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Kurdish PEN Centre's 8th Congress

Under the emblem "We ask for the implementation of Girona Manifesto on languages in our country", the 8th Congress of Kurdish PEN Centre was held on 18- 19/05/2013 in Amed (Diyarbakir),

during which a committee consisting of 7 members and two standby were elected by the majority votes. Sexmus sefer is elected as chair of the Management Board of the Kurdish PEN Centre, Berivan Doski vice chair, Kekshar Oremar as a secretary, Mem Mirxan a treasurer, Dilsa Yusif, Peri Sex Salih and Salih Kevirbiri as members to the board, while Irfan Babaoglu and Omer Fidan are elected as stand by.

It is an honor to have a committee where the writers from the four parts of Kurdistan, as well as the Kurdish language dialects are represented, in addition to a strong representation of three women members.

Holding the 8th Congress of the Kurdish PEN Centre, has its significance, as after 23 years since its establishment, the Kurdish PEN Centre was able to take this historic step of holding its congress at home, in the city of Amed (Diyarbakir), especially at this new historic juncture of time where there are hopes for "peace and reconciliation", thus such a step is widely welcomed by writers and intellectuals all over Kurdistan.

At the Congress, a message of support and well wishes from Mr John Ralston Saul, president of International PEN Centre was read. Well-known figures from Kurdistan, Turkey and other parts of the world honored the Congress with their invaluable messages of support. Ismail Besikci, the well-known sociologist, Lucina Kathmann, Vice President of International PEN Centre and Jiri Dedecek, the President of Czech PEN Writers Club, delivered their invaluable messages of support for this important event.

During the two days of the Congress, and as a result of all the discussions and talks, plans were put forward for the four existing committees of the PEN, as well as indorsing important decisions and resolutions, among which the decision to maintain our position of having one Kurdish PEN Centre performing within the principles of International PEN, but the most important decision of the Congress however, is the call for the implementation of the articles of Girona Manifesto, which is indorsed by the International PEN as a foundation for the protection and freedom of languages; " Every linguistic community has the right for its language to be used as an official language in its territory, and the right to use and protect one’s own language must be recognized by the United Nations as one of the fundamental human rights." Thus the 8th Congress of the Kurdish PEN Centre, calls for the International PEN Centre and the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee to spear no means in the fight for the implementation of Girona Manifesto in Kurdistan.

Finally, the Kurdish PEN Centre calls all the Kurdish writers and intellectuals in Kurdistan and all over the world to support the Kurdish PEN Centre to work together towards the protection and progress of Kurdish language and literature.

The Management Board of the Kurdish PEN Centre

20th May 2013