Keghart.com Interviews Exiled Turkish Artist

By Hamo Moskofian, Frankfurt, 22 September 2010

Near the center of Frankfurt-on-Main train station, in an old workers’ compound, recently renovated by the city, stands the ‘modest’ Turkish Avantgarde "Gunesh" (Sun) Theater. The key founder of the group is Mujdet Albak, a brave son of a family whose origins are in Macedonia and Smyrnia.

Albak is a great friend of Armenians and all oppressed people of Anatolia. A talented actor, artist, and champion of human rights, he is respected in Europe. As a result of persecution and continous threats to artists, their arrest and assassination, he left Turkey and settled in Germany. Even then the threats continued, resulting in depression and a suicide attempt. With the help of friends, Albak returned to his artistic life, organizing a theatrical festival recently through the help of the European Union.
 

By Hamo Moskofian, Frankfurt, 22 September 2010

Near the center of Frankfurt-on-Main train station, in an old workers’ compound, recently renovated by the city, stands the ‘modest’ Turkish Avantgarde "Gunesh" (Sun) Theater. The key founder of the group is Mujdet Albak, a brave son of a family whose origins are in Macedonia and Smyrnia.

Albak is a great friend of Armenians and all oppressed people of Anatolia. A talented actor, artist, and champion of human rights, he is respected in Europe. As a result of persecution and continous threats to artists, their arrest and assassination, he left Turkey and settled in Germany. Even then the threats continued, resulting in depression and a suicide attempt. With the help of friends, Albak returned to his artistic life, organizing a theatrical festival recently through the help of the European Union.
 

Keghart.com asked him about the reasons for his respect and love for Armenians with whom his ancestors lived for centuries.

Mujdet Albak: "As an actor and an artist, I am very thankful that the Armenian dramatists, actors, and artists founded the theatrical arts in the Ottoman Empire in mid-19th century. And it is thanks to Armenians that theater and cinema developed in modern Turkey, too. Through our "Gunesh" Theater we succeeded to establish links and bridges with our exiled minorities of Turkey who witnessed massacres, persecution and genocide at the hands of oppressive and criminal rulers. We worked with Armenian, Greek, Kurdish, Zaza, Kizilbash, and Assyrian artists and even established a musical ensemble and gave joint concerts of Anatolian music."

What about Hrant Dink?

"Our friendship with Hrant Dink was established two years before his assassination, when he visited Frankfurt. He was one of the last chances and bridges in Turkey. It was a great blow to us, but we decided to continue the struggle in the streets. The violent killing of Hrant Dink resulted in leaders coming from democratic circles in Turkey and the Armenian Diaspora to unite for equality and freedom. The funeral of Hrant Dink showed that there are thousands of people in Turkey who are against the Fascist state and regime."

How about Albak’s plans and projects?

He answers, "My dream is to take a joint theatrical masterpiece and to stage it with Armenian artists. It’s a way to ask pardon from the Armenian nation and with the hope that we can open a new page of brotherly life with Armenians."

 

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