-encounters, conflicts and experiences in transnational context-
Editors: Latife Akyüz1, Eylem Çamuroğlu Çığ2, Melehat Kutun3, Hakan Altun4
In Turkey, since 15th of July 2016 after failed military coup d’etat, AKP government declared state of emergency and similar to what every authoritarian state does, first targeted academics, journalists, politicians, actors, directors, shortly intellectuals who produce oppositional art and critical information as ‘enemies of the state’. With 36 Law Decrees, arbitrarily enacted during the state of emergency, these intellectuals have been deprived not only of their professions but also of their basic rights and freedoms. Declared as ‘terrorist’ and ‘enemy’, they have been convicted to ‘civil death’. Since then, innumerable intellectuals have been displaced and leave the country in order to be able to secure their physical and social well-being as well as to continue their professional lives. The majority of those forced to leave the country who we call “exiled intellectuals” today, have migrated generally to Western Europe, Great Britain, the United States and especially to Germany.
Today, these exiled intellectuals are trying to re-exist in a new everyday life, in a new country’s political sphere, in another professional life system, and still trying to continue their intellectual activities. They have to develop new survival strategies to be exist both as intellectually and individually in this new social context. They have faced and are facing with unpredictable new possibilities and unforeseen difficulties. As both subjects and researchers of this current state of exile, it is our primary responsibility to understand and produce knowledge of these intellectuals’ responses in this new life, to monitor the creation processes of the new mechanisms to cope with the challenges, and to understand/ investigate the effects of all these to the transnational social space.
The ‘exiled intellectual’ concept has an important place in the social sciences’ literature, both historically and theoretically. There are many articles, books and theses written from different social science perspectives, which are especially focusing on the migration of Jewish intellectuals in the middle of the 20th century. Besides Adorno, Arendt, Benjamin, Kelsen, Levinas, Zweig etc. there is also an extensive body of self-reflexive literature that develops an ‘insider’ view on migration and exile.
Inspired by these studies, the aim of our book is to understand and explore how knowledge production process of exile intellectuals ruptured, what meanings, experiences and identifications transferred and attached to new life in Germany and what kind of new developments occurred or difficulties faced by the status of ‘being exile’ for them.
Our motivation behind the idea of compiling this book was not only academic concerns of analyzing the process and contributing to literature on exile, but also recording our own stories and creating memory of our exilic lives. As exile academics, we, the editors of the book, are inviting the ones willing to contribute this work as actors of this new wave exile to share their own stories and experiences with us.
1 Dr. Humboldt University, Einstein Research Fellow
2 Dr. Bayreuth University, PSI Fellow
3 Dr. Humboldt University, Einstein Research Fellow
4 Dr. Goethe University, PSI Fellow