file, accom­pa­nied by the offi­cial invi­ta­tion, her visa request was refused by the consulate.

From the Ger­man PEN to which she turned for assis­tance, she received the fol­low­ing brief message:

Dear Mer­al,

Thank you for your message.After exam­in­ing your doc­u­ments and con­sult­ing our advi­sors, we regret to inform you that, for the time being, we are not in a posi­tion to pro­vide you with any help in this spe­cif­ic mat­ter, unfortunately.We are sor­ry and with our best greetings.”

Mer­al trans­mit­ted her reac­tion to Kedis­tan:

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, my wish to attend the Kur­dish PEN con­gress, of which I am a mem­ber, and to par­tic­i­pate in the elec­tions of its admin­is­tra­tion, will not be pos­si­ble because the Ger­man gov­ern­ment has turned down my visa request, on the grounds of “arti­cle 13”. This arti­cle per­tains to per­sons ‘sus­cep­ti­ble of request­ing asylum’.

As a prac­ti­tion­er of lit­er­a­ture, I denounce this unjust atti­tude of Ger­many, a Euro­pean coun­try. More­over, I am not the only one to receive such a denial, the requests of oth­er par­tic­i­pants were also refused. I must thus con­sid­er this atti­tude as a gen­er­al polit­i­cal stance toward Kurds.

The fol­low­ing should also be not­ed: ‘the asy­lum risk’ is a recog­ni­tion that these peo­ple are not safe in their coun­try of cit­i­zen­ship, but are denied. With this atti­tude, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment seems to be say­ing both ‘yes, it is a fact that Kurds are not safe in Turkey’ and at the same time ‘our great democ­ra­cy has noth­ing against this fact’.” 

The Kur­dish author Mer­al Şimşek who has pub­lished nov­els, poet­ry and short sto­ries, was recent­ly hon­ored by the Ger­man Theodor Kramer Prize. Mer­al Şimşek is hound­ed in Turkey as “belong­ing to a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion” and for “pro­pa­gan­da”. She is one of the many intel­lec­tu­al per­son­al­i­ties thrown before the courts with the catch-all accu­sa­tion of “ter­ror­ism”.

Her tri­al is ongo­ing. On July 5th of this year, dur­ing the hear­ing held in Edirne Ipsala, the pros­e­cu­tor deliv­ered a defin­i­tive opin­ion. The next hear­ing, prob­a­bly with the ver­dict, is sched­uled for July 18 2022 at 11h00..

Fol­low­ing Erdoğan’s black­mail con­cern­ing Swe­den and Finland’s admis­sion to NATO, and his threat of oppos­ing a veto since he con­sid­ers the Kur­dish ques­tion as the cause of a con­tro­ver­sy with the Nordic coun­tries, these coun­tries made alle­giance to the Turk­ish regime and capit­u­lat­ed to his demands. On this occa­sion, the NATO mem­bers con­firmed their visions con­cern­ing the des­ig­na­tion as “ter­ror­ist” of the Kur­dish move­ment and “Turkey’s legit­i­mate right to defend itself”. Turkey sub­mit­ted a list of extra­di­tion requests of mil­i­tants, in sup­port of its black­mail. No more was required for the Euro­pean diplo­mat­ic anten­nas to hard­en their visa policy.

More­over, this arti­cle 13 is con­tra­dic­to­ry as it is in total oppo­si­tion pre­cise­ly with a pos­si­bil­i­ty of request­ing asy­lum “in the coun­try of ori­gin” as  loud­ly sug­gest­ed  as a “solution“by the entire Euro­pean Right wing.

Ger­many, often held up as a mod­el of wel­com­ing has in real­i­ty no oth­er migra­to­ry pol­i­cy than one focused on labor recruit­ment and, as a reminder, is the one coun­try, along with France, to have insist­ed the most on the rogue Euro­pean agree­ment  — that of the “deal” con­cern­ing migrants, reached with Erdoğan.

A friend, yet anoth­er, will pos­si­bly pay the cost of this hyp­o­crit­i­cal Euro­pean pol­i­cy toward Turkey.

Meral’s Şimşek’s writ­ing can be read on Kedis­tan, of whom she is a reg­u­lar guest, by fol­low­ing this link.

Added July 21, 2022

Tweet from Mer­al on July 20

I would like to express my grat­i­tude to Deniz Yücel, the Ger­man Min­is­ter of the Inte­ri­or, the Sen­a­tor for Cul­ture of Berlin, the Mak­sim Gor­ki The­atre, LCB, and all institutions/organizations and indi­vid­u­als, espe­cial­ly Deniz Yücel, who helped me solve this ques­tion and final­ly be safe in Ger­many.

Pro­vi­sion­al­ly there­fore, after the news of the refusal by the Ger­man diplo­ma­cy in Turkey has spread, and thanks to inter­ven­tions on the spot in Berlin to describe the spe­cif­ic case of Mer­al Şimşek, we can only rejoice col­lec­tive­ly at the pos­i­tive result obtained for Meral .

Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges

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