Fasting from 3am and why it puzzles me in Diyarbakir

It’s around 1.30 in the morning, just after I lay down on my balcony bed, when the Ramadan drummer passes down my street. I don’t fast since I am not religious, but I don’t mind the noise, not even when it wakes me up. On the contrary, I would almost say it’s kind of soothing, and the drummer in my Diyarbakir neighbourhood bangs his drum with a solid, good rhythm, so I just listen and then fall asleep again. But I can’t help but wonder: why is Sahur around three, when the sun only rises some two hours later? Just because the state decided it that way? Continue reading “Fasting from 3am and why it puzzles me in Diyarbakir”

The separatism behind the attacks on HDP

So, basically, the life of HDP co-leader Selehattin Demirtas was directly threatened. The bombs going off simultaneously in front of the HDP offices in Adana and Mersin not too long before Demirtas was to arrive in Mersin, where the HDP held an election rally that day, could have killed him. Meanwhile it is the governing party AKP that is trying to make people believe that the life of President Erdogan is under threat, by totally distorting a headline in one of Turkey’s biggest newspapers, Hürriyet). Continue reading “The separatism behind the attacks on HDP”

Mesopotamia doesn’t exclude anybody

I had already seen him at the symposium, sitting in the conference hall with a large framed image next to him. I didn’t ask him what it was, I thought that he must be one of the speakers and we would find out eventually. And yes, we did find out eventually. Right after the closing words of the symposium were spoken, he rushed to the front of the hall and exploded in anger, his framed image in his hands: ‘Look, these are my ancestors!’, pointing at the framed image which turned out to be, or so he claimed, his family tree. ‘The Abbasid dynasty ruled here for centuries, so why are they not even mentioned once in a three day symposium on Hakkari history?’

Rugged Hakkari mountains.
Rugged Hakkari mountains.

He then turned rude and abusive, asking for example why ‘kafirs’ were speaking at the symposium, thus losing his right to speak up for diversity, so naturally people  stopped listening.

But the guy had a point. Continue reading “Mesopotamia doesn’t exclude anybody”

Kürtler, veya: yüzeyin altındaki kimlik ne?

Ne zaman Kürdistan’a gitsem ve onlarla konuşsam her zaman Kürt olmak dışındaki diğer kimliklerini keşfetmeye çalışıyorum. Bir Kürt kendini Kürt olarak tanımlayan birisi ama bunun altında hangi kimlik saklı? Bu, 25 Ekim 2014’te Bilgi Üniversitesi’nde düzenlenen ‘Sınırlar Aşılırken Kürtler: Değişen Mekanlar ve Kimlikler’ isimli konferansta yaptığım bir konuşmanın konusuydu.

(Read the English version of this speech here)

Kürtler, tek bir vücut olarak
Kürtler, tek bir vücut olarak, Newroz 2013

İki bin on iki ilkbaharı, Van. Bir kahvehanenin damında, kulak kabartanlar ne konuştuğumuzu duymasın diye oturduğumuz hoparlörlerin yaydığı gürültülü müzik altında genç bir Kürt öğrenci ile röportaj yapıyordum. Adına Fırat diyelim. İki bin on bir Van depreminden sonraki günlerde gönüllü çalıştığı süreçten konuştuk. KCK soruşturmasında gözaltına alındığında, sorgu sırasında sorulanları konuştuk.  Örneğin, “Neden battaniye dağıtıyordun” diye sormuş polis. Continue reading “Kürtler, veya: yüzeyin altındaki kimlik ne?”