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Selim Temo

(Turkey, 1972) was born in the south eastern Kurdish region of Batman. He gained a lot of praise with a two-part anthology of Kurdish poetry which appeared in 2007 and cost him years to complete. Temo not only selected the poems but translated them in Turkish as well. In addition to being a translator Temo is a poet and a novelist. Since 1995 he has published three books of poetry, winning him the Yasar Nabi Nayir prize in 1997. The three collections of poems, Ah! Tamara (1995), Ugultar (2000) and Kirgin Nehirler Meseli (1997) appeared in 2008 in a new edition. His 1998 novel Çiftlere Cinayet Dersleri (literally: Lessons in Killing for Couples) was awarded a prize. Temo made his debut in 1994 with a play and studied ethnology at the University of Ankara.


Archive available for: Selim Temo

  • Winternachten 2009

    Winternachten in Tropentheater: Counter Talk - literature from the Turkish region

    With: Funda Müjde, Gündüz Vassaf, Kamran Nazirli, Margreet Dorleijn, Nese Yasin, Perihan Magden, Selim Temo

    On Sunday afternoon, Tegenspraak (Counter Talk) a programme in cooperation with Winternachten with literature from the Turkish region, took place in Tropentheater Amsterdam. For a long time there has been a critical tradition in Turkish literature, with writers aiming their grievances at the powers that be. As early as the Ottoman Empire there has been sharp criticism, notably from the poet Tefik Fikret. Fikret shuns the Sultan and all religion. He takes a stand against everything that is regarded as holy and against the glorification of history. For the programme Tegenspraak: Turkish Controverses five Turkish authors were invited, all of them writing in the critical literary tradition of Fikret, authors who in their literary work and in columns deal with politics and society.
    The writers treated the audience on their literary current affairs. The programme was hosted by Margreet Dorleijn and Funda Müjde. See

  • Winternachten 2009

    How to Bluff your Way into Turkish Literature

    With: Funda Müjde, Gündüz Vassaf, Kamran Nazirli, Margreet Dorleijn, Nese Yasin, Perihan Magden, Selim Temo

    In the crash course 'How to Bluff Your Way into Turkish Literature' the richness of Turkish language and literature was presented. No fewer than five writers had been invited by Winternachten: three writers from Turkey, a Turkish poet from the Greek part of Cyprus, and a writer from Azerbaijan (Azeri is a Turkish language).
    The diversity of the guests should have been a sign of the complexity of the subject: Turkish is not only spoken in Turkey and the country itself knows several different languages. In Turkey, literature is still used for activistic and emancipatory goals contrary to contemporary Dutch literature.
    In presenting fragments of their own work, the social context of the work clearly stands out: corruption, the influential role of the militairy apparatus, the problems of poor communities and the difficult access to good education for these groups. By the end of the afternoon, it's clear that Turkish literature indeed consists of much more then the work of Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk. Turkish literature proves to be broad and vivid, consisting of socially concerned writers.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Wintercafé 4 The folds of language

    In The Folds of Language Selim Temo (Kurdish), Kamran Nazirli (Azerbaijani) and Gündüz Vassaf (Turkey) read and talked about their daily struggle not to have their language kidnapped by politics or taboo. Turkish/Dutch/English.