Founding Members

 At the International PEN Congress in Cambridge, which took place in April 1988, there has been a motion to vote for the foundation of a Kurdish PEN Centre. This process has been initiated by the Kurdish author Hüseyin Erdem who had been supported by a few Kurdish writers and other national PEN Centres. All delegates of this international conference voted for the foundation of a Kurdish Centre with no vote against and no abstention.

This was the first time in history that a national Kurdish organisation became a member of an international body having equal rights with others. By doing so, the PEN International exercised its right to pressure those totalitarian regimes which are sued to silencing freedom of speech and destroying cultural diversity in their countries. The PEN International, well ahead of the official state structures, displayed the significance to interfere into the so-called domestic affairs if liberty and human dignity are at stake. This achievement was an important step for the Kurdish language and literature enabling them to gather respect and strength and to gain an international acceptance.

This was followed up by a necessary bureaucratic and legal groundwork. As a result, the Kurdish PEN Centre was officially registered in Spring, 1990, by the District Court and Tax Office in Cologne/Köln, Germany, to be able to do its activities in accordance with the German laws and to acquire the duties and rights of a legal person.

From the very beginning, the Kurdish PEN Centre has been representing the Kurdish writers living both in the four divided parts of Kurdistan and abroad thus refusing to play a role of an exiled Centre. The Kurdish PEN Centre with the backing of its friends world-wide works for the sake of preservation and development of the Kurdish language, literature and culture.   

The Founding Members of the Kurdish PEN Centre are:

Hüseyn Erdem Yayla Mönch-Bucak

Abdurrahman Nakshabandy

Hüseyn Kartal
Emine Erdem

Haydar Ižik

Mehmet Uzun