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Writer: Deniz Yücel elected President of the PEN Center

2021-10-26T17:50:33.399Z

Deniz Yücel is the new President of the renowned PEN Center Germany. In his application speech, he spoke about dubious developments in terms of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.



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Swen gatekeeper / dpa

The journalist and writer Deniz Yücel is the new President of the PEN Center Germany.

The publicist was elected on Tuesday evening at the general meeting in Frankfurt's Paulskirche, as a PEN spokesman announced.

Yücel was born in Flörsheim, Hesse.

He was detained in Turkey for a long time for allegedly supporting a terrorist organization.

The previous president, Regula Venske, did not run. She held the highest office of the writers' association in Germany since April 2017. Yücel prevailed against Marion Tauschwitz in the election. In his application speech, Yücel said: "We are experiencing things that have resulted in Germany slipping down in the ranking of Reporters Without Borders in recent years." The danger is not only "from the enemies of the open society" such as right-wing extremists or Islamists, but “sometimes also from people who act in the name of noble goals”.

PEN stands for Poets, Essayists, Novelists.

The PEN Center Germany, based in Darmstadt, advocates freedom of speech.

The association is a member of PEN International, which unites over 150 writers' organizations from more than 100 nations.

The German section was founded in 1924.

Yücel's predecessors as chairmen included Heinrich Böll, Erich Kästner and Walter Jens.

Yücel studied political science in Berlin.

He worked as a freelance journalist and was the editor of "taz" before he went to Istanbul as a Turkey correspondent for "Welt".

According to PEN, Yücel has published three books, including "We're not here for fun: Reports, satires and other practical texts" and "Agent terrorist: A story about freedom and friendship, democracy and non-fashion democracy".

The journalist and author has received several awards for his work, such as the Kurt Tucholsky Prize for literary journalism (2011) and the Theodor Wolff Prize (2017).

mik / dpa

Source: spiegel

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