Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Apostrophe: Istanbul: the Capital city of Kurdish Literature: Part I

Byline: Ferhad pirbal

First, we should chronologically explain the existence of Kurds in Istanbul before talking about the role of this city in developing Kurdish literature: 

- 1071: A book of collected poems by Swedish poet Gunnar Akelof entitled A Collection About Prince Amgeon talked about a Kurdish prince in the war year 1071 in the city of Malazgard, who had been captured by the Byzantines and later taken to Istanbul. 

- 1498: According to a survey in 1498, 382 Kurds were living around the city of Istanbul.

- 1442: Shahabaddin Ahmad, known as Mala Gorani, who was born in 1410 in Sharazur city, came to Anadole at the request of Sultan Murad II. In 1442, Ahmad started teaching in the schools in Bursa. In 1443, he became the teacher of Sultan Muhammad Fatih in Istanbul in the district of Manisa. Later, in 1480, this Kurdish scholar became Sheikh Al-Islam in Istanbul until his death. 

- 1500: Abu Suhood Afandi (1491- 1575), a Kurdish person, was Sheikh Al-Islam in Istanbul at the era of Sultan Suleimani Qannuni and Sultan Salim II. He was born in the village of Muddaris around Istanbul city, and was the son of a great person, Sheikh Muhhedddin Mustafa. His family was originally from the city of Akre and later moved to Istanbul. He also worked in the schools Dawid Pasha and Mahmud Pasha, and later became a judge.

- Mala Idrisi Batlisi (1452- 1520) was a great Kurdish personality who served the Ottoman Empire. He wrote 20 books in the Ottoman language, and two dissertations were written on his books: Salimnama and Shahanshay Qanini. Under the request of Sultan Bayazidi II (1418- 1512), he wrote Hasht Bahasht about the history of Ottoman. This made him famous. 

- 1600: Abdullah Afandi, a Kurdish scholar in the 17th century, was a Sheikh in one of the Sufist schools in Istanbul city. 

- 1730: The uprising of Wasta Khalili Istanbuli took place. Karim Korjan, a Kurdish poet, wrote about it.

- 1836: Mir Muhammad Rwandzi was exiled to Istanbul and received by Sultan Muhammad II.

- 1847: Baderkhan Pasha (1802-1868) was arrested and exiled with family members to Istanbul.

- During the years 1876-1909, in the era of Sultan Abdul-Hammed II, a huge number of Kurds moved to Istanbul. Abdul-Hakim Afandi, a Kurdish scholar, was the teacher of Abdul-Hammed II. Sheikh Saeed, father of Sheikh Mahmoud, along with Peramerd the Port, was invited to Istanbul by the Sultan. Also at that time, Saeid Paha Khandan, father of Gen. Sharif Pasha, was the deputy Speaker of the Ottoman Parliament. 

- 1878: Qara Fatim, the revolutionist woman, went to Istanbul from Marasha with 300 Kurdish knights to ask the PashaAEs permission to participate in the Ottoman EmpireAEs war against Russia in 1878.

- Another great figure, Ali Shamil Pasha (1855- 1908) gathered 3,000 Kurds in Istanbul to take part in the war against the Russians. He lived in Istanbul with his family and had a Kurdish guest room in the district of Khunkar Imam in the Aji Badam sector.

- 1889: Dr. Abdullah Cevdet (1868- 1932) and Ishak S'kuti (1868-1902), two Kurdish cultural personalities in Istanbul,
founded the first political organization (Committee of Union Development) to dissolve the Ottoman Empire on May 21, 1889, in Istanbul.

- 1891: a number of Kurdish tribes gathered and headed to Istanbul and organized Swarai Hamidia; later, in 1893, Sultan Abdul-Hammed received them and offered them medals.

- 1892: The school of Ashayariya was opened in Istanbul in which Kurdish children attended classes.

- Atatol Bahram Oghlu, a late-19th-century poet, talked about exhausted Kurdish workers in Istanbul in a few lines of one of his poems about Istanbul city.

- On July 9, 1898, Gen. Sharif Pasha, the Kurdish politician in Istanbul, became the ambassador of the Ottoman State in Stockholm and was a secret member of the Committee of the Union and Development.

- 1898: The Ottoman Sultan threatened Miqdad Madhat Badirkhan in Istanbul, and said that if he didnAEt close the newspaper; they would take away all his possessions.

- At the last quarter of the 19th century, many Kurdish poets like Nali, Haji Qadri Koiey, Kaifi, and Sheikh Razay Talabani spent their lives in Istanbul. At the beginning of the 20th century, the residents of many districts and cafes in Istanbul were only Kurds, like the family of Zihni of Pashay Baban (1850- 1929), Ismael Haqi Babanzada (1876- 1913), Shukri Baban (1893- 1980), and Jihad Hikmat Baban (1911- 94).

- Qassim Amin (1860- 1903) was originally Kurdish from Suleimaniya city. He finished his studies in France and was a judge in Egypt; he also settled in Istanbul for awhile. His famous book, Huriyat Niswan (The Freedom of Women), was translated into Turkish and became popular in Istanbul.

- Abdul- Razaq Badirkhan (1846- 1918) studied in Istanbul. He was one of those personalities who offered medals to people. After murdering Razwan Pasha in 1906, he was exiled to Libya. In that year, the father of Simko Aghay Shikak was exiled to Istanbul.

- Zia Gwek Alep (1876- 1924), a sociologist and a great Kurdish scholar in Diyar Bakir city, carried out linguistic research about the Kurdish language with Khalil Khaiali in Istanbul. He was an effective person in the field of modern Turkish sociology. 

- Great Kurdish author Saeid Nursi (1876- 1960) lived in Istanbul.

- Muhammad Shafiq Arwasi Zada (1884- 1970) was the staff head for reviewing the Quran.

- Amin Hali Badirkhan (1851- 1926) was the judicial investigator.

- Kamaran Badirkhan was born in Istanbul in 1895 and studied there. He left Istanbul in 1914.

- The magazine Zhin, published in Istanbul, informed us that the number of Kurdish workers in Istanbul were 5,000 to 10,000 in 1918.

- According to a source, 200 students were studying in different departments in Istanbul universities and institutions in 1918.

- Mamduh Salim (1880- 1976) was another Kurdish cultural personality who knew French and lived in Istanbul. He studied philosophy there and was a member of the Committee of Union and Development and the Hevi Organization. He headed to Damascus to work for Khoibun.

- Ahmad Ramzi Zada was the owner of the Ijtihad Library, and became the administrator of Mashrutiyat School in Istanbul in 1910. He was also an author in the city of Istanbul.

- Hamza Bagh Moksi, executive editor of Zhin newspaper, was hanged in Istanbul in 1919. 

- Muhammad Shukri Sagban (1881- 1960) was a political activist at the beginning of the 20th century. He was also a well-known cultural personality in Istanbul. 

- Lutfi Fikri Diyarbakri (1872- 1934) finished the College of Rights in France; after the 1908 coup dAEtat, he was elected the representative of Darsim in the Majlis of Mabhusan.

- Tofiq Wahbi, who was born in 1891, participated in military training in Istanbul.

- Rafiq Hilmi (1898- 1960) spent his life in Istanbul when he was a young man.

- According to a survey, during the years 1934-35, the number of people who spoke Kurdish were about 2,095. Of those, 1,668 were males and 427 were females.

- In the middle of the 20th century, the Kurdish population in Istanbul was about one million.

Translated by Hawjin Rashadaddin

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