CEMO

1966

Published by Evren Yayınları, İstanbul 1966, 2nd ed. Tekin Yayınevi, İstanbul 1996, 27th ed. Can Yayınları, İstanbul 2013 Gemmo, Peter Owen, London, UK, 1976 (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, Turkish Series)

Considered Bilbaşar's best work, CEMO is a novel which has its setting in the 1930's in the eastern part of Turkey, where the feudal system persists with its tribal chiefs owning villages, the peasants working on land as share-cropping serfs.  Unsuccessful attempts by the government follow one another to reform this feudal structure of the society.  CEMO is the story of a Kurdish girl, narrated first by her father and then by her husband.  This narrative style in which the novel is written remains faithful to the epic-oral tradition of the Turkish folk literature.

 

CEMO won Turkey's highest literary award, the Türk Dil Kurumu Roman Ödülü, in 1967.  

 

In 2006, the Turkish Ministry of Education selected CEMO in the list of "100 Major Literary Works" recommended to high school students. It has since been re-edited frequently.