Cover of the book, black with the title in red and with the portrait of a woman with a a green uniform, long black hair and a red scarf around her head and small fires in her eyes, with a bright blue background.This Fire Never Dies – One Year with the PKK

This Fire Never Dies (published as ‘Dit vuur dooft nooit’ in the Netherlands in 2018) details the year I spent embedded with the PKK. I was the first independent journalist to stay with the PKK for such an extensive period of time. I decided to take on this journalistic project after I was expelled from Turkey because of my reporting on the Kurdish issue. My involuntary departure turned into a continuation of my work in Turkey — and a new journey.

In Turkey and North-Kurdistan (the part of Kurdistan occupied by Turkey), I always preferred to talk to citizens rather than leaders. Inside the PKK, I did the same. I mainly talked to the ordinary fighters to get an insight into the movement and into their personal choices, dreams and aspirations.

The PKK only demanded one thing of me: that I adhere to security instructions – which I wisely did. The result is a truly unique story of the movement that has increasingly shaped developments in Turkey and the Middle East in recent years. What does the PKK fight for? Why do so many women join the group? And what is the story of the underaged boys and girls in the PKK’s ranks? Will the fighters ever lay down their weapons?

The word that many readers use to describe ‘This fire never dies’ is ‘fascinating’. Why don’t you listen to two readings from the book, read by the author herself? The first is A Crazy Plan, the second The Pool.

This English translation, translated by Vivien D. Glass and Anna Asbury, was published in February 2021 by LeftWord Books in New Delhi, India. Any publishers interested in obtaining the rights to publish it in other languages can contact my literary agent, Sebes & Bisseling in Amsterdam.

This project is financially supported by the Dutch journalistic fund BJP, Fund for Special Journalistic Projects. The translation was supported by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. I thank them both wholeheartedly.


Publications about This Fire Never Dies since it was published in February 2021 – with more to come:

Mark Campbell interviews Fréderike Geerdink about her new book – podcast at MedyaNews, published on 18 March 2021.

The State is a Man, the PKK is a Woman – review at MedyaNews, published 11 March 2021.