Oppression and Solidarity (1991)
The Freedom for Freedom of Expression Rally / Istanbul 1997
A Press Conference in Turkey (1997)
Em Hene! (2001)
Solidarity with İsmail Beşikçi (1998)
The University of Strathclyde Students’ Association grants Honorary Life Membership
to Kurdish Leader, Abdullah Öcalan (2015)
But What Is It They Are Trying To Express? (2016)
Who’s Kidding Who? (2018)
Out of print
Year of Publication
This book can be purchased or ordered from your local independent bookshop or from thi wurd shop
This excerpt is taken from: the Introduction
The Kurdish struggle is part of radical history as any struggle for liberation is but how can this particular history remain such a secret? Must it remain a secret? The Kurds refuse to be buried. Those of us who are not Kurds should not look away. If we wish to delve further there is much to learn, much to discover.
I recommend immediately an essay by Mehmed Uzun. This will advise you that there is not just a country but a nation whose name is Kurdistan. Didn’t you know this? Why didn’t you know this? What are the defining qualities and attributes of a nation? How do we recognize a nation? For those who know nothing at all begin from Uzun’s essay.
Away and find it yourself.
There are some very great Kurdish artists but I don’t know who they are. Uzun’s essay will not offer a list of those. His essay will offer himself. From this we make an inference: where there is 1 there is 2, perhaps 4, or 16, or 256, or 65,596.
How many artists are there in Kurdistan? How many people? How many children? What languages do they speak? What do their people do and how do they live, and where do they come from? And is it mountains and flatlands they have? Are there rivers and lochs? What are their songs and their stories?
In the last interview given by Abdullah Öcalan before his incarceration, more than twenty years ago, he was asked to account for ‘the PKK’s bad image’. At the time fifteen Kurds were on trial in France ‘accused of being terrorists’. Öcalan was quite matter-of-fact in his reply: “France is making a lot of concessions to Turkey. Politics are often based on material interests. We, the Kurds, we have nothing to give . . .”
Except themselves, which they have committed to the struggle for the past hundred years.
© James Kelman