Kübra Gümüşay

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Hanser Berlin

Thomas Rohde
thomas.rohde@hanser.de, +49 30 252 948 015


If I didn’t define myself for myself,
I would be crunched
into other people’s fantasies for me
and eaten alive.”


Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset


The German FAQ can be found here. | Das deutschsprachige FAQ finden Sie hier.


The world is more complex than the categories in which we used to think. I therefore understand that some people might feel irritated or even agitated when they are not able to put me in one of their boxes. Because some cannot or do not want to associate visible religiosity with emancipation and a commitment for justice for all, a pluralistic society and freedom of oppression. Or others who have a fundamental mistrust for religions or religious people. However given the countless atrocities committed in the name of my religion, I do understand these sentiments. Although these accusations are extremely hurtful to me, I do not wish to judge those who suffered at the hands of those who I am being seen as a representative. Instead, I stand in solidarity and deep sympathy with those who seek justice.

I know that for some I will remain an object of their projections. But I am also aware that this has more to do with what they project on me than me or my actual work. To them, no evidence is enough, let alone can change their minds. They will continue to see what they want to see.

Nevertheless, I am confident that this page will fully and transparently refute any accusation and bring clarification. Knowing, however, that raising one’s own awareness and especially understanding one’s own complicity in systems of oppression is an ongoing, never-ending process. And I am grateful to you, my loved ones. My friends, companions, teachers, fellow students of this life. Thank you, always.


I was accused of being silent about oppressed minorities in Turkey. That is just wrong. On the contrary: In my book “Sprache und Sein” (2020) (English: “Speaking and Being”, 2022 – screenshots of the English translation can be found here on the right) I addressed the oppression of Kurds and the Kurdish language in Turkey, since I not only consider the racism in Germany worth fighting against, but anywhere. The racism and discrimination that Kurds, Yazidis, Jews and other minorities in Turkey experience is atrocious. There is too much trauma, death, violence and systemic oppression. To this day, even outside of Turkey, in Turkish communities abroad, e.g. in Germany, they are subjected to racism and exclusion, marginalization and discrimination.

A few additional points I would like to address here: 

The accusation was also based on a Turkish poet that I mentioned [1] in my book “Sprache und Sein”. I was sadly not familiar with his anti-Alevi and antisemitic remarks that are absolutely incompatible with my convictions. As soon as those were brought to my attention, I immediately removed his name from my book (already for the 2nd edition, going into print shortly after the release date, early February), addressed my mistake publicly and apologised (screenshot). 

The claim has also been based on my alleged silence on the Turkish military offensive in 2019. That’s not true either, see here.

I have – and will not – stop opposing racism and oppression of marginalised people whether within the society I live in, my own faith group or elsewhere. Here, in 2018, I wrote:

This also applies to Turkey: The words you use, do not stand without effect. If you target people based on their faith, language, ethnicity, belief, mezhep or sexuality, you are also responsible for those who act on these words.

The moment hate speech is normalised, we have lost anyways.”

[1] This passage of the book dealt with the question, how we would have assessed multilingualism, if we had discussed authors from different language areas as part of our formal school education. “How would my bilingual classmates – without a prestige language – have developed, if we had, in addition to Goethe and Schiller, read Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Nazik al-Mala’ika, Maya Angelou, Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, Hafes, Audre Lorde, Ellen Kuzwayo or Noémi de Sousa?” I have neither quoted Kisakürek nor discussed him as a person, except that I had mentioned him amongst a number of authors.

Excerpts from “Speaking and Being” on the oppression of Kurds & their language in Turkey.


The accusation of me supporting the AKP or Erdoğan is false and has no basis whatsoever. A quick glance at my multiple texts, essays, comments and statements on the Turkish government that are publicly available should suffice. 

Overall I wrote four articles on current politics in Turkey. These are as follows: 

1- An article on Erdoğan’s misogynist rhetoric

2- A column about a sex worker in Istanbul from the LGBT-community.

3- An article on the media landscape and the social polarisation and 

4- In a column at NDR I criticised the way many German-Turks have reacted to the coup attempt in 2016 and advocated for more solidarity with minorities in Turkey. Here is an excerpt: 

“Instead of just importing, we could at least try to export our diverse experiences to Turkey. The demands and expectations that we as minorities ask for in the society we live in, should also apply for Turkey: that a society is only as free and fair as it is free and fair for the weakest and most oppressed. And that it is the job of the majority to observe and protect the rights of the minorities. We could perhaps even become our own, sound, diverse and at times divided voice.”

The accusation of supporting the AKP was based on two tweets from 2013 (see below). It should be mentioned here that up until 2013, many writers, activists, journalists and politicians were predominantly hopeful regarding the developments in Turkey. As was I. Being disappointed, I, in 2013, then criticised the government in multiple tweets, defended the Gezi protestors and started a petition in their support. Here is just a sample of comments and tweets from back in 2013, as well as additional information on the petition under the tab “tweets”.


During the Gezi protests (2013) I published a petition along with some friends: İtidal çağrısı (Call for moderation). In that we asked the government to sympathise more with the protestors and called for moderation and deliberateness. 

Already, back in June 2013, I fought back against the misappropriation by others and criticised the notion that wearing a hijab makes one a supporter of the Turkish government. Unfortunately, a notion that prevails to this day.

Ignoring dozens of critical tweets I wrote on the AKP, these two tweets are used as basis for the accusations.

The second tweet is taken out of context. It was tweeted within the context of a discussion (see below), in which I at the time didn’t believe the opposition parties were fit for office / governable and suggested, to try to criticise the government constructively first while at the same time strengthening the opposition parties.

Additionally, please find some of the many critical tweets and comments I wrote in 2013 below: