Turkish writer Berne Bersigli Mutt: Arabic literature is deeply rooted and this is the secret of my interest in Syrian writers | culture

The Organization of Justice (US-Syria) awarded an honorary “Nizar Qabbani Medal” to a Turkish writer for the first time on Monday.

The organization was of the opinion that the Turkish writer Bern Bercigli Mutt deserved the award for her contribution to the promotion of Syrian culture and literature, and her fair view of the cause of the Syrian people.

The founder of the organization, Haitham Al-Bazm, explained – in his speech during the award ceremony held at the Cultural Center of the Taksim Mosque in Istanbul – that humanitarian aid is everyone’s responsibility and duty.

He added that the organization is honoring Bersigli Mutt today with the “Nizar Qabbani Medal” for his project to transfer Syrian creative and intellectual production to Turkish and other languages.

He pointed out that the award is not only in the name of Ms Mott, but is also for Turkey, and pointed out that the award is of great importance to the organization; It is a symbol of support and care for the Syrian people.

In turn, Maysa Qabbani, deputy head of the organization, said that the Assad regime had distorted the civilized and cultural history of Syria for many years, and tried to sow hatred among the Syrian people.

She indicated that they decided to award the award in the cultural center of the Taksim Mosque, because mosques in Syrian culture are not places of violence and hatred, but rather places where people gather for the spirit of love and to promote brotherhood.

Qabbani appreciated Turkey’s role in hosting the Syrians and thanked its people for their support in every sense of the word for their Syrian brothers.

In turn, the Turkish writer – who gave the award to the children of Syria – explained that she met the poems of the poet Nizar Qabbani during her secondary school years, noting that she did not just like him for his poetry , but also for his honorable views against injustice and oppression.

She added that she learned through Qabbani’s poems about the suffering of the Syrian people, and that this is what a poet fits to be a voice for his people.

She stated that her goal was to help the Turkish people get to know the honorable people like Nizar Qabbani, whose only weapon was the pen.

Awards ceremony held at the Taksim Mosque Cultural Center in Istanbul (Anatolia)

Literature and translation

Bersigli Mutt spoke to Al Jazeera Net, saying that Turkish and Arabic literature are related to an ancient and intertwined relationship, and the interaction began to flourish through religion with the conversion of the Turks to Islam, and the subject of “love of the Prophet “represents a common theme between Arabic and Turkish literary poems.

She added, “Ottoman poets used to write Arabic poetry, such as Sheikh al-Islam Abu al-Saud Effendi (deceased 982 AH / 1574 AD) who wrote Arabic poetry.”

And she continued, “It is difficult to separate Arabic and Turkish literature, and also from Arab poets, such as Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi (1863-1936) and Maarif al-Rusafi (1875-1945), who in their poems … We, the Turks and the Arabs, have always been in love together. Talk about each other. “

When asked about the translation movement between the two literatures, she said: “There are currently important activities in the field of translation, but of course it is not enough. I personally think that sometimes a lot of wrong choices are made. Sometimes wrong choices chosen, deliberately, that is, for ideological reasons, and sometimes unhappily, due to ignorance and lack of knowledge.

“Translations from Turkish literature into Arabic literature revolve only around a few names. However, we have much better writers and poets who have to translate into Arabic. Together we need to know each other’s true writers. Similarly, there are poor choices. in translated literary works. ” Arabic in Turkish..Unfortunately, some Arabic writers write low quality literature, whose works have been translated into our language..while important Arabic literary works have been left without translation.

Syrian literature in Turkish

Regarding her interest in modern Syrian literature, Bersaigli-Mutt said: “Honestly, I did not have much knowledge of it in the past. My field of work was Palestinian literature. In 2016, we produced a 5-part documentary on Palestinian literature. literature, and then I continued to work. I wrote two books on Palestinian literature. Palestinian literature, under the title: The Palestinians from the Great Revolution that preceded the Nakba 1936-1939 and the post-Nakba period. I have edited the books of some of the great Palestinian writers such as Ghassan Kanafani and Fadwa Toukan.

And she continued: “During these studies, my path has always been to Syria. As you know, there are many important Syrian writers and intellectuals who played a major role in the Palestinian resistance. After 2011, something caught my attention and disturbed me a lot. We can talk comfortably about Palestinian literature. ” “Unfortunately, when it comes to Syria, we have faced great hypocrisy.”

She added: “Strangely enough, people were more suspicious of Syrian writers. But there is no difference between Palestine and Syria. I can think of no greater hypocrisy than to support the Palestinian resistance and its writers and ignore the Syrian resistance. . “

She stressed that Arabic literature has an incredibly rich and deep-rooted tradition, “and Syrian literature has always been one of the most important sources feeding Arab literature. So why are there those who exclude them because they have now raised their voices against injustice? We know the reasons, but it is still really unreasonable. “

She continued, “For many reasons like this, I became interested in Syrian literature. First, I started writing articles on Syrian literature for some literary magazines and newspapers in Turkey. One of the first articles I wrote was about the great poet “Nuri al-Jarrah from Damascus, because his poems have had a profound influence on me. Later, we started translating and publishing the works of some important Syrian poets and writers in magazines.”

In the meantime, I interviewed Syrian writers, we started with small things, but our dreams were big. We were so excited, as if we were digging the earth with our hands and finding a new gem as we dug. Meanwhile, I had many friends of magazine editors who supported me. Seeing the interest in Syrian literature in Turkey has given us endless happiness. “

“That’s why we decided to continue our work a bit and set up a publishing house (Farabi-Kitab). We already have experience in publishing, and we had a good team. That’s why .. we live only once, so why I think we should fight to the end for our ideals. “

Translate Arabic Literature into Turkish

“We have set important criteria for publishing. We were determined to provide the most prominent examples in Syrian and Arabic literature first. Because the presentation of bad literature is a great injustice to good writers. For this reason, we have a selection committee. compiled by our leading writers in the Arab world on this subject, “said Bersigli Mutt. We are trying to show a high level of interest in the writers we will introduce to the Turkish people. “

The second criterion – according to the author – is that literature should not be fed by evil, but by good, and not by cruelty but by justice. In the Arab world or anywhere else. It is not possible to include works by such authors in our publications.

“In my opinion, a publishing house should not only look for good texts, but also good writers. I would say that, because the letter I recently wrote to the poet Adonis was exposed to many questions, such as how he can touch our hearts. ? ”Today Adonis wrote the most beautiful poem in the world.

And she continued, “Let me give you a counter-example, I’m still under the influence of the very sad news we received a few hours ago. Unfortunately, the great Damascene writer, my teacher Khayri Al-Dhahabi has passed away. The translation of two of his books was working in our publishing house. “

I am in indescribable sadness because my golden khairi meant dignity to me. He was the right person for me. He was not only a novelist, but represented so much more in my eyes. He was a man who rose up against tyrants, and did not violate his dignity. Even though he paid a lot of price in his life. “

Syrian novelist Khairy Al-Dhahabi
The Syrian writer, novelist and historian Khairy Al-Dhahabi was born in Damascus in 1946 and died a few days ago in Paris (Al-Jazeera).

“Most of all, it makes me sad that he passed away before we could publish his work, even though the Turkish translation of his book would be finished soon. I am very sad that we not only lost a tremendous talent, but we also lost a bright heart and an honorable attitude, “she continues. My wish from God is to be able to translate all his books into Turkish and engrave the name of this honorable man in the minds of the Turkish people. I want our children. , grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know that a wonderful writer and person named Khairy Al-Dhahabi has gone through this world.

Nizar Qabbani

Asked about her influence on the late Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, the Turkish writer said he was the first Syrian poet she knew, “I remember writing Nizar Qabbani’s verses on the sidelines of my notebooks when I was still on “High school was. Life and people, I loved Nizar Qabbani more. We all know how great a poet he is.”

She added, “He was proficient in Arabic language and words. But his ingenuity is not limited to that. Nizar Qabbani was a man who did not lose his childhood innocence, regardless of his age. This is clearly visible even in his photos or facial expressions when he speaks. “

She concluded: “What is childish innocence? In my opinion, childlike innocence means to raise your voice against injustice and oppression without liability. Nizar Qabbani was such a man. All his life he did not endanger his dignity, and he was not afraid to raise his voice if there was injustice somewhere. ” He was widely known for his beloved poems, but Nizar Qabbani was a great resistance poet. I had to love him. “

“We must find poets and writers like Nizar Qabbani to love ourselves. Let us love them so that we do not lose hope in life. Let’s say, there are great poets and writers in this world who suffer for us, “Think of us. They are our heroes,” she said.

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