"Not in our name!": Continued gossip in the PEN center
Created: 04/04/2022, 20:44
Journalist Deniz Yucel.
© Gerald Matzka/dpa/archive image
The power struggle in the German PEN center continues unabated.
A group of 36 members of the writers' association made public their dissatisfaction with parts of the presidency around journalist Deniz Yücel, who was elected president in October.
"What this man says and does, he does not say and do in our name!" It says at the end of the paper.
Darmstadt/Berlin - After heated arguments, the entire executive committee of the authors' association (PEN stands for "Poets, Essayists, Novelists") is to vacate its posts.
This provides for a vote to be voted down, which is to be decided at a general meeting in Gotha in May.
According to PEN, a simple majority is sufficient for this.
In the history of the German PEN Club, such an application has not yet occurred, the members wrote on Monday, but "we see this as the only way to avert further damage to the PEN".
In the announcement, "Yücel and his fellow campaigners" are accused of wanting to get rid of two members of the presidency.
An exchange of e-mails abounds with “maliciousness, disgusting insults, discrimination and false accusations”.
The exchange of mail is also available to the German Press Agency in Berlin.
Yücel maintains "an authoritarian management style that fits into the 19th century, but not into a human rights organization today in the age of flat hierarchies," write the undersigned.
They also see a "sustained abuse of office to the detriment of the PEN".
Confidence in the leadership of PEN was "disappointed in an unprecedented way".
Yücel's appearance at the Lit.Cologne literature festival, in which he spoke out in favor of a no-fly zone in Ukraine and thus direct military intervention by NATO, was also criticized.
As a result, five former presidents of the PEN center, Gert Heidenreich, Christoph Hein, Johano Strasser, Josef Haslinger and Regula Venske, had already called for Yücel's resignation.
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The charter, "the heart of PEN", clearly formulates the claim to do everything in our power to promote peaceful coexistence for all people in this world, according to the critics.
Yücel told the dpa on Monday that he could not initially comment on the allegations because he did not yet know the new paper.