samedi 15 septembre 2007

Turkmen singer Ekram TUZLU's interview by Salman MOFAK KERKUKLU


In 2006 Mofak Salman Kerkuklu * interviewed the famous Turkmen singer Ekram Tuzlu

Ekram TUZLU was born in 1933 in Orta Mahallesi (Orta neighbourhood) in Tuz Khormatu, he completed his primary school in 1949 and completed his intermediate school in 1954. [[1]] He then joined the institute of teaching and graduated as a primary school teacher. The death of his father and the necessity to earn a living to support a family of eight forced him to leave the teaching occupation and he worked as a carpenter in Tuz Khormatu, he worked as a carpenter for a period of two years.

However in 1960, he re-joined the teaching profession and worked as a primary school teacher in Sulyman Bag village which is linked to the Tuz Khormatu district, his teaching in the village lasted for three years after which he was transferred to Tuz Khormatu. After that he was transferred by the government to the sub district of Al-Zab which is linked to the district of Debis outside Kerkuk and he worked as a teacher for a further three years. His love of literature, poems and singing began when he was child, his involvement in the political activities began when he was at secondary school especially when he acted in play and read a poem titled Keel Pasha : -
كمال باشا
تاج قويموش كمال باشا
توركله رين قره باختين
آغ ايتميش كمال باشا

When he read the above poem on the school stage the Councilor of Tuz Khormatu who was one of the guests became angry and left the event. After that, Ekrem Tuzlu was called by the headmaster who dismissed him from the school, he was summoned to Court which sacked him from his job for a period of three days after severely reprimanding him.

Because of his political beliefs and his nationalist activities in Tuz Khormatu in 1959 the Communist activists attacked him while he was sitting with friends in one of the Tuz Khormatu coffee shops. He fought back to defend himself but was stabbed in the head with a dagger by one of the attackers. He was transferred to Tuz Khormatu hospital where he was treated for his wounds. Then he was again arrested by the authorities and was sentenced to one-month imprisonment. In 1961 he participated in the Turkmen Brotherhood festival that was held in Baghdad and which was attended by nine of the Iraqi ministers. During the event he read very patriotic poems as shown below: -

كمال ده ردي
منده وار كمال ده ردي
استقلال بير كول ايدي
أونودا كمال ده ردي

After reading the above poem in the festival, he was taken away from the stage by security forces which were present at the event. He was imprisoned and was subjected to beatings and torture during the interrogation. After that he was released from prison. The security forces arrested him again in 1982 when he read the following poem and he was sentenced to two-year imprisonment.

دليم دليم
كيس قاوون دليم دليم
مه ن بو ديلده ن واز كيجمه م
اولورسام دليم دليم

He was released from prison after completion of his sentence and he was arrested again by the security forces while he was teaching at the Tarik Ben Zeyad school, under the pretext that he was a member of the Turkish Ultra Nationalist Movement (Turani) and he was kept for a period of two years in the security jail without being charged. During his imprisonment his family was also arrested (wife, daughter and three sons Shahin at the age of six, Erkan at the age of five, Zynab at the age of four, Yasin at the age of three).

His wife was pregnant when she was arrested by the Iraqi security forces - all the Ekrem Tuzlu family were deported to Al-Khinak Prison which is located in the Meysan (Al-Eimara) province in the south of Iraq - while she was in prison she gave birth to a boy who was named Abbas.

While the family was in prison in the south of Iraq Ekram Tuzlu was sentenced by Saddam Hussein’s regime to twenty years imprisonment. During his imprisonment at Abu Graib Prison, he was beaten continuously, he was tortured by the Iraqi secret service officials in order to confess and provide the names of the Turkmen leaders who were working in the Turani organization. His refusal in exposing and providing names of the other Turkmen activists made the Iraqi secret service torture him on a regular basis, using the following methods: electric shocks, electric iron and other torturing apparatus.
Ekram Tuzlu’s involvement in politics have been reduced dramatically since the removal of the tyrant. Each individual could defend his nation, as he says in one of his poems:

يارا دير ا م
ده رديم وار يارا ديره م
بير داملا قانيم قالسا
بير ميلت يارا ديرام

طاوادا اولان ياغدير بارماغين ورما داغدير
توتدوغوم يولدان دونمه م نه قده ر جانيم صاغدير

Ekrem Tuzlu is the most popular Turkmen singer in Turkmeneli, he brought happiness, joy and smiles to the faces of every Turkmen. His songs are played on every occasion. He has played a very important role in the promotion and the defense of the Turkmen culture by fighting for Turkmens’ rights with his traditional and patriotic songs, this ended him in prison under the previous regime during which he was imprisoned for over ten years in Abu Ghraib prison.

*Mofak Salman Kerkuklu is the Turkmeneli Party Representative for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland
[1] Mofak Salman Kerkuklu, interview with Ekram Tuzlu, 2006

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