In June 1991 with Jannis Zinniker we used our free time to collect research material for our Kurd book. As assistants we had a Kurdish boy Latif thereby, who was just released again from the prison. Arriving by minibus from Van, we started our walk at the seat of the Hakan tribes in a small village west of Yuvaköy. We followed a marvellous route to the mountains of Göründü, where deep snow was still present. We descended from the top to the three wells just after Yuva, and then we walked to Müküs. Near the pass there were snow walls up to 12 meters high. With the descent after Müküs we passed wild tulip meadows and besides slopes blue fields of hyacinths and iris. We walked across the flowers as in a dream. In Müküs we spent all afternoon and we witnessed several times the Jandarma (police) operations against Kurdish partisans, however owing to good relations with all parties it had no negative consequences for us.
The trip became somewhat more difficult in the area between Gürpinar and Hakkari. The villages of the Ertoshi tribes (i.e., exactly the Mehmet Piran tribes) received weapons from the Turkish government for so called self-defense against terrorists (PKK partisans). The people were pleased in a childish way about ' their gifts '. They enthusiastically showed us their Kalashnikows and were playing with the guns like with toys. They permitted me to take photographs (see: Playing with the guns movie). Men, women and children posed with the weapons trying to imitate well-known film heroes. In Gögümlü and Sariyaprak we were well received and discharged without any problems, again with applause and shots into air. In Gülecler; however, we were in an unfriendly way arrested by villagers. We spent the night in guarded house of the local muhtar and next morning transferred by the Jandarma into Hosap. They accused us of spying. After many hours under arrest at local police post, intensive interrogation and a long, violent discussion with the Commander Ali Oez we were finally dismissed and without any negative consequences for us. I could retain my photographs. And after a short excursion to Göründü we landed again in Van.
two stories from Kurdistan by Jannis Zinniker (in German):
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