Evrensel Print and Publishing began in 1998 in the Cağaloğlu neighborhood, in a tiny rented space in the Ankara Office Block. Today it carries out its publishing activities from its own building in the Tarlabaşı neighborhood in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. Because a significant percentage of Turkey’s population is made up of young people, an important segment of Turkey’s readership is also therefore youth. Similarly, it is well-known that, following the September 12th, 1980 coup, the government undertook efforts to keep youth from reading. In those days, tens of thousands of houses were searched in an effort to find and confiscate banned books. Some of these books were buried in large sacks in the earth while many others were burned. The books that were considered the enemy of the military regime were those books that told people not to bow to their misery, lack of rights, poverty, exploitation or oppression, books that showed them how to accomplish this.
It is no exaggeration to say that Evrensel Print and Publishing was a product of the first movement that emerged after the suffocating years of the 1980s, and the more than 500 books that it has published over the past twenty-eight years are proof of this. When a reader looks at the names and dates on the books on Evrensel’s list of publications, they will see that these titles and dates as well as their content were suitable to the particular realities of the world and the country at that time. The publishing house has no ‘impartial’ position, but rather, these titles show that it followed a specific publishing position relative to what was happening in the world and in Turkey.
In the first half of the 1990s, Turkey was in fact living through another dark period. With the acceleration and impact of the Kurdish National Movement between 1992-1995, those who wanted to rein in this movement and make it capitulate carried out a number of assassinations in order to scare the public. During these years, many journalists working in Kurdistan were killed. Evrensel was an important part and pillar of support for the democratic forces in Turkey. In the context of the Kurdish question, it openly defended the rights of Kurds to speak and use their own language; it called for an end to forced village evacuations, disappearances, and torture; it spoke out against the use of special military units and state-sanctioned murders; and it stood up for the right of the Kurds to mother-tongue education. Naturally, its publications reflected this.
In more recent years, it has continued its engagement with Kurdish culture by publishing books both in Turkish and in Kurdish. Some of these titles include: Dar Üçgende Üç İsyan (Three Insurrections in the Narrow Triangle, Faik Bulut), Orta Anadolu Kürtleri (The Kurds of Middle Anatolia, Rohat Alakom), Kürt Halk Türkülerinden Seçmeler (Selections from Kurdish Folk Songs, Salihê Kevirbirî), Cegerwîn’in Yaşamı ve Şiir Anlayışı (Cegerxwîn’s Life and Understanding of Poetry, Ordîxanê Celîl), Ristemê Zal (Rostam, the Son of Zal, Edîb Polat), Arîn/Mem û Zîn (Arîn/Mem and Zîn, Cuma Boynukara), Antolojiya Helbesta Bakûr (An Anthology of Poetry from North Kurdistan, Arjen Arî), Bahol (Suitcase, Çiya Mazî), Siwarê Ewran (The Cloud Rider, Îsmaîl Dîndar). Evrensel has published more than 10 children’s books in Kurdish. It published the first Kurdish translation of the children’s classic Pinocchio. With more than 50 Kurdish-language novels, stories, poetry collections, and scholarly works, it continues its work in this direction.
In memory of the poet Arjen Arî and in cooperation with Lîs Publications, Ronahî Publications, and the Kurdish Writers’ Association, it organizes the Arjen Arî Poetry Competition each year. The work that wins the competition is published as a book featuring the logos of the competition organizers
Within Evrensel’s understanding of publishing, works that document the forward march of humanity through history, that recount the victories of the past, and that transfer these experiences in written form to the democratic struggles of today, carry a particular importance.
Evrensel defends the culture of labour of the past, present, and future. It has always supported labour struggles of labour and have stood by them since the beginning.
Address: Kamerhatun Mahallesi Alhatun Sokak No:25 Tarlabaşı Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Telephone: 0212 255 25 46
Fax: 0212 255 25 87