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Kurdish literature

There is a rich folk literature in the Kurdish language. Mention should be made of the national epic Mem U Zin, which was written in 1695 by the Kurdish poet Ehmedi Xani.

Cigerxwîn, whose real name is Schechmus Hasan (Kurdish: sêchmûs Hesen) (* 1903 with Mardin; + October 22, 1984 Stockholm), was a well-known Kurdish poet and writer of the 20th century.

He was born in 1903 in the village of Hesar near Mardin. In 1914 he and his family fled to Amude in what is now Syria from the fighting of the First World War. Cigerxwîn - which means blood of the heart - studied theology and became a clergyman in 1921.

In 1946 he moved to Qamislo and became politically active. In the same year he became chairman of the Civata Azadî û Yekîtiya Kurd. In 1948 he became a member of the Syrian Communist Party and in 1954 the party's candidate for the Syrian parliament. In 1957 he resigned from the party and founded the Azadi (Freedom) organization, which was later merged with the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria. In 1963 he was imprisoned in Damascus.

In 1969 he went to the Kurdish northern Iraq and participated in the Mustafa Barzani uprising. In 1973 he went to Lebanon, where he collected a collection of Kîme Ez? (Who am I?) Published. In 1976 he returned to Syria, only to flee to Sweden in 1979. At that time he was already 76 years old. There he published other works. He died in Stockholm at the age of 81. His body was buried in Qamislo.

Contemporary writers are Mehmed Uzun, Mahmut Baksi, Suzan Samanci, Yusuf Yesilöz, Sükrü Gülmüs, Rohat Alakom, Taha Hamid, Muhammed Hamo, Salim Barakat and Nezir Bulut. Ziya Gökalp is one of the most famous intellectuals and publicists in Turkey. He was a co-founder of the so-called Türk Ocagi (Turkish Homeland Association), which served as a meeting place for Anatolian intellectuals and as a "knowledge exchange". He published the newspaper Yeni Mecmua, in which he supported Turanism. Nowadays Ziya Gökalp is a taboo among many Kurds. The topic was that as a Kurd he was a supporter of Turkish nationalism. The famous sentence "Kurds and Turks are fused together like meat and fingernails, they cannot be separated" also comes from Ziya Gökalp.

Hilmi Abbas wrote down some of the old Kurdish legends that have so far only been passed on orally in German. The book was published in Munich in 2003 under the title "The Unwritten Book of the Kurds". It depicts the story of creation from a Yazidi point of view and the mythical migration of the Kurdish people from east to west into today's settlement area.

The development of Kurdish literature has remained dependent on the respective political conditions, which were characterized by the drawing of boundaries, foreign rule and oppression, guided by power-political interests. Through the Treaty of Lausanne, Kurdistan was divided by the Allies and Turkey into the four states of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Most of it fell to Turkey. In this way, more than half of the Kurds became citizens of the new Turkish republic.

The development in the individual parts of Kurdistan proceeded differently and had the consequence that due to the different dialects spoken there and the use of different alphabets no common literature could arise.

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