According to her own statements, the Turkish writer Asli Erdogan (55) feels "like in a no man's land" in exile. "Even in Turkey I have always felt foreign, but the Turkish language is my home and I love it more than anything," said the author, who has lived in Germany for five years, at the Frankfurt Book Fair of the German Press Agency. "But now that I haven't been to Turkey for five years, the words are getting softer. I'm losing my homeland."
Erdogan's book "Requiem for a Lost City" will be published in German for the first time in a few days. "The book was created over almost half my life, it's not a linear text with a beginning and an end," Erdogan said of the book. She was inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. One of the short texts, written in poetic language, was written after the death of a close friend, while others are about farewells and loneliness. "I am the sum of everything I've lost," Erdogan said of the book's subject and her own life.
The fact that there is a large community of Turkish origin in Germany does not make the exile experience any easier, said the writer, who was held in prison for months after the failed military coup in Turkey in 2016. "Most are pro-Erdogan," she said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's election successes with the Turkish diaspora. "Even if they are not opposed to the Turkish opposition, they no longer live as intensively in the Turkish language and culture, they are not aware of how Germanized they are." The oppositional intellectuals who went into exile, on the other hand, are mainly concerned with their own survival.
You experience the feeling of defeat, said Erdogan. "Sometimes I have moments of despair that words don't change the world." At the same time, she still believes that anyone who writes lyrics - not just literary texts - should "take responsibility for the lost, the victims. If their voices are silenced, the world would be a emptier place and less meaningful ."