Travels in Kurdistan (part 2) – The evil eye of Turkey’s military

Hitchhiking, Kurdistan

Read Travels in Kurdistan (part 1) here

Children of Roboski at the graves of their relatives, killed by Turkey's military on 28th December 2011

Children of Roboski at the graves of their relatives, who were killed by Turkey’s military on 28th December 2011

It’s late June, and we arrive in Midyat as it’s getting dark. Unfortunately for us, President Tayyip Erdoğan has also decided to visit Midyat on the same evening, after a farcical PR stunt, giving Angelina Jolie a tour of the nearby Syrian refugee camp. Police are everywhere, roads are blocked, paparazzi wait, and a deafening helicopter hovers over our heads.

We move onto Roboski, close to the border with South (Iraqi) Kurdistan. Four years ago, me and my friends, Robert and Mats, crossed the border here, and learned about the Roboski massacre, which took place a few days before we arrived. Turkey’s military bombed and killed 34 local people who were on mules, carrying out cross-border trade between North and South Kurdistan.