Celadet Bedir Khan

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Celadet Bedir Khan
Born 26 April 1893
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died July 1951
Damascus, Syria
Occupation Diplomat, writer, linguist, journalist, political activist.
Nationality Kurdish

Celadet Bedir Khan (Kurdish: Celadet Alî Bedirxan; 26 April 1893 – 1951), also known as Mîr Celadet, was a Kurdish diplomat, writer, linguist, journalist and political activist. He held a master's degree in law from Istanbul University, completed his studies in Munich, and spoke several languages including Arabic, Kurdish, Russian, German, Turkish, Persian and French. He left Turkey in 1923 when the Kemalists declared a new republic. In 1927, at a conference of Kurdish nationalists held in Beirut, a committee was formed, the Xoybûn.

Life[edit]

Celadet was born to Mir Ali Bedir Khan, son of the last emir of the Bohtan Bedir Khan Beg, and Circassian Senihe Hanım. Sources differ as to his birthplace, according to Kurdish sources he was born in a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey, however according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, he was born in Syria. He held a master's degree in law from Istanbul University, completed his studies in Munich, and spoke several foreign languages including Arabic, Kurdish, Russian, German, Turkish, Persian and French.

Bedir Khan brothers: Kamuran (1895- 1978), Sureyya (1883-1938), and Celadet

Ali Badirkhan left Turkey for Egypt in 1923 when the Ankara Government declared the new republic. In 1927, at a conference of Kurdish nationalists held in Beirut, a committee was formed, the Xoybûn, to coordinate the movement. Jaladat Ali Badirkhan was elected as the first president of this committee. Three years later, the Xoybûn became involved in the Kurdish independence movement in Ağrı Province, called Republic of Ararat. After the defeat of the Ararat movement, he moved to Iran. Reza Shah Pahlavi, King of Iran, tried to persuade him to stay away from Kurdish nationalist movement, and offered him a consulate job, but had him expelled from the country when he did not agree. Then he moved to Iraq, but the British did not want him to stay, and he finally moved to Syria in 1931, where he lived his remaining two decades in exile.

After the defeat of Kurdish nationalist movements in Turkey, Iraq and Iran, he devoted himself to the Kurdish cultural issues. In 1935 he married his cousin, Rewşen Xanim. He had two children from this marriage, Cemşîd and Sînemxan. During his last years, he faced severe economic problems, and worked as a farmer. In July 1951, he fell into a well during an incident[clarification needed] and died.

His daughter Sînemxan, lives as of 2005 in Baghdad; she has written several books on Kurdistan's history.

Work[edit]

His work in exile concentrated on a Latin alphabet for the Kurdish language. In 1931, he published the Kurdish grammar book Bingehên rêzimana Kurdî (or Bingehên gramera kurdmancî). The French authorities in Syria permitted his publishing of a Kurdish-oriented cultural magazine, 'Hawar, beginning on 15 May 1932. It was initially bi-monthly, and primarily in Kurdish, with three or four pages per issue in French. Although the first 23 issues, from 1932 to 1935, were published using the Arabic alphabet, his principal purpose was the further development and spread of the Latin-based alphabet he had developed for northern Kurdish (i.e., Kurmanji), and issues 24 to 57, from 1941 to 1943 (monthly), were published in the standard Latin-based Kurdish alphabet, also known as the "Bedirxan script". It is still used by Kurds in Turkey and Syria. From 1942 until 1945, he published a separate monthly journal named Ronahî, comprising 28 issues. In 1970, the French translation of his book on Kurdish grammar was published in France.

Books[edit]

  • Nivêjên Êzidiyan (The prayers of Yazidis)
  • Ji Mesela Kurdistanê (About the Kurdistan Problem), in Hawar journal, vol.45
  • Elfabêya Kurdî û Bingehên gramera kurdmancî (Kurdish Alphabet and The Basics of Kurmanji Grammar)
  • Bedir Khan, Djeladet Ali & Lescot, Roger, Grammaire kurde: (dialect kurmandji), Paris: J. Maisonneuve, (Librairie d'Amerique et d'Orient), 1991 (also Paris: Maisonneuve, 1970).

References[edit]