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Kurdish literature: Qedrîcan

Qedrîcan or Qedrîcan, Abdulkadir Can (1911–1972) was a Kurdishpoet, writer and translator. He was born in Derik, a small village (present-day Mardin Province, south-eastern Turkey). At a time when schooling was the subject of jokes and when few people studied Qedrîcan’s father, known as “Cano” (hence the last name) sent him to school. He was a very successful student, especially in the areas of science and mathematics. Seeing that his son was a successful student Cano decided to send his son to Konya to study at the teachers’ college there. During his days as a student there Qedrî Can was blacklisted for cultivating “political strife”; he was made a target for writing poetry in Kurdish and was forced to escape Turkey. At a time after the defeat of the Sheikh Said Rebellion, he escaped to Syria and lived in Damascus until his death in 1972.

Qedrîcan is remembered for openly teaching the Kurdish Language to students in Northeastern Syria. Among his circle of friends are the well known names of renowned Kurdish intellectuals: Celadet Bedir Khan, Kamuran Bedir Khan, Dr Nurettin Zaza, Dr Nuri Dersimi, Ekrem Cemilpasa, Kadri Cemiplasa, Dr Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, and more.


Qedrîcan was one of the first Kurdish poets to write poetry in the modern Free verse style. His poetry is similar to that of Mayakovsky and Nazim Hikmet and he promoted socialism through his poetry. In addition to poetry, he also wrote short stories and biographies. Most of his works were published in the Kurdish journals HawarRonahî and Roja Nû.

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