Düzen Tekkal

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Düzen Tekkal
Born (1978-09-02) September 2, 1978 (age 45)
Alma materUniversity of Hanover
Occupation(s)Journalist, author and documentary filmmaker/director

Düzen Tekkal (born September 2, 1978)[1] is a German author, television journalist, filmmaker, war correspondent, political scientist, and social entrepreneur of Kurdish descent. She is Yazidi.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Tekkal's parents came to Germany in the 1970s as immigrants from southeastern Turkey. In their homeland, they had been persecuted as Kurds and part of the Yazidi religious community. In Germany, her father worked as a tiler and her mother was a housewife. She is one of eleven siblings.[1][3]

Tekkal was born in Hanover. In 1998 she graduated from high school and in 2002 she began to study political science and German language and literature at the Leibniz University of Hanover, graduating in 2007.[3][4] In her master's thesis, which she completed with honors, she wrote about Kurdish Yazidis in the diaspora and the sociopolitical conditions of their integration, as well as with integration policy in Europe.[5][6]


Career in journalism[edit]

After her studies, Tekkal worked as an intern at the German Orient Foundation in Hamburg and began her career as a television journalist at RTL. She worked there as an editor and reporter for various formats such as Spiegel TV, stern TV and Extra – Das RTL-Magazin.[4] In 2010, she was awarded the Bavarian Film Prize for her reportage "Angst vor den neuen Nachbarn" (Fear of the New Neighbors) together with Extra editorial director Jan Rasmus.[7]

Since 2014, Tekkal has been working as a freelance journalist, filmmaker, war correspondent and author. She wrote two books published by Berlin Verlag, which reached number 16 and 17 on the Spiegel bestseller paperback list,[8] and has contributed to other publications as a guest author. She mainly deals with the topics of migration, integration and identity.[2][9]

To make the documentary film "Háwar – Meine Reise in den Genozid" (Háwar, a cry for help), Tekkal traveled to Iraq in 2014. The film focuses on the destruction caused by ISIS and the genocide against the Yazidis living in northern Iraq, especially the violence against women. It premiered at the 49th Hof International Film Festival in 2015.[9][10][11] The documentary was shown in the German Bundestag, at the European Parliament[12] and in a screening at the United Nations headquarters in New York City in 2017, as part of an event organized by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretariat General on Sexual Violence in Conflict at the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, and the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the UN.[13]

Tekkal's second film, "Jiyan – Die vergessenen Opfer des IS" (Jiyan – The Forgotten Victims of ISIS), premiered in January 2020 at Kino International in Berlin and was first broadcast on RBB Fernsehen in December of that year. In the documentary, Tekkal accompanies Najlaa Matto, a Yazidi woman freed from ISIS captivity, who returns to northern Iraq for the purpose of coming to terms with and prosecuting the crimes against her people. One of the central points of the film, in addition to taking stock of the destruction of lives, destinies and culture, is an appeal for human rights and a reminder of the international community's responsibility, as well as a demand that ISIS perpetrators be held accountable and brought before a criminal tribunal.[14][15][16]

Tekkal is also active as a host, for example at the publication of the study "Taboo & Tolerance" by the German Federal Ministry of Defense. Furthermore, she hosts several podcasts, such as the series "Vergessen: Die Frauenmorde von Juárez" (Forgotten: Femicides in Ciudad Juárez) with Leyla Yenirce or the DFB Foundations podcast, "Mehr als ein Spiel" (More than a Game), where she speaks to and about people who use soccer as a means of social, societal and cultural engagement.[17][18][19]

Tekkal continues to serve as an honorary board member of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.[20]

Political career[edit]

In the 2016 state elections, Tekkal was part of CDU candidate Julia Klöckner's shadow cabinet in Rhineland-Palatinate. The following year, she was part of Bernd Althusmann's shadow cabinet for the Lower Saxony state elections.[21] After the national elections the same year, she was widely considered a candidate to become the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration in the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel, but the post eventually went to Annette Widmann-Mauz.[22]

In 2019, Tekkal was appointed by Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller to the Commission on the Causes of Migration, co-chaired by Bärbel Diekmann and Gerda Hasselfeldt.[2][23]

In June 2021 Tekkal testified as an expert at a public hearing of the Bundestag Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid on the human rights situation in Turkey.[24]

Tekkal's political positions include a pluralistic Germany based on the free democratic basic order, which counteracts extremism, especially Islamism and far-right politics.[2][9] Furthermore, she is also in favor of a women's quota for companies.[25]

Tekkal has been part of delegation trips with various ministers to Iraq, including with Development Minister Gerd Müller (2018),[26][27] Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (2019)[28] and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (2023).[29][30]



Together with her sister, the former professional soccer player Tuğba Tekkal, Tekkal founded the non-profit association for humanitarian aid Háwar.help and is its chairwoman. The association runs several projects centered around women's empowerment and women's rights. The project Scoring Girls, which was initiated by her sister Tuğba, organizes soccer practice for girls from immigrant and disadvantaged families.[31] The project's patron is journalist and TV presenter Anne Will.[32] In 2021, Annalena Baerbock became a patron of the Back to Life project.[33]

GermanDream education initiative[edit]

In 2019, Tekkal founded the GermanDream education initiative, which organizes dialogs about values at German schools. The aim is to teach young people the values of freedom and self-determination and to prevent extremism, particularly Islamism and right-wing extremism.[34][35] In addition, Tekkal launched the hashtag #GermanDream on the social media platform Twitter, under which people with an immigrant background can share their life and success stories as an incentive for other immigrants.[2]

Work (selection)[edit]


  • 2020: #GermanDream: Wie wir ein besseres Deutschland schaffen, Berlin Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 978-3827014207
  • 2016: Deutschland ist bedroht: Warum wir unsere Werte jetzt verteidigen müssen, Berlin Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 9783827013286

As contributor[edit]


  • 2020: Jiyan – Die vergessenen Opfer des IS, 90 min, Premiere on January 21, 2020, in Berlin
  • 2015: Háwar – Meine Reise in den Genozid, Premiere on November 25, 2015, at the 49. Hof International Film Festival

Awards (selection)[edit]

  • 2021: Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2021: Engagement-Blum-Preis[36]
  • 2021: Most Influential Woman of the Year, award by Impact of Diversity[37]
  • 2020/2021: BfDT-Botschafterin für Demokratie und Toleranz of the Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz[38]
  • 2020: Wilhelm Wernicke Preis of the Hertha BSC Stiftung for Scoring Girls[39]
  • 2020: Julius Hirsch Preis, award by the DFB for HÁWAR.help[40]
  • 2020: German Diversity Award in the category Ethnicity, award by BeyondGenderAgenda[41]
  • 2020: She For Social Impact Award, Culture[42]
  • 2019: Rupert-Neudeck-Medaille für Mut & Menschlichkeit[43]
  • 2019 (HAWAR.help e.V.): Europäischer CIVIS SPECIAL Medienpreis: Fußball und Integration for the video Scoring Girls[44]
  • 2018: Menschenrechtspreis of the Ingrid zu Solms-Stiftung[45]
  • 2018 (mit Renate Matthei): Aufmüpfige Frau des Jahres of the Stiftung aufmüpfige Frauen[9]
  • 2018 (mit Jan Ilhan Kizilhan): Friedens- und Integrationspreis of the Kurdischen Gemeinde Deutschlands[46]
  • 2018: Frau Europas der European Movement Germany[21]
  • 2017: (with Jan Ilhan Kizilhan): Demokratie Preis/ Ramer Award for Courage in the Defense of Democracy of the American Jewish Committee[47]
  • 2013: (with Marlene Alber, Christopher Grass und Ralf Herrmann): BNK-Medienpreis of the Bundesverband Niedergelassener Kardiologen for the Extra-show: Das Herzschlagfinale[48]
  • 2010: (with Jan Rasmus): Bayerischer Fernsehpreis for the Extra-show: Angst vor den neuen Nachbarn[7]


  1. ^ a b "Düzen Tekkal: "Integration ist mein Lebensthema"". NP – Neue Presse (in German). June 2, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Düzen Tekkal über die Integrationsdebatte – "Auf dem Weg zum German Dream"". Deutschlandfunk Kultur (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Die Traumfrau – brand eins online". www.brandeins.de. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Düzen Tekkal". CDU in Niedersachsen (in German). Archived from the original on July 13, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  5. ^ Nordwest-Zeitung (September 15, 2010). "Integration GANDERKESEE: "Problem erreicht auch die Villen-Viertel"". www.nwzonline.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  6. ^ SWR2; SWR2 (August 7, 2018). ""Wir brauchen einen German Dream"". swr.online (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ a b Zeitung, Süddeutsche (May 22, 2010). "Im Zeichen des Panthers". Süddeutsche.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  8. ^ "Suchergebnisse für "Düzen Tekkal"". buchreport (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d "TERRE DES FEMMES – Menschenrechte für die Frau e.V. – Preisverleihung "Aufmüpfige Frau des Jahres" an Renate Matthei und Düzen Tekkal mit einem Festvortrag der TDF-Bundesgeschäftsführerin Christa Stolle". www.frauenrechte.de. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  10. ^ "Háwar – Meine Reise in den Genozid". www.filmmuseum-potsdam.de. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  11. ^ "Entstehungsgeschichte". HÁWAR.help (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  12. ^ "Fünf Jahre Völkermord an den Jesiden – "Da wirst du plötzlich religiös!"". Deutschlandfunk Kultur (in German). Retrieved August 5, 2021.
  13. ^ osrsgsvc. "Statement of SRSG Pramila Patten at the documentary screening event "Hawar, a cry for help", 19 December 2017, UN ECOSOC Chamber". United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Bethke, Hannah. "Islamischer Staat: Wir müssen hinsehen und handeln". FAZ.NET (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  15. ^ Adolphs, Von Philipp. "Jiyan – Die vergessenen Opfer des IS (2020)". www.herder.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  16. ^ "Jiyan – Die vergessenen Opfer des IS". www.rbb-online.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  17. ^ "Tabu und Toleranz: Umgang der Bundeswehr mit Homosexualität". www.bmvg.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  18. ^ ""Mehr als ein Spiel": Täter-Opfer-Begegnung im Podcast". Sepp Herberger Stiftung. May 20, 2021. Archived from the original on July 16, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  19. ^ "Was Frauenmorde in Mexiko mit dem IS und Sexismus in Deutschland zu tun haben". www.vice.com (in German). March 8, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  20. ^ "Vorstand der Konrad Adenauer Stiftung e.V." Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Archived from the original on July 13, 2021.
  21. ^ a b ""Kein Weg geht an der Frau vorbei" – Düzen Tekkal ist Frau Europas 2018 | Netzwerk EBD" (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  22. ^ WELT (May 9, 2018). "Zur Person: Düzen Tekkal". DIE WELT. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  23. ^ ""Zu wenig auf unsere Werte verwiesen"". Werte (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag – Öffentliche Anhörungen". Deutscher Bundestag (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  25. ^ ""Stärke, Durchsetzungskraft wird Männern eher zugestanden als Frauen"". stern.de (in German). November 25, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  26. ^ "Minister Müller zum Tod des geistlichen Oberhaupts der Jesiden, Baba Sheikh". Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (in German). Archived from the original on April 19, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  27. ^ "ZEIT ONLINE | Lesen Sie zeit.de mit Werbung oder im PUR-Abo. Sie haben die Wahl". www.zeit.de. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  28. ^ Szymanski, Mike (August 21, 2019). "Nichts ist so, wie es war". Süddeutsche.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  29. ^ Paul-Anton Krüger (9 March 2023), Baerbock im Irak: "Wo das Böse auf dieser Welt sein Gesicht gezeigt hat" Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  30. ^ Patrick Diekmann (10 March 2023), Baerbock im Irak: Die Angst vor der schwarzen Pest T-Online.
  31. ^ ""Eines Tages möchten sie selbst den Adler auf der Brust tragen"". www.tagesspiegel.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  32. ^ "ANNE WILL IST SCHIRMHERRIN DER SCORING GIRLS*". HÁWAR.help (in German). November 3, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  33. ^ "Darum hilft Annalena Baerbock dem Verein von Düzen Tekkal". NP – Neue Presse (in German). August 3, 2021. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
  34. ^ Tekkal, Düzen (October 23, 2020). "Extremismus: Die Freiheit der Rede ist nicht verhandelbar". DIE WELT. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  35. ^ SPIEGEL, Nike Laurenz, DER (June 5, 2019). "Düzen Tekkal: "German Dream" bringt Politiker und Prominente an Schulen". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  36. ^ Berlin, Nachbarschaftsheim Schöneberg e V. "Schüler*innen küren Düzen Tekkal". stadtteilzeitung.nbhs.de (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  37. ^ "Most Influential Woman – Düzen Tekkal". Impact of Diversity (in German). March 4, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  38. ^ "Düzen Tekkal – BfDT Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz". www.buendnis-toleranz.de. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  40. ^ "Julius Hirsch Preis 2020 für HAWAR.help". DFB – Deutscher Fußball-Bund e.V. (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  41. ^ "GermanDiversityAward". BeyondGenderAgenda (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  42. ^ "Award Winners 2020 • She For Social Impact Awards". She For Social Impact Awards (in German). June 4, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  43. ^ "Female Future Konferenz 2021" (PDF). FDP. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 13, 2021. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  44. ^ "CIVIS Medienpreis 2019 / Jurybegründungen" (PDF). Civis Medienstiftung. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 24, 2019.
  45. ^ "Menschenrechte und Völkerverständigung – Ingrid zu Solms-Stiftung". ingrid-zu-solms-stiftung.de. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  46. ^ KGD (November 26, 2018). "Die Kurdische Gemeinde Deutschland verleiht Friedens- und Integrationspreis 2018". Kurdische Gemeinde Deutschland e.V. (in German). Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  47. ^ "AJC verleiht Demokratie-Preis an Jesiden". ajcgermany.org (in German). April 26, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  48. ^ "Das Herzschlagfinale beschert vier Journalisten den BNK-Medienpreis 2013" (PDF). Bundesverband Niedergelassener Kardiologen. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 13, 2021.

External links[edit]