On Saturday 7 June 2014, two Kurdish youths were killed in a clash with Turkish police during protests in the town of Lice in the Kurdish region of Turkey. The Turkish government had planned to build new military outposts there, which was seen as a threat to the Turkish-Kurdish peace process. In the following days, further clashes erupted in many more places around Turkey. On that same weekend, I was in the midst of a solo tour through Eastern Turkey. This is the story of my Monday 9 June in Doğubayazıt.
There are things you first need to know. This is not the land of Turks; this is the land of Kurds. They have Turkish citizenship, but they hold tightly to their own culture and language. These are people whose language was made illegal so that even using the letters q and x represents rebellion. These are people who logically celebrate the Nevroz New Year with the spring equinox by jumping over bonfires with crazy abandon. These people also treat strangers like family, or better.