top of
I had my guitar, my paintings, my suitcase and several plastic bags filled with country cheese, cracked wheat, etc… gifts from Tatvan for my brother. After getting off the tram, we took up all this baggage and walked through the mud and high grass at the end of the line for nearly twenty minutes. Exhausted, we climbed a low hill and across the vacant lots that lost themselves in the gullies and erosion, we spied a few small houses profiled on the gloomy horizon. The mud was so thick and deep that one could easily have lost his shoes for good. As we got closer to the dwellings, a shanty town materialized before my eyes. Children were everywhere and played in the mud and the refuse as chickens, goats and sheep looked on. Over 25 families and their many children lived here in deplorable conditions.

My brother Halis and his woman

my brother's house
My brother's house had been flung together in a single night. The walls were half buried in the earth, the windows were made of sheets of cast-off plexi-glass, the roof was a sieve, there was no electricity or running water. The interior surface was barely six square meters, a third of which was taken up by the bed. Another corner held the dishes and the stove and what remained was taken up by a make-shift bathroom. A small cemented area outside the door served as a sort of patio. The toilette and water pump were outside.

At the patio

with his hasband

and Kevser
I was immediately surrounded by a boisterous and inquisitive crowd of inhabitants who were hungry for news from their families back home in the village. I knew many of the people here, for they came from Tatvan or nearby villages. Kevser, Sultan and Sadik and many other old friends were here and had many children. Amongst the shanties everyone dressed as they had in the villages and spoke only Kurdish. Kevser's and Sultan's houses were even more miserable than my brother's. If the big bad wolf had ever passed near this settlement, all the houses would have been blowing in the wind at the very first puff. My brother insisted that I stay with him, and though the prospect of life in this mud flat wasn't at all tempting, I had little choice but to stay. I had no where else to go. They unrolled a thin mattress for me next to their bed and separated the beds with cushions. I stayed a long while with them and did not regret the warmth and wisdom of these simple people.   poety-turkich
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