Yaşar Kemal (born Kemal Sadık Gökçeli; 6 October 1923 – 28 February 2015) was a Turkish writer and human rights activist of Kurdish origin, and one of Turkey's leading writers. He received 38 awards during his lifetime and had been a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature on the strength of Memed, My Hawk.
An outspoken intellectual, he often did not hesitate to speak about sensitive issues, especially those concerning the oppression of the Kurdish people. He was tried in 1995 under anti-terror laws for an article he wrote for Der Spiegel highlighting the Turkish Army's destruction of Kurdish villages during the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. He was released but later received a suspended 20-month jail sentence for another article he wrote criticising racism in Turkey, especially against the Kurds.