It has been Ismail Besikci's firm belief that Kurds have a just cause and are entitled to sovereignty as part of their legal national right.
Ismail Beşikçi, 52 years of advocacy for freedom and the Kurdish cause
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—One year has passed since the Rudaw Media Network was launched. Starting this year, Rudaw will celebrate its anniversary by promoting the works of those who have contributed to the Kurdish cause, and have inspired others to do so. To this end, every year Rudaw will have the honor to announce and award its Person of the Year.
We are happy to announce that this year’s laureate will be the renowned Turkish sociologist and scholar, Dr. Ismail Beşikçi, honored for his “52 years of support for freedom and the Kurdish cause.”
After careful considerations and with the consent of Dr. Beşikçi, Rudaw proudly announces that Dr. Ismail Beşikçi is the 2014 Person of the Year. Therefore, Rudaw will dedicate itself to publishing and promoting the works of Dr. Beşikçi, which are written in defense of equality among nations and freedom for the Kurdish people.
Ismail Beşikçi has conducted his research in a scientific manner and believes that Kurdistan “is an international colony” which is wiped off the world map, and divided among many different nations states.
Beşikçi has based his relentless support for the Kurdish cause on fairness and equality among different peoples, the right to self-determination and the universal bill of human rights.
Dr. Beşikçi’s work is especially important, considering the fact that he voiced support for the Kurds when many others chose to be silent, despite the systematic oppression of the Kurds in the 1960s. In his scientific research, Dr. Beşikçi showed why and how the Kurds as a people were entitled to their land and language. This is why he was imprisoned and exiled for long periods of his life.
It has been his firm belief that Kurds have a just cause and are entitled to sovereignty as part of their legal national right.
Dr. Beşikçi owns also large archives of Kurdish papers, published in both Kurdish and Turkish, which now are studied as research material by Kurdish students across universities. Kurdish scholars frequently cite his academic commentaries about the Kurdish cause.
Rudaw intends to translate and publish a significant number of Dr. Beşikçi’s books in Kurdish.
In addition, Rudaw will be holding a weeklong seminar on the works and theories of Dr. Beşikçi, and providing special coverage of events designed for Dr Beşikçi and his works. It will also be producing a documentary film about him. Writers, researchers and contributors are encouraged to submit their opinions and suggestions.
Following are some facts about Dr Ismail Beşikçi:
- He was born on January 7, 1939 in Iskilip, Erzurum.
- He comes from a Muslim family.
- His father, Hosni, was a grocer in the Ottoman era.
- In 1962 he graduated from Ankara University with a BA degree in political science.
- He started to lecture in sociology as an associate professor at the Ataturk University in Erzurum in the late 1960s, but was removed due to his support for the Kurdish cause.
- He has received the Osman Sabri Award and the Barzani Medal of Honor, but has rejected a number of Western awards.
- His first acquaintance with the Kurdish cause took place when he served in the military in the Kurdish Semzinan area. That is when he wrote his first paper about the Kurds.
- He was sentenced overall to 100 years of imprisonment as punishment for his research into the Kurdish cause, but was released after 17 years in prison. He has been accused of disintegrating Turkey.
- He supports the independence of all four parts of Kurdistan.
- He was finally released from prison in 1999.
- 32 of his 36 books and research papers have been banned in Turkey.