PRETTY NEW : Kurdish and Assyrian Poems Translated Into Turkish

HURRIYET 29.11.2012 – Poems in Syriac [Assyrian] by Mor Efrem and poems in Kurdish by Ahmed Ceziri have been translated into Turkish at the request of the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The translated works include poems by one of the most important names in Syriac literature, Mor Efrem. The poems were written during the fourth century using a seven-syllabic meter. The book consists of 400 pages and includes additional information on Mor Efrem’s life.

“These poems are an important part of Syriac culture and literature,” said the high priest of Mardin’s Kırklar Church, Gabriel Akyüz, according to Anatolia news agency.”Those who read the book will have the chance to learn information about the poets and how they lived. On the other hand, they will learn more about Mor Efrem. Mor Efrem was a theologian, poet and linguist,” he said.

“The manuscript has been translated into Turkish and will be published. The book project, consisting of 31 poems, has taken one year. I am very happy to complete the project,” said Akyüz. “Syriac literature is very old … In the past, the old Mardin Municipality collected some poems, and there was a book that was written in the handwriting of Mor Efrem.”

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News, Sabo Boyacı, a member of the Syriac Society, said it was very important for the Syriac community to collect and preserve such cultural entities. “We do not receive our proper rights. Education in our mother tongue is our main aim but they do not give it to us. In this sense, translating these poems does make a contradiction. The work is very important but we also want our rights,” Boyacı said. Meanwhile, Ahmed-i Cezirî’s poems in Kurdish form an important part of Kurdish literature and were written when Ottoman Divan Literature was at its highest level in the past. Cezirî’s lived between 1567 and 1640 and wrote poems in all Kurdish dialects. His poems tell of love, patriotism and philosophy.