“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”—Voltaire Dear Mr. Coelho, You are hot news in Kurdistan—among its lovers of literature to be exact. But we can’t yet award you any literary prize for honoring our homeland and its hapless children in your novel, Eleven Minutes. Perhaps we should. We also… Continue reading

You could say that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan played with fire—and got burned. Even better—it was Kurds who lit the flame. It started when Mr. Erdogan noticed his handpicked candidate for mayor of Istanbul, Binali Yildirim, was losing in the polls. In desperation, he turned to Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of Kurdistan Workers’… Continue reading

Americans are gearing up to elect their president in November 2020, for a four-year term beginning in January 2021. The choice will be between the current president, Republican Donald J. Trump, or one of 23 declared Democratic candidates. Leading the Democratic contenders is Joseph R. Biden who actually knows Kurds and speaks a political language… Continue reading

Turks everywhere solemnly honor November 10, 1938 and its anniversaries, as a day of mourning. That’s when the founder of their country—Ataturk, so-called father of the Turks—died of liver failure due to alcoholism. In Turkey, Turks stop work to observe his passing. Kurds are also expected to take part in these involuntary rituals. Our children… Continue reading

Long before the controversy of whether or not the freed Yezidi women of Islamic State should hold on to their children became a topic of conversation among the Kurds, a doctor rang the alarm bells: “For Yezidis, there are simply not enough well people to create a sense of collective health.” Translation: Yezidis are hurting… Continue reading

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a severe case of Kurdophobia, but we may have to give the devil his due on this one. He has somehow let Selahattin Demirtas pen Dawn, a work of twelve fictional short stories, from his Turkish prison cell in Edirne. That is terrific news for Demirtas, the popular Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament since 2007, and even… Continue reading

To be fair to him, this was not what Behrouz Boochani wanted to do when he was growing up in Kurdistan, Iran. But that is pretty much what he is doing right now imprisoned as he is on Manus Island—about 2,000 miles away from the land of his ambitious preoccupation. Long before that, Boochani was… Continue reading