Turkish regime’s policy of violence as a means of rule lies at the root of its denial of Armenian Genocide, says dissident writer Dogan Akhanli said in an interview with the EU Observer.
He is currently stuck in Madrid after Spanish police arrested him while he was on holiday on the basis of a Turkish Interpol request.
Turkey’s attempt to silence dissident writer Dogan Akhanli has backfired by giving him a bigger platform.
Akhnali was born in Turkey but fled to Germany in 1991 after being persecuted for his views on the Armenian Genocide and on Turkey’s repression of its Kurdish minority.
He also spent four months in a Turkish jail in 2010 after visiting the country.
“Turkish power cannot forgive me because I questioned the basic problems of Turkey,” he told the EU Observer.
The writer said his novels had not made him a celebrity. “I’m not a best-seller,” he said.
But he said that “Turkish persecution makes me more known year by year and makes my words bigger. It is actually a very stupid policy”.
He said Turkey’s latest attempt to deprive him of his freedom had inspired him to write a new book.
“I’m trying to write a report about my political-literary journey into the Turkish past, which is also my own past,” he told this website from Spain.
“I will take a very subjective view of my unfinished persecution, but I will also reflect on how to deal with the history of violence in German, Spanish, and Turkish society,” he said.
Akhanli said the Turkish regime had embraced violence as a means of rule. He said this lay at the root of its denial of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and of its killings of Kurdish separatists. He also said the regime’s nationalist ideology created a dangerous environment.
He recalled that Turkish generals “publicly threatened” Hrant Dink, a dissident journalist, in 2007 prior to Dink’s murder by a nationalist fanatic.
“Under the Erdogan government, the history of violence is not just a story. It is not passive. It is killing people before our very eyes,” he said, referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Akhanli said the EU ought to do more to promote democracy in Turkey.
“He [Erdogan] cannot continue to rule Turkey in the long term with only the support of the rural population. EU countries should side with the secular, democratic forces, not with the despot,” Akhanli said.