Mam Zeki: A life for his people
Mam Zeki of the Yazidis was martyred on 15 August in Shengal, following a calculated attack launched by Turkish warplanes.
Zeki Sengalî (Ismail Ozden), or Mam (Uncle) Zeki of the Yazidis as everybody knew him, was martyred on 15 August in Shengal, following a calculated attack launched by Turkish warplanes following a commemoration of the Yazidis massacred in Kocho village on 15 August 2014.
Zeki Sengalî was born in 1952 in the village of Şimzê, which belongs to the Qubîn (Beşiri) district of Batman province in North Kurdistan. He completed his primary education in the village, dropping out of school before finishing secondary education.
He remained in the village until he was 17 years old, because of the pressures on the repressive society and because he did not want to break away from the life and mountains in the countryside.
GERMANY IN 1969
His older brothers in Germany invited Zeki Sengalî to Germany in 1969 when he was 17 years old. In fact, he did not want to leave his country and go to Europe. But, after the insistence of his brothers, he accepted.
He first went to Istanbul with his brother, then to Celle, Germany. Celle is a town where the Yazidi community had established itself.
MEETING THE PKK IN 1978
Sengalî started to work in Celle among the Yazidi society. In 1978, he met with the PKK sympathizers, then read the PKK foundation manifesto, the Road to Kurdish Revolution.
Sengalî got so taken by the new Party manifesto that he joined the Newroz celebration in Hannover University in the same year.
A FACTORY WORKER
At this point, Zeki Sengalî started propaganda activities within the factory he was working in while on the other hand working with a group of Yazidi friends.
FOUNDING THE FIRST ASSOCIATION
Together with this group of Yazidi friends, Zeki Sengalî established Komeleya Karkerên Welatparêzên Kurdistanê (Kurdistan Patriotic Workers Association) in Celle in 1981.
Sengalî became the founding president of the association.
Zeki Sengalî took on legal responsibilities by participating in the preparation and publishing of Serxwebûn magazine in late 1981.
VISIT TO GUERRILLA ZONES
Zeki Sengalî first traveled from Europe to the guerrilla zones in 1983. But two years later, in 1985, he went to the guerrilla areas again and met with Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Ocalan.
It is after this visit, that he decided to fully join the Kurdistan Freedom Movement. By 1987, he was officially in the ranks of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement.
TWO YEARS AFTER, HIS SON
Only two years after Sengalî had joined the Movement, his son Sîpan went to the mountains of Kurdistan and took his place in the guerrilla ranks in 1989.
In 1992, Sîpan fell a martyr during clashes in Mardin.
ON THE MOUNTAINS OF KURDISTAN
Zeki Sengalî went back to the mountains of Kurdistan in 1993 and fulfilled the assigned tasks with great responsibility and seriousness.
BACK TO EUROPE
As Sengalî knew the work in Europe well, the party decided to send him back to the Old Continent.
Sengalî continued his work until Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan was surrendered to Turkey as a result of the international conspiracy.
AFTER THE CONSPIRACY, KURDISTAN
After the capture of Leader Öcalan, Sengalî returned once again to the mountains of Kurdistan he loved.
Sengalî worked hard at many levels for 19 years. He always conferred great importance to the Kurdish National Congress and the Kurdish national unity and undertook the tasks without hesitation.
AFTER AUGUST 2014 MASSACRE
After the Shengal Massacre on 3 August 2014, Sengalî went to this area and worked tirelessly for the establishment of the Free Yazidi Land.
A member of the Yazidi Society Coordination and KCK Executive Council, Şengali worked for the Yazidi community and the Kurdish freedom struggle until the day before being assassinated by the Turkish state, during airstrikes on Shengal on August 15, 2018.