In the end, the scandal was perfect: After the vote against PEN President Deniz Yücel had been narrowly defeated, the journalist surprisingly announced his resignation at the general meeting in Gotha on Friday evening. “I don’t want to be a figurehead for this bratwurst booth,” said the 48-year-old after the German Press Agency. At the same time, the journalist and publicist announced his resignation from the Writers’ Association. “The club with the big names is history.”
“important and self-promoter”
After only seven months in office, Yücel emotionally settled the score with the association that the majority of the members were “important people and self-promoters” who had hijacked the association and for whom the persecuted authors were only an accessory. The 48-year-old only became head of the PEN center last October.
The management style of the top ranks had led to heated arguments in the writers’ association and divided them. This includes insults, allegations of bullying and the tone of conversation. The allegations relate to a comprehensive exchange of mail in the Presidium. The management style of the Presidium was debated heatedly and in a very angry mood in Gotha.
Right from the start of the meeting, Yücel was confronted with boos and insults. “I don’t need it – take it or leave it, PEN,” Yücel had already explained in the at times extremely agonizing debate. The quarrels are not about a generational conflict, emphasized Yücel, who also made it public in Gotha that he had suffered from depression at the beginning of the year.
Journalist spent a year in Turkish custody
According to its report, the presidium, which wants to bring PEN back up to date, has inherited several problems. The smoldering conflicts and tensions would have erupted, if not in this Bureau, then in another. The journalist, who spent a year in Turkish custody for alleged terrorist propaganda, also admitted to making mistakes.