A couple from China is visiting the tomb of Mem and Zin in southeastern Türkiye to pay their respects to the tragic lovers whose story has been retold through generations.
Nurettin Dong, a Chinese national who is currently in Türkiye's Sirnak province, said the couple was touched by the Kurdish love story.
"It is the first year of our marriage and this visit is very precious to us. I had a very strong urge to visit the grave of Mem and Zin. The two lovers left a lasting imprint on humanity,” Dong said.
According to the legend, Mem and Zin from rival clans fall in love with each other. But their union is blocked by Bakr, who is Mem's antagonist. Mem dies in a conspiracy by Bakr. After finding about the news of her lover's death, Zin collapses and dies on his grave. The two lovers are buried next to each other.
Dong married Yumna Bayraktar, a Saudi national of Turkish origin, in 2021.
He converted to Islam five years ago and changed his name to Nurettin.
The Chinese man was first introduced to the works of Ahmed-i Hani, a Kurdish writer and poet best known for transcribing the epic love story, during his academic studies.
Dong is trying to translate his works to Chinese.
“I translated 2,500 couplets to Chinese. I am excited this will lead to greater recognition of this work,” he said.
The couple was welcomed by locals in Cizre district, where the tomb is located.
Abdulaziz Bilge, who served as their guide, said they were surprised to hear that the couple had traveled from China to visit the tomb.
Emin Evret, a resident of the district, said: "We are happy that Nurettin Dong translated Mem and Zin to Chinese and promoted it there."
*Writing by Seda Sevencan
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