ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A 24-year-old Kurdish youth from Turkey says he wants to use his platform as a rapper to preserve the Kurdish language for future generations.
Reqso, from the village of Eyndera in the Misirc district of Turkey’s Siirt Province, has been rapping in Kurdish since 2012.
Since then, he has made it a goal to continue rapping in Kurdish and wants to be a positive role model for younger Kurds living in Turkey.
“I started rapping in Kurdish, teaching myself, eventually doing it professionally,” he told Kurdistan 24.
“I decided that I have to use my platform to good use,” he added. “Every Kurd has to protect their language for the future generations.”
Reqso covers many subjects in his rap. His lyrics range from the history of war and resistance the Kurdish people have experienced to music about relationships and love.
Reqso says that in every avenue of life, Kurds must persevere and push forward the Kurdish language, especially musicians and artists who can use their platforms to be examples for youth.
He believes rap music was designed specifically for Kurds because it is an outlet which allows them to share stories of their oppression and describe their resistance.
“This genre of music was founded on struggle and resistance. It is resistance music, to be honest. I am raising my head high, facing the [oppressive] system as a musical artist,” he explained.
Reqso said it does not matter how many challenges and difficulties are thrown at Kurds, they must always fight to preserve their identity, especially their language.
Since moving to Istanbul 10 years ago, Reqso has performed at cafe’s and lounges. His goal is to release a professional rap album in Kurdish and become recognized for his contributions and efforts for Kurdistan.
The Turkish government has often cracked down on Kurds who speak Kurdish or are involved in any type of pro-Kurdish movements.
Artists and musicians are not the only ones targeted by the Ankara government. There are many politicians, journalists, and academics who have also been detained or charged because of their Kurdish identity.
(Kurdistan 24 correspondent Azad Altan contributed to this report)