Çetin Lodi, a peddler living in Turkey’s Batman (Êlih) province since 1990, has authored four poetry books that focus on his experiences of working in the streets for over three decades, Mesopotamia Agency reports.
Born in a village in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority province of Siirt (Sêrt), 43 year old Lodi – who has been working as a peddler selling his goods with his truck – observes: “I have met with very interesting people through the years. Sometimes, I stop working and listen to their stories: they ask me to tell their stories in my books”.
Lodi took classes in the Kurdish Language Research and Development Association (Kurdi-Der) for two years before he was able to write his poems in Kurdish, which is his mother language. However, he was not initially able to write in Kurdish because he was never able to receive an education in Kurdish.
His love for the Kurdish language drove him to improve upon his writing skills. “Kurdish is one of the richest languages in the world: we all have to show our respect to our mother language”, he said. Working as a peddler and writing four books at the same time over a 30 year period has not been an easy task. He wakes up at 9am for his work and starts his daily routine on the streets till late in the evening, selling his wares.
“I can begin writing at night, around 11pm when I finally get home and am ready to write. I generally write until 4am in the morning. This is the only time I have to be able to write my poems, so I generally have five hours of sleep a day”, he said. His first poetry book, ‘Rê û Rê’ (‘The road and the road’), was published on 15 June 2013. His second book had the title ‘Çavên Şevînî’ (‘Eyes of the Night’). Lodi wrote about nature, longing and the joys and the sorrows of the Kurdish people in these two poetry books which brought him awards.
He has been working on three books since 2016 but the publishing process was delayed for a year due to the pandemic. “Finally, I could publish them last week. I am happy for that and continue to write. I will do my best to display the beauty of the Kurdish language”, he said.
After having published his third poetry book, ‘Şiva Miriyan’ (‘Food of the Dead’), he authored a novel, ‘Evîn û Mirin’ (‘Love and Death’) which has been available from book stores since February this year.
In ‘Evîn û Mirin’ (‘Love and Death’), he writes about Turkey during the 1990’s and the events in the novel revolve around the stories of forced evacuations of the villages, forced disappearances and unsolved murders that were common due to the politics of the Turkish state against Kurds. “I witnessed everyday people’s lives: pain, joy and the culture of Kurds all through those years and I am trying to tell their stories,” he said.