A special dictionary

Ahmet Kasımoğlu has written the first Kurdish dictionary of plant names.

While the Kurdish language is resisting the threat of a severe assimilation, significant efforts are being made for its development.

A new work aiming at putting forward the richness of the Kurdish language and expanding its vocabulary has been added to these efforts.

Previously known for having written in Kurdish legal terminology, now retired agricultural engineer in Amed, Ahmet Kasımoğlu, has written the first Kurdish dictionary of plant names. This has taken him 14 years of research.

Kasimoglu, originally from Palulu, has lived in many cities due to his profession.

He first started to develop this idea he had about the names of Kurdish plant names in 1974, when he was president of the Bingöl Cultural Association. Kasimoglu, who went to university in the following years, started to work in various cities of Kurdistan after graduating from agricultural engineering.

He saw this job as an opportunity, and thus he started to put in practice the dictionary he had in mind.


To begin with, Kasımoğlu started to make notes of the Kurdish names of plants grown in the places where he lived, and after 14 years, he found out he had managed to collect the Kurdish name of 20 thousand plants.

Kasımoğlu told ANF how he started this work and that he was born as a Kurd, but did not know how to read and write in Kurdish until 1972.

Kasımoğlu said that he learned to read and write in Kurdish after getting a place at the university in these years. “I read whatever I found about Kurdish culture. I wanted to send my work to the Kurdish Institute in Istanbul. It was 1998-99, and I had already some work done. I have to say, though, that the Kurdish Institute didn't help me. I had to work on my own and with my means”.

Kasımoğlu stated that he was aware of the fact that he was an agriculture engineer and continued: “First of all, I started to travel in my own region. In the meantime, the Kurdish Institute of Paris had heard that I was running this work, they called me and invited me to go there. As a result, I prepared the glossary and then with the help of Prof. Kadri Yildirim we managed to get Artuklu University to print a dictionary".

Kasımoğlu also gave information about the content of the dictionary. “There are a few parts in the dictionary. For example there are indexes in Kurdish, Turkish and Latin. Our language is Kurdish. But Turkish is the official language. And Latin is the language of knowledge”.

The agriculture engineer said: “I have already printed the Kurdish name of 20 thousand plants. I have about 5 thousand more ready. If some regional studies are done, then I can reach 30 thousand names”.

Kasımoğlu criticized Kurds for not using their language enough: "Kurds do not know the value of their language. They do not speak enough. They will appreciate the value of this dictionary not today, but tomorrow. Free generations will ask whether these books are available”.