Turkish scholar receives the Barzani Medal
Ismail Besikci is one of the greatest Turkish scholars – his writing has been exemplary on Kurdish people in turkey. For a long period of time, he was the only non-Kurdish person in Turkey to defend Kurdish rights, and continued to write on Kurds despite attempts of censorship, which eventually lead him to being imprisoned. Since his writings he has been championed by many international organizations, but despite this 32 out of 36 books is banned in Turkey. He was a candidate for the Novel Peace Prize in 1987.
When the Turkish government removed all travelling restriction on Besikci, and allowed him to travel outside for the first time, he chose Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region as his first destination.
He was honored by the Barzani Charity organization, and in a meeting with the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, he was awarded the Barzani medal.
Since his arrival, he has met with many academics in Kurdistan, news agencies and has given a seminar at the Cultural Hall of Salahudeen University. He was honored by the Barzani Charity organization, and in a meeting with the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, he was awarded the Barzani medal.
In 1963, Besikci came in contact with Kurdish rebels (Peshmarga) and it was then that he discovered that Kurds are a loving people with their own language and culture. He explained that, “Barzan is not far away from Shamzinan, and it was in Barzan where conducted his first interview with a Kurdish rebel. “I wanted to find out the reality of the Kurdish question, especially in my twenties” said Besikci.
The Kurds have been victims of two super-powers according to Besikci: Ottoman Empire and the Persian Kingdom in the Middle East are the dividers of Kurdistan. He added that western powers had a role too, namely Britain and France – deny- ing Kurds their beloved Kurdistan, and depriving them from the right of statehood.
The Kurds must realize the power of their unity, and what it can lead to. He recalled the genocide of Halabja led by Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq. In 1988 not a single state blinked an eye to stop Saddam’s tyrannical genocidal efforts against Kurdish people. Besikci expressed his optimism for the future of Kurdish people, and said he believes the future is bright, but it will require unity, hard work and for people to be willing participants in the efforts made to establish a Kurdish state.