Kurdish PEN strives for unity among writers in four parts


AMED - Ömer Fidan, Co-chair of Kurdish PEN, which continues their work based in Amed, said: “We aim to end the fragmentation in every area of Kurdistan and achieve unity. We want to raise awareness for imprisoned writers."

Kurdish PEN (PENa Kurd) started their activities in 1980 as a branch of PEN International. The establishment of Kurdish PEN was decided at the PEN International conference held in England in 1988. Kurdish PEN determined Amed as the center of their activities in its 8th congress held in 2013. With the change in the statute made at the 10th congress of Kurdish PEN, it was decided that the headquarters and decision-making authority would be Amed.
Kurdish PEN has been continuing their activities in Amed since that date under four main committees; Committee of Writers in Prisons, Committee on Language and Translation Rights, Committee of Writers for Peace and Committee of Women Writers. Two important books were published during this period. The books "Dije Dej" and "Rabûna Berî Li Gulberojan", consisting of 16 stories and 139 poems, were published in all dialects of Kurdish.
Ömer Fidan, who has been the Co-President of Kurdish PEN since July 2022, spoke to our agency about their work.
Stating that they want to introduce all the works written in different dialects in all four parts of Kurdistan to the whole world and thus "draw a picture of Kurdistan", Fidan said: "We aim to end the fragmentation in every area of Kurdistan and achieve unity." 
Stating that at the congress held in Germany on July 9, 2022, a proposal was made to recognize the literary products produced by the Kurds and that they subsequently formed a publishing committee, Fidan said: "We wanted to draw a Kurdistani picture consisting of all dialects and compile the works. We wanted to translate these innovative works into the languages of other PENs. We wanted to introduce Kurdish works, especially by translating them into English, French and Spanish. For this purpose, we published the book 'Dije Dej', which consists of stories written in 6 dialects and 2 alphabets that Kurds mostly use. We wanted to draw a picture of Kurdistan with this work consisting of stories written by 54 writers, with the efforts of Jiyar Cehanferd, responsible for the Publications Committee, and Anisa Caferi Mêhr, our current co-chair.”
Pointing out that the Committee of Writers in Prisons is working hard since many writers are in captivity, Fidan said: "We are trying to make the voices of the writers in prison heard as much as we can with this committee. When 'Dije Dej' started to be formed, the writers' committee carried out a very strong work within the possibilities. We carried out different activities, such as promoting the writings and works of those in prison, as well as signature studies." 
Fidan pointed out that there are hundreds of Kurd writers in prisons and that the writers are in danger, and explained the compilation process of the book "Rabûna Berî Li Gulberojan", Fidan said: "It was very difficult to reach the writers in the prisons. That's why we could only reach the writers imprisoned in the north. With great efforts, we were able to reach only 39 imprisoned writers. There is also a note on the back of the book, 'Sometimes the story of a story can be more difficult and troublesome than the story being told. More It was a difficult process, as in the article. It can tell anything’. The process of these stories coming out of prison is a story. Unfortunately, it is not possible to reach all the prisoners and publish their works. But we want to raise awareness on this issue and create an agenda as much as we can. The important thing is that this voice reaches the world."
Stating that they want to include other associations and institutions working in the field of language and culture in their work, Fidan said: "We want to work with more associations and organizations and raise awareness on this issue. Prisons lead the Kurds for freedom. Many people learned to read and write in prisons and created dozens of works in prisons. Prisons host much greater resistance than those outside. Now, all the Kurds publishing houses publish the books and works of the prisoners. Prisons are at an important point for literature and creativity."
MA / Bazid Evren - Şilan Çil