Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVAR

On the occasion of the May 15 Kurdish Language Holiday, pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Murat Sarısaç submitted a parliamentary inquiry regarding lost Kurdish-language documents and other artifacts that disappeared amid the assimilation process that followed the establishment of the Turkish Republic. 

“When the republic was founded, there was significant havoc wreaked on the memory and consciousness of Kurds. Following the union of the Ottomans and the Kurds in the 16th century, Kurdish language was taught at the madrasas and important thinkers like Melaye Ciziri and Ehmede Xani wrote very valuable works,” Sarısaç said. 

“Bitlis, Hakkari Diyarbakır, Cizre, Bahçesaray, Siirt and other cities became the central bases of Kurdish literature,” Sarısaç said, adding that the recorded history of Kurdish literature spans from the 10th to the 20th centuries. 

Sarısaç said that only in the past few years has the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published the works of iconic Kurdish writers Ciziri, who wrote in the 16th century, and Xani, who wrote in the 17th century. It is unclear how many of the Kurdish archives have been opened, nor is it certain how many Kurdish documents are waiting to be sorted though. 

He added that many books were burned in Diyarbakır, while some Kurdish texts were knowingly or mistakenly labeled as Persian texts in the records, and texts containing the words ‘Kurds’ or ‘Kurdistan’ have been altered or forged.

Sarısaç called on parliament to completely open the archives so that Kurdish manuscripts could be properly sorted through and catalogued.