Mai Lan

Mai Lan

Pavlo

Pavlo

Maryna

Maryna

Jürgen

Jürgen

Ismail

Ismail

Hubert

Hubert

Salaheldin

Salaheldin

Dimitrie

Dimitrie

Agnieszka

Agnieszka

Abdi

Abdi

Ismail Incedal

Turkey

1995

Ismail Incedal was born in eastern Turkey as one of eleven siblings in the Malatya region. He describes his childhood in the small Kurdish mountain village, where all the inhabitants were related to each other, as simple but happy. The region was characterized by fruit and grain cultivation. The father also raised sheep. Only Kurdish was spoken in the village, only the father had a slight knowledge of Turkish due to his three years of military service. 

In the Turkish school, Ismail Incedal experienced hostility and violence due to his lack of knowledge of Turkish. After only a few years, he left school and initially worked in Istanbul. He would have liked to learn more, he says, and also dreamed of studying medicine.

In 1979, at the age of 24, Ismail Incedal fled via East Berlin to West Germany. Before coming to Pirna in 1995 to open one of the first Turkish snack restaurants, he lived in Heidelberg and Tübingen. 

Like many Kurds, he has a Kurdish name in addition to the Turkish one.

„But it's not in the passport. In the family I am called Iso, by the authorities Ismail.“

Ismail Incedal refers to Germany and Pirna as his home. For him it is important that his three children born here speak German.

„Later, they can decide for themselves whether they want to learn Turkish or Kurdish, as adults“


The Kurdish language


Kurdish is an independent Indo-European language and is not related to Turkish. The public use of the Kurdish language has been banned and punishable in Turkey for decades. The state also prohibited Kurdish schools, the media and the use of a Kurdish name.

In this way, Turkey tried to erase the Kurdish identity. Since Kurdish women in rural areas in particular do not speak Turkish, or only insufficiently, they are excluded from many public and social services.

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