Interview with Jörg Menke-Peitzmeyer, Professor in German studies, German language and literature at Marmara University

This time, we had an exclusive interview with Jörg Menke-Peitzmeyer for Turquoises.

Jörg Menke-Peitzmeyer with his dog

Jörg Menke-Peitzmeyer was born in Anröchte, Westphalia, in 1966. From 1986 to 1990 he studied drama at the Folkwang University in Essen. Theatre engagements took him to Mainz, Gießen, to the Theater am Kurfürstendamm and the Schlossparktheater in Berlin, to Stendal and Coburg. From 1998 to 2002, he completed a second degree in dramatic writing at the German Literary Institute in Leipzig, for which his graduation piece was his monologue «Der Manndecker» (Man-to-Man Marker). He has been living in Berlin and Istanbul as a writer, actor and a professor of in Germanistics since 2006.

Below, you find our exclusive interview :

First of all, thanks a lot for accepting to have an interview with us. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us more about your specialties.

I started to write when I was 12 or 13 years old. As a boy I was a fanatic football player. When I got injured and couldn’t play football for one and a half year I needed something to get rid of my superfluous energy. And, of course, I was reading a lot.

What brings you from Berlin to Istanbul? We would like to learn more about your story.

I was playing tennis with a guy who was born in Turkey. He always raving about Istanbul. So one day, in 2005, after I also watched Fatih Akin’s film « Crossing the bridge“ in the cinema, I came to Istanbul. At that time Istanbul was a amazing, prospering and wild city. I really fall in love with Istanbul at that time.

What are the things that you find interesting or surprising about Turkey?

The bosphorus, of course, the unique location of the city between to continents. The chaotic, surprising and also dangerous side of the city. The warm hospitality of its citizens. The street life until two or even four a clock in the morning. The very different areas like Beyoglu, Kadiköy, Kuzguncuk, Hasköy, Eminonü etc. (In answered the question with regard to Istanbul because there not many other places in Turkey which I know that well.

We are sure that you have some projects during Coronavirus lockdown, how do you spend your time at home? Could you please tell us about your ongoing and future projects?

I am doing my university work via Skype; That’s actually a new and positive experience. I am reading more than usually. I am also eating more, cooking every day which I don’t do normally. I am doing more or less the same thing I am doing at home in other times; I just do them more often. And I talk more on the phone with old friends.

We see how the Internet has changed our lives and our habits. Technology is driving change in almost every major industry, the publishing industry as well. We are now living in a digital world! What do you thing about this changing reading habits?

It is like it is. There is nothing you can do about it even if you don’t like it. I still prefer reading real books. And I am trying not to weaken my eyes by reading too much in the internet.

As you know our association « Turquoises » organizes cultural events which bring people together from different cultural backgrounds. Have you ever been a member of or associated with any organization? If yes, please tell us more about it.

No. I once in my life went to a meeting of Inter Nations. It was horrible. Men looking for girls and pretending to be interested in culture. Enough.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Be ordinary. Don’t try to bewitty, genious or brilliant. Let it flow. Trust what you see, what you think. Then write it down. Don’t think too much about style.

We would like to know how do you reach your readers. Where can they find your books or publications? Are you on social media as well and can your readers interact with you?

I am not very active on social media. Why do I have a publishing company then. It’s there job. They are doing the advertising. I have a website, that’ enough. You can find my books at amazon, sometimes there are articles or criticism in the magazines.

Who is your favorite autor or influencer ?

Philippe Djian maybe. At least he was for a while.

What is your favorite Turkish food ?

Manti. Sütlac.

What is your favorite place in Istanbul?

Cihangir. Parts of Macka Park. The Bosphorus, on  the ferry.

What is your favourite place in Germany?

I don’t have that. There are small cities or towns I like, just like Bamberg, Lüneburg, Halle. I like the area Altes Land close to Hamburg. The Saaletal. Westfalia. Lots of places.

Thank you very for your participation. We hope you the best!

Auteur : initiativesturquoises

‘Les Turquoises’ ont vu le jour. Donnant la vie à de nombreuses expressions culturelles, artistiques et intellectuelles, c’est une plateforme éphémère d’initiatives culturelles provenant de la Turquie.