|In the 50s and 60s, Doğan Özgüden was a renowned left-wing journalist in Turkey fighting for freedom of speech. After the 1971 coup Özgüden and his wife and comrade Inci Tugsavul were forced to leave the country. His collection consists of (among other things): correspondence and other documents on the Democratic Resistance of Turkey (1971-73), the press agency Info-Türk (1974-2013), the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP) (1975-1982), the Union for Democracy in Turkey (DIB) (1978-1982) and other movements and action committees (1971-2013).|
ceremony marking the transfer of Dogan Özgüden's Collection to the
International Institute of Social History (IISG) took place on January
24, 2013, at the headquarters of this prestigious organization in
Attended by many personalities as well from Europe as from Turkey, notably Özgüden's comrades from the period of 70's and 80's, the meeting was opened by Touraj Atabaki in behalf of the IISG.
After having explained the importance of the day for the IISG marking enlargement of the documentation of the social and political life of Turkey and reminded Özgüden's political and social fights in Turkey and in exile, Atabaki said:
"Some two years ago I had the privileged to host Dogan bey and Inci hanim, here at this Institute. I knew Ozguden through his publication as one of the most established Turkish journalist, who was forced to leave his homeland after the coup 1971. I saw familiar also with his very photogenic face in different positions and locations, from the office of the Journal Ant he published in 1968, to speaking at a protest meeting organized in front of European institutions after Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink's assassination in Istanbul, to attending a conference on Resisting by Memory, with Writer Benjamin Orenstein, survivor of Auschwitz.
"However, meeting him once more in Brussels at the Sun Workshops (Ateliers du Soleil) allowed me to discover another Dogan. The educator Dogan.
"Together with Inci they founded this workshop where you see there many people form different nationalities, old and young, men or women attending different courses to improve their knowledge and go beyond the life of passivity. This by itself is an achievement, if even I leave aside the entire rich history of Dogan’s political activism."
In conclusion, Atabaki addressed directly to Özgüden:
"Dogan Bey! Living more than forty years in exile together with your partner-comrade Inci Tugsavul you founded many platforms to promote democracy and human right not only in Turkey but also in many countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
"Your commitment to record and archive information about the labour, women or ethnic groups in your homeland Turkey has been flamboyantly portrayed in the archive that we are now very privileged to received today.
"Your very rich life makes very difficult to summarise your achievements. But let me borrow couple of verses from Nazim Hikmet, to show my tribute to your dedication, cooperation talent and hard work:
"To live like a tree, lonely and free
"To live like a forest brotherly.
"And this was your dream Dogan Ozguden as it was Nazim’s dream." (Full text of Atabaki's speech)
After a presentation of the history and activities of the IISG by Jaap Kloosterman, head of Collection Development, a short documentary on the exile life of Özgüden and Tugsavul made by Flemish Brussels TV and a documentary on Özgüden's life made by the Roj TV on the occasion of the 40th year of his political exile were presented to the audience.
Then, Dogan Özgüden made the following speech:
Dogan Özgüden's speech
"Ladies and gentlemen,
"First of all I want to thank to the leaders of the International Institute of Social History, Erik Zürcher, Touraj Atabaki, Jaap Kloosterman and Erhan Tuskan, for having received into this temple of social history the reminiscences of a life in exile over forty years.
"This is really a pride for me to see today the presence of our archives here alongside the works of historical figures of the social and political struggles around the world.
"I thank particularly to my friends, my comrades, as Fahri Aral, Faruk Pekin, Müfide Pekin, Ragip Zarakolu, Bige Berker, Yücel Top and Tayfun Demir, present here, who contributed to the success of this work as well in my home country, Turkey, as in exile.
"I also thank to my colleagues, my comrades, Iuccia Saponara, Davut Kakiz and Tural Fincan who have taken full responsibility of leading Sun Workshops (Ateliers du Soleil), a crossroad of citizens that we created with my beloved, my comrade, Inci Tugsavul, who is unfortunately absent this day of glory due to her health problems.
"However, she is present here at this moment with the works she carried out courageously for almost half a century despite many unbelievable difficulties, pressures and obstacles.
"I remember how she registered by shedding bloody tears all documents of torture, political trials, executions, imprisonments of black periods of military coups.
"Contribution to the conservation of documents of the periods that I lived has always been a major concern throughout my professional life and social struggles.
"I started journalism 62 years ago in two local newspapers in Izmir, which had not yet substantial archives.
"I met the first real archives when I was engaged by Abdi Ipekci as representative of the daily Milliyet in 1958. Later on another Istanbul daily: Gece Postasi.
"But the big day in my professional life is undoubtedly the day that I took over the direction of Turkey's oldest daily Aksam, may be as the youngest chief editor of a big daily, that I turned it into a real left-wing daily newspaper.
"After having signed the contract with newspaper's owner Malik Yolaç, the first thing I did was to go into the archives room of the newspaper, which was a real treasure for researchers on history and political and social cultural life.
"As the chief editor of this journal, my priority was to enhance and to keep these exceptional archives. At that moment, I remember as an exceptional person who was an unknown hero of journalism, the head of the archives Muzaffer Gökmen, who was also the director of the historical Beyazit Libraries.
"After being away from the daily under the pressure of big business circles, with Inci, we have kept the same concern on archives when we created the political magazine and publishing house Ant in 1967.
"In 1968, when another historical daily newspaper, Vatan, went to bankrupt, we added its historical archives to the modest ones of Ant.
"Alas, another disappointment ... After having left our country under the pressure from the military during the1971 coup, we learned that these precious archives and even our private books were either destroyed by the military or transferred by some people to other places that we don't know. They no longer exist for us.
"This is why, since the first day of our political exile, in 1971, despite two-year clandestinity in Europe, with Inci, we have kept all documents and created these archives, which now fortunately arrive step by step to IISG.
"I am especially very delighted today to see that these archives will forever be in a country that received us as political refugees after two years of exile thanks to the solidarity of our Dutch friends as former European Parliament speaker Piet Dankert.
"I have never forgotten the years of clandestinity how I had to pass my nights in phone booths in the face of the central station of Amsterdam.
"It is during these years that we have made all publications of the Democratic Resistance of Turkey that now integrated to the IISG archives.
"And from 1974, with friends and comrades who had contributed to the democratic resistance, we established first Info-Türk, then the Sun Workshops (Ateliers du Soleil).
"Thanks to these institutions, we have created and kept alive the archives of the 40-year history of political emigration and economic immigration, and the anti-racist and anti-fascist fights everywhere.
"Today we trust them to this prestigious international institution.
"Today is also the beginning of the second youth for me and for Inci…
"As long as we live, we'll continue to contribute to enriching the archives of this institution.
"I thank again all of you."After this intervention, the IISG projected a documentary, "From one coup to another in Turkey", made by the Info-Türk Foundation in 2006 on the occasion of the 35'the year of the 1971 military coup d'état.
Transfer of Doğan Özgüden Collection
Date: 24 January 2013
Location: IISH, Amsterdam
In the 50s and 60s, Doğan Özgüden was a renowned left-wing journalist in Turkey, always fighting for freedom of speech. After the 1971 coup Özgüden and his wife Inci Tugsavul were forced to leave the country. His collection consists of (among other things): correspondence and other documents on on Democratic Resistance of Turkey (1971-73), the press agency Info-Türk (1974-2013), the Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP) (1975-1982), the Union for Democracy in Turkey (DIB) (1978-1982) and other movements and action committees (1971-2013).
More information on Doğan Özgüden on his website.
11.15 - 11.30 Serving coffee and tea
11.30 - 11.40 Welcome by Touraj Atabaki
11.40 - 11.55 Collection and collection development at the IISH by Jaap Kloosterman
11.55 – 12.10 Interviews with Doğan Özgüden by TV Brussels and ROJ-TV
12.10 - 12.30 Doğan Özgüden
12.30 - 13.00 Film of the Coup d’etat 12 March 1971 by Info-Türk
13.00 - 14.00 Lunches
14.00- 14.45 Tour of the IISH
A small exhibition on the coup d'état of 12 March 1971 is on display.
1019 AT Amsterdam
T + 31 20 6685866
F + 31 20 6654181