The Kurdish-language event, “Çîrokên Xorasanê (Tales of Khorasan),” due to take place at Ali Emiri Efendi Cultural Centre in Istanbul’s Fatih district on Saturday, has been banned by the district governorate without any justification.
The Mesopotamia Cultural Centre (MKM), the organisers of the event, expressed their concerns, stating, “This ban, imposed just hours before our event, is essentially an attack on Kurdish language and culture. We consider this ban, like previous ones, null and void. The event will proceed as scheduled on 17 June at 20:00 at the Mesopotamia Cultural Centre.”
The “Tales of Khorasan” event, described on the organiser’s website, focuses on the experiences of Kurds living in exile in Khorasan, far from their homeland, and their strong attachment to their culture. The event aims to showcase Kurdish songs (strans) sung to commemorate their bravery, mourn their destroyed villages, and express their longing for their abducted loved ones. The project aims to highlight the stories and experiences of Kurds living in Khorasan, while also recognising Istanbul as a contemporary Khorasan for Kurds, providing a place to express their heritage and collective identity.
The event promises captivating storytelling by Çîrokbêj Ayhan Erkmen, who has extensively worked on Kurdish stories and experiences, accompanied by the musical talent of Haşim Ferhadî on the Dutar. Audiences can expect to hear tales of heroism, exile, love, and devotion through this unique event.
Born in 1973 in Kars, Ayhan Erkmen was immersed in the enchanting world of “village room culture” with no electricity during his upbringing, where he would listen to stories from the Çîrokbêj, the custodians of oral Kurdish literature, and melodies from Dengbêj. Despite obtaining a law degree, Erkmen’s passion for Kurdish culture and history led him to publish five books and numerous articles on the subject. With a prolific body of work that includes over a hundred video stories and several documentaries, Erkmen continues to traverse villages and cities, preserving the social memory of communities. However, his dedication to his craft resulted in his arrest in 2011, and he remained imprisoned until the end of 2018.
Despite the ban imposed by the authorities, the organisers remain determined to celebrate Kurdish culture and ensure that the “Tales of Khorasan” event takes place as planned, allowing attendees to immerse themselves in the rich heritage of the Kurdish people.