Germany awards Order of Merit to German-Yezidi journalist, activist

 

Journalist Düzen Tekkal (center) poses with her parents after receiving the German Order of Merit award for her contributions to German society. (Photo: Düzen Tekkal/Social Media)
Journalist Düzen Tekkal (center) poses with her parents after receiving the German Order of Merit award for her contributions to German society. (Photo: Düzen Tekkal/Social Media)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Germany on Thursday awarded Kurdish-Ezidi (Yezidi) journalist Düzen Tekkal with Germany’s highest honor, the Order of Merit, or Bundesverdienstkreuz, for her contributions to German society.

“I was awarded the Order of Merit due to my activism regarding the Yezidi genocide, my advocacy for the women who survived ISIS captivity, and bringing more visibility to the fate of the Yezidi community,” she told Kurdistan 24. 

“The Bundesverdienstkreuz is awarded by the Bundespräsident and it’s the highest order that can be awarded in Germany. I’m beyond happy and grateful to have received it today!”

She added that she was also chosen to receive the honor “because of my educational initiative German Dream, which focuses on promoting democratic values and dialogue between different generations.”

The Order of Merit Bundesverdienstkreuz was instituted in 1951 by German President Theodor Heuss and is the highest tribute Germany can pay to individuals for notable achievements in political, economic, cultural, intellectual, or honorary fields. 

“I would like to thank everyone for their trust in my work and everyone who has made it possible for me to stand up for civil society,” she said in a tweet today. “This medal belongs not only to me, but also to my parents and many others who supported me.”

Tekkal was born in 1978 in Hannover, Germany, and has become a well-known journalist and human rights activist, as well as the current chair of the HAWAR organization.

A documentary she made, called “Hawar (Help): My Journey to Genocide,” grapples with the Yezidi genocide, in which thousands of people were brutally murdered, kidnapped, and trafficked at the hands of ISIS, beginning in August 2014.

For the film, Tekkal was one of the first journalists to interview Yezidi ISIS survivor and Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad. As a result, she was also invited to the United Nations for the appointment of Murad as UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2016.

Source https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/25745-Germany-awards-Order-of-Merit-to-German-Yezidi-journalist,-activist

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