Turk­ish scholar re­ceives the Barzani Medal

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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