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Mehmet Kurt

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From Oriental Nightingales to Peace Pigeons

[A storyteller performance at Dengbêj House in Diyarbakır. Photo by Mehmet Kurt.]

On a rainy winter night in Idil/Turkey, in 2011, the tribesmen whom I was interviewing asked their Dengbêj (Storyteller) to sing for them.[1] The Dengbêj said he could not sing anymore because he was ill. The tribesmen teased him, saying they knew he had stopped singing after they had been displaced from their land and resettled in a small town in southeastern Turkey in the early 1990s. That was not all, however: the Dengbêj also wanted to avoid appearing on Kurdish ...

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Bio

 

Mehmet Kurt holds a BA in theology and an MA in sociology. He is a PhD student in sociology at Selçuk University; his thesis deals with Kurdish Hizbullah. He teaches Kurdish language and anthropology at Bingol University. He was recently a visiting assistant researcher in the Department of Anthropology at Yale University for two years. He has published and presented his work at various international conferences, including the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) and the Arab-Turkish Congress of Social Sciences (ATCOSS). He is also interested in poetry and storytelling, and he is working on his first novel. He can be reached here.