Turkish-German journalist Baha Güngör dies | News | DW | 22.11.2018
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Turkish-German journalist Baha Güngör dies

One of the first Turks to work as a journalist in Germany has died. Baha Güngör, a former DW journalist, was renowned for his reporting on Turkish-German relations.

Baha Güngör, a prominent Turkish-German journalist, died of cancer on Thursday.

Güngör was one of the first Turkish-born journalists to work in Germany and previously headed DW's Turkish department. He was also a frequent contributor to the DW opinion section.

Read more: Opinion: EU must not abandon Turkey

In a statement, DW Director General Peter Limbourg expressed his sadness at Güngör's death.

"Baha Güngör was a formative influence on reporting by DW's Turkish service over many years. He was a warning voice and a far-sighted observer of political developments and could put them in the proper context for his readers. In Baha Güngör, we have lost a colleague and friend who was highly respected well beyond our borders. I will miss his wise advice. But our grief over Baha Güngör is also marked by gratitude for all he has left us," Limbourg said.

Güngör was born in Istanbul in 1950 and moved to Aachen, Germany at the age of 11. He first worked as a journalist in 1976, taking a traineeship at the Kölnische Rundschau newspaperwhere he went on to work as a local editor. He then worked as a foreign editor at the Reuters news agency and as a political editor at the daily General-Anzeiger Bonn.

From 1984 to 1999 he reported from Istanbul, Ankara and Athens, first as a pool correspondent for German newspapers, and later as Turkey correspondent for the German press agency dpa.

Read more: Turkey: Is Germany Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'best enemy?'

'Journalist, role model'

In 1999, Güngör took over the management of the Turkish editorial office of DW in Bonn. As a "pilot editor," he was directly involved in the digitalization of DW. He retired at the end of June 2015.

After his retirement, he continued to work as a freelance journalist and Turkey expert for many German and Turkish media outlets.

In 2004 he published a widely-read book entitled Die Angst der Deutschen vor den Türken und ihrem Beitritt zur EU (Germany's fear of the Turks and their accession to the EU). A second book followed in 2017, entitled Atatürk's Angry Grandchildren.

"Güngör remains an inspiration for many Germans of Turkish origin," said Erkan Arikan, DW's new managing editor for Turkey. "His expertise on Turkish topics and the Turkish community in Germany was unique.

"Güngör was not only a journalist but also a role model for many as a human being."

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