Mem û Zin Culture and Arts Centre was opened in 2004 in the Cizre district of Şırnak (Şırnex), a Kurdish majority province in eastern Turkey. However, the centre has remained closed for a long time due to the curfews announced by government authorities in 2015. It was also raided after the curfew was lifted and unfortunately was demolished by the landowner afterwards.
Many students could not complete their musical training after the closure of the centre, which provided musical instruments and training in erbane, baglama, guitar playing and in halay training for the youth of Şırnak.
One of the students is 17-year-old Zilan Sevinç. who started taking classes in the centre when she was only five-year-old, MA reported. Since she has been living in the Danêr (Duru) village of the İdil district of Şırnak, she has not been able to attend the centre due to the curfews that were announced in 2015. However, she has improved her musical skills despite all these difficulties.
”I played erbane by hitting the tray on which we ate. After the curfew was declared in Cizre, I worked as a shepherd in the village. Whilst I was doing that, I always sang songs in the open areas. Thus, I had the opportunity to hear my voice. After that, I started playing/learning erbane,” she said.
Sevinç shared that she wants to make and play music in her mother tongue. However, when she wanted to participate in a music competition at school by singing a song in Kurdish, she was rejected. This did not stop her. “I never thought about quitting music. My desire is to sing in my mother tongue. We are not allowed to sing in our mother tongue,” she said.
“My only wish is that they open a Kurdish music education centre in this city. If it opens, I will be the first one to go and sing in Kurdish and receive a musical education there.”