You ARE Turkish

Yusuf Sayman

Short film by Yusuf Sayman, a New York-based photojournalist concentrating on the relationship between the state and the individual. The first half of this 12-minute video is reminiscent of the documentary about Diyarbakır’s Prison Nr. 5.  Sayman’s  video then touches on forced evacuations of Kurdish villages and refugees from the region now living in the Mexmur Refugee camp.

A description of ‘you ARE turkish’ from the International State Crime Initiative website…

‘You ARE Turkish’ is a multimedia piece that tries to communicate how it felt to be Kurdish in Turkey during the 80s and the 90s. It tells the stories of torture, forced migration and a banned language. It is photographed in south east Turkey, the predominantly Kurdish region, and in northern Iraq where the famous Mahmour refugee camp is located. The interviews with people who lived through the atrocities committed by the Turkish Military add a personal commentary to this piece about the plight of a people.

Click image to watch video at State Crime website


5 thoughts on “You ARE Turkish

  1. Heart breaking, Imagine being put in a position like that, your only crime….Being a Kurd…Alas.

  2. Thank you for sharing this, gradually the situation is changing in Turkey and this issue is starting to be publicly discussed. A new definition of the nationality of people living in Turkey has to be brought up. I believe Turkey is in the right path for coexistence. Yesterday’s edition of Aksam had a psycologist saying that only if politicians are left aside and people start talking to each other and understanding each other leaving violence aside, this problem could be solved.

  3. Renata,
    Thank you for your insights. Yes, public debate is often more productive than political bickering. But public debates can make the situation seem worse in the short term as people vent their pent-up frustrations and emotions. Long term, I hope you are right when you say that the country is on the ‘right path for coexistence.’

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