Musa Anter

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Musa Anter
Şeyhmus Elmas

DiedSeptember 20, 1992(1992-09-20) (aged 71–72)
Diyarbakır, Turkey
Cause of deathAssassinated
Other namesApê Musa ("Uncle Musa")
OccupationWriter, political activist
Known forKurdish activism,
Notable work
Ferhenga Kurdî
Political partyPeople's Labor Party
Ayşe Hanım
(m. 1944)

Musa Anter (1920 – 20 September 1992), also known as "Apê Musa" (Kurdish: Apê Musa‎, literally "Uncle Musa"), was a Kurdish writer,[1][2] journalist and intellectual and was assassinated by Turkish JITEM in September 1992.[3][4][5]


He was born in the Eskimağara (in Kurdish:Ziving) village (Nusaybin District of the Mardin Province). Originally named Şeyhmus Elmas after Sheikh Şeyhmus, and Elmas (Diamond in Turkish) was the surname given by the Turkish authorities, he later wanted to be called Musa Anter.[6] He completed his primary education in Mardin, and then studied at junior and senior high school in Adana. When he was a student, he had been to Syria during his summer holidays and got acquaintance with Kurdish nationalist intellectuals[7][8] such as Celadet and Kamuran Bedir Khan, Kadri and Ekrem Cemilpaşa, Dr. Nafiz, Nuri Zaza, Nuri Dersimi, Qedrîcan, Osman Sabri, Haco Agha and his son Hasan, Emînê Perîxanê's son Şikriye Emîn, Mala Elyê Unus, Teufo Ciziri and Cigerxwîn.[9] In 1944, he married Ayşe Hanım,[10] the daughter of Abdurrahim Rahmi Zapsu [tr].[11] He was actively promoting the use of the Kurdish language with his journalistic work, which caused him quite some turmoil during his lifetime.[12] During the 1950s, he established three media outlets, the Şark Mecmuasi, (1951), the Şark Postasi (1954) and the Ilery Yurt (1958).[13] After in 1959 he published the poem Qimil in Kurdish language in the newspaper Ilery Yurt, Anter was arrested. His arrest caused a wave of Kurdish protests, in which aftermath a trial against 50 Kurdish intellectuals began, which was known as the Case of the 49 [de].[14] He eventually had to serve some time prison but was soon released, due to an amnesty.[10] In 1963 Musa Anter and other 23 intellectuals were arrested and were sentenced to 3 years for allegedly having attempted to establish an independent Kurdish state.[10] He was released in 1964.[10] In 1970 he was one of the charged in the trial of the Revolutionary Cultural Eastern Hearths (DDKO) members[15] and after his release three years after he settled in Aksaru, a village in the Nusaybin district.[10] Following the coup d'etat in 1980, he was shortly jailed for "Kurdish propaganda" in Nusaybin.[10] June 1990 he was one of the 81 founding members of the People's Labour Party (HEP).[16] He later supported the establishments of the Mesopotamian Cultural Center in 1991 and Kurdish Institute in Istanbul in 1992.[10]


Anter was shot on the 20 September 1992 in an incident in which Orhan Miroğlu was seriously injured.[17] Some Turkish sources claimed that Abdülkadir Aygan, who was a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and surrendered in 1985,[18] and posteriorly recruited as part of the first staff of the JİTEM (the Turkish Gendarmerie's Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Service),[18] said he had been part of a JİTEM unit, along with a "Hamit" from Şırnak, which had assassinated Musa Anter.[19] The former Major of the Turkish army Cem Ersever, claimed that the murder was facilitated by Alaattin Kanat, a former PKK member, who was shortly released during the time of the assassination.[17]

Other Turkish sources claimed that the perpetrator was PKK defector Murat Ipek who received orders from the Turkish state's contract killer Mahmut Yıldırım (alias "Yeşil"),[20] or Yeşil himself.[21] After long investigations, Turkish Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism was found guilty of Anter's assassination and Turkey was fined related to his murder in 2006 by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), who sentenced Turkey to a fine of 28,500 Euros.[5] A Diyarbakır court in 2013 allegedly charged four individuals with Anter's murder, including Mahmut Yıldırım (alias "Yeşil") and Abdülkadir Aygan.[22]


He is viewed as an important and influential Kurdish poet and author.[23] He wrote for numerous newspapers such as Ilery Yurt, Deng, Yön, Özgür Gündem, Dicle-Firat amongst others[10] and was also the author of Dictionary in Kurdish language.[24] In 1997, the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) organized a peace initiative called Musa Anter Peace Train.[25]


Ferhenga Kurdî, (Kurdish Dictionary)1967

Personal life[edit]

Musa Anter and Ayşe Hanım married in 1944.[10] His wife was a descendant of Bedir Khan Beg[26] and related to the AKP politician Cuneyd Zapsu.[10] He was the father of three children.[27]


  1. ^ Romano, David (2 March 2006). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization and Identity. ISBN 9780521850414. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  2. ^ A. Hunsicker (2007). The Fine Art of Executive Protection: Handbook for the Executive Protection Officer. Universal-Publishers. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-58112-984-7.
  3. ^ David Romero (2006). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization, and Identity. Cambridge University Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-521-85041-4.
  4. ^ Amnesty International (September 1992). "Kurdish Writer Musa Anter, 74, Murdered" (PDF). Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b Duvakli, Melik (27 August 2008). "JİTEM's illegal actions cost Turkey a fortune". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  6. ^ Küçüksari, Gülsüm (2016). "In the Shadow of Secularism: Kurdish Ulema and Religious Nationalism from Sheikh Said to Hizbullah" (PDF). Repository of the University of Arizona. The University of Arizona. p. 94. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  7. ^ Ercilasun, Ahmet B. (July 21, 2010). "Gaflet" [Heedlessness]. Yeniçağ [New Age] (in Turkish). Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Küçüksari, Gülsüm (2016), p. 96
  9. ^ Anter, Musa (1992, digitized 2007) (1992). Hatıralarım (in Turkish). 2. Doz Basım ve Yayıncılık. p. 123.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Who's who in Politics in Turkey" (PDF). Heinrich Böll Stiftung. pp. 184–185. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  11. ^ Küçüksari, Gülsüm (2016), p.76
  12. ^ Küçüksari, Gülsüm (2016), p.95
  13. ^ Yilmaz, Özcan (2015). La formation de la nation kurde en Turquie (in French). Graduate Institute Publications. p. 86. ISBN 978-2-940503-17-9.
  14. ^ Orhan, Mehmet (2015-10-16). Political Violence and Kurds in Turkey: Fragmentations, Mobilizations, Participations & Repertoires. Routledge. pp. 46–47. ISBN 978-1-317-42044-6.
  15. ^ Gunes, Cengiz (2013-01-11). The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey: From Protest to Resistance. Routledge. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-136-58798-6.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  16. ^ Watts, Nicole F. (2010). Activists in Office. University of Washington Press. p. 64. ISBN 9780295990491.
  17. ^ a b Online, FOCUS. "Amtlich geschützter Terror". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  18. ^ a b Cizre, Ümit (2007). Democratic Oversight and Reform of the Security Sector in Turkey: 2005/2006 Status Report. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 244. ISBN 978-3-03735-234-2.
  19. ^ Ünlü, Ferhat (August 25, 2008). "Suikastların adresi hep JİTEM'e çıkıyor". Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2015. Sonra da bildiğiniz gibi Şırnaklı Hamit infaz etti Anter'i. [Then, as you also know Şırnak Hamid Anter was executed.]
  20. ^ "Susurluk". Ozgur Politika (in Turkish). February 11, 1997. Archived from the original on February 14, 1998. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  21. ^ Duvakli, Melik (January 3, 2009). "JİTEM behind Anter and Aydın murders, claims Kurdish group". Today's Zaman. Retrieved December 9, 2015. In a statement to the Diyarbakır Police Department in 1994, PKK informant Muhsin Gül said both Aydın and Anter were killed by Mahmut Yıldırım...[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "JİTEM list provided in Anter murder trial to be kept confidential". Today's Zaman. October 8, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  23. ^ Küçüksari, Gülsüm (2016), pp.94-97
  24. ^ Orhan, Mehmet (2015), p.59
  25. ^ Watts, Nicole F. (2010-11-18). Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey. University of Washington Press. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-295-99050-7.
  26. ^ Henning, Barbara (2018-04-03). Narratives of the History of the Ottoman-Kurdish Bedirhani Family in Imperial and Post-Imperial Contexts: Continuities and Changes. University of Bamberg Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-3-86309-551-2.
  27. ^ Gazetesi, Evrensel. "76 tanınmış isim Apê Mûsa ile olan anılarını yazdı". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-11-30.

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