More than 20, 000 people attended the funeral of writer Mehmed Uzun, a master of Kurdish novel, yesterday in Diyarbakır. Fellow writer Yaşar Kemal, who spoke at Uzun's request, told mourners, "soon this war will end in peace," in reference to ongoing troubles in Turkey's southeast.
Kemal made the following speech:“Thank you all. Mehmed was everything to me. He was a great man. Books, poems, epics will be dedicated to Mehmed. He somehow managed to write masterpieces in the midst of such turmoil. He will be remembered as a people’s beacon of light. I sincerely believe this. Mehmed masterfully invented the modern Kurdish novel. What is a novel? It is a representation of a civilisation. Mehmed created the novel of our Kurdish language. I am of Kurdish origin, but not a Kurdish writer. Mehmed is a Kurdish writer. He cleared the prickly path of the language of the Kurdish novel. This is an enormous contribution to our culture."
DTP leaders said that Uzun had always called for Kurdish solidarity. Kemal noted that he had never seen so many people at a writer’s funeral.