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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Mourns Death of Mehmet Uzun


Mehmet Uzun 1953-2007
Kurdish Human Rights Project is extremely saddened at the death on 11 October in Diyarbakır of Kurdish writer and cultural figure Mehmet Uzun after a long battle with cancer.

A prolific writer and linguist of the Kurdish language, Uzun lived in exile in Sweden from 1977, where he led successful literary career. He was the writer of Turkey’s first modern Kurdish novel, Tu (You, 1985) and edited the first anthology of Kurdish literature which included over one hundred writers and poets from across the Kurdish regions. Over the years his work has faced censorship and restrictions in Turkey, but has been lauded internationally and translated into over 20 languages.

Uzun was an outspoken advocate of Kurdish cultural and linguistic rights and worked tirelessly for the protection, promotion and revival of the Kurdish language both in literature and daily life. Through his work he also became a staunch defender of freedom of expression and was the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious Swedish Torgny Segerstedt Freedom of the Pen Award.

On receipt of the sad news, KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yildiz stated: “Mehmet Uzun was a close friend and supporter of KHRP and was an honoured member of our board of patrons. The beauty, sincerity and integrity of his work created a democratic and peaceful platform for the assertion and promotion of Kurdish rights. His death is a great loss to us here at KHRP and to all those who struggle for the defence of freedom of expression and cultural-linguistic rights. Mehmet will be sadly missed.”