An overview of Kurdish literature in Turkish

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Kurdish literature has recently taken a major leap forward. Texts which had been obscured for years, repressed and kept hidden, are now being published, finally seeing the light of day. Written Kurdish literature, with a history of over a millennium, may be duly known and appreciated on a universal scale through translations. The aim of this preliminary survey of translations from Kurdish literature into Turkish is to observe certain characteristic phenomena ranging from the selection of texts for translation and target language usage to the translators’ dilemma regarding (self-)censorship, and the tensions in their relationship to both languages. This paper attempts to make a fresh approach to challenge established notions and prejudices regarding Kurdish literature, offering analyses on attitudes to Kurdish and to Kurdish literature and interpretations of the literary history of Kurdish. It focuses on translations into Turkish, on the Kurdish translators’ basic arguments, and their ‘mission’ which go beyond their profession as translators.


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