On June 26, 1995 – exactly 28 years ago – Celal Akan died of internal bleeding as a result of a serious illness of his liver. Celal Akan was a Kurd who fled from Turkey to Bremen in 1994. He was married and a father. In Bremen, he lived first in the Central Reception Center, then in a camp in Schwachhausen and finally in a small basement apartment in Waller Heerstrasse. He was 36 years old at the time of his death.
The Office for Social Services and the Bremen Social Welfare Authority had refused to pay for an operation necessary for his survival for 15 months, until Celal Akan finally died as a result of his untreated illness. Mr Hoppensack, the state councilor responsible for this at the time, remained in office and was treated as a respected citizen. Celal Akan, on the other hand, was largely forgotten in Bremen.
2 years earlier, on June 30, 1993 – 30 years ago this week – the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act was enacted, a discriminatory special law that has since excluded refugees from social welfare. The law also provides for restrictions on health care. The denial of benefits to Celal Akan was unlawful. However, the AsylbLG served as the basis.
The Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act is still in force. In its implementation, the Bremen social administration continues to violate human dignity and endanger people’s lives.
With the rally on Monday, June 26, 2023 in front of the Office for Social Services, Breitenweg 29, we commemorated Celal Akan.
In order to keep the memory alive, the building “Fruchthof”, in which the “Fachdienst Flüchtlinge” of the Office for Social Services is located, was renamed Celal Akan- Haus during the rally.
The Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act must be abolished!
On the youtube page of the Bremen journalist Wilfried Huismann there is an informative video about Celal Akan: