Monday, October 4, 2010

Kurdish Literature Festival in Berlin

The Kurdish Literature Festival in capital city Berlin has started. Kurdish Institute Chair Fehmi Balay expressed that the Literature Festival is a tradition coming from Ahmedi Xane.

The Kurdish literature circle in diaspora came together for Kurdish Literature Festival which started in Berlin in Statthaus Böcklerpark.

The festival, which is organized by Înstîtuûta Kurdi li Elmanya, Awadanî, KNK- Komîta Çand û Ziman, Navenda Kurdî, Bûn, will last two days.

Besides discussions about the future of Kurdish literature and broadcasting, there are also descriptions of new works in the festival.


Making the opening speech, Germany Kurdish Institution Chair Fehmi Balay spoke as follows; “With his message 300 years previous to this, Ehmedê Xanî talked about Kurdish literature and underlined the science and broadcasting of Kurdish people. Just as this literature tradition proceeded since him up to today, ranging from Feqiyê Teyran to Cîgerxwinê, this festival is a follow-up of the words of masters.”

Pointing out that authors and intellectuals are exposed to permanent pressure in Kurdistan, Balay spoke as follows; “Through the Kurdistan history, intellectuals and authors were always received into prisons as they wrote in the name of their people. However, none of the Kurdish intellectuals capitulated against pressure. They resisted and created the Kurdish literature under all circumstances. They died for independent pens. They are the literature and word martyrs of Kurdish people. Again, Kurdish mountains are among the points where Kurdish literature progressed. Novels, poems and stories were developed and written in revolution. And exile Kurds contributed this process and became the basics of Kurdish literature.”

Following Balay’s speech, the festival continued with a panel called “Kurdish Literature and Publications”.


Kurdish literature history was the discussion theme at the panel which hosted Alî Husên Kerîm, Bekir Alî and Hesen Irandust as speechmakers. Taking the first floor at the panel, Alî Husên Kerîm talked about the history of Kurdish literature and publications in North Kurdistan and Southwest Kurdistan.

Remarking that there arose a number of Kurdish publications in İstanbul in the in the early 20.century, Kerîm added the followings; “The reason was Turkey’s being in a war in that period. That’s why it needed Kurdish people and could say nothing. Just when the problems ended, it put serious pressure on Kurdish people and made many Kurdish intellectuals and authors made a move. Most of them moved to Southwest Kurdistan and created serious works there, while there was a serious silence period in Turkey till 1960’s.”

Kerim stated that some Kurdish students made publications in İstanbul in the following years as follows; “This shaped up by 1970 and 80s. Despite the restrictions that 12 September Military Coup brought with, the progress didn’t come to a full stop due to the progressing Kurdish fight. And in our day, there are thousands of Kurdish publications and a seriously substantial novel potential.”


And Bekir Alî estimated the situation in South Kurdistan at his speech. Indicating that Kurdistan was divided due to First World War, Alî continued his speech as follows; “The reason of Kurdish literature’s underdevelopment is the fact that Kurdish people didn’t spare much time to literature as they were interested in politics. But, despite all, Kurdish literature has a serious history.”


The speech of panelist Hesen Irandust was as follows; “Kurdish people expressed themselves with poem as Kurdish publications and novels were banned in East Kurdistan. That’s why poem is much forward there. And another side is that Kurdish publications were made and distributed in South Kurdistan due to the ban in Iran; which made the south part impressed pretty much by the east.

Translation: Berna Ozgencil