Kurdistan : Editor's Picks

Collection with 19 media items created by Transterra Editor

10 Dec 2013 09:00

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Kurdish Nomads (18 of 27)
Idil, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
12 May 2011

Women stand near their tent at a nomadic camp near Idil in Southeastern Turkey. They are members of a shepherd family that migrates around Southeastern Turkey during the spring, summer and fall seasons in order to graze sheep and goats. PHOTO BY JODI HILTON

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Newroz in Kurdistan (6 of 33)
Batman, Turkey
By Monique Jaques
19 Mar 2013

The crowd gathers behind a flag of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisioned PKK leader at a concert of traditional Kurdish music is held at a festival for Newroz, an ancient holiday celebrating the astronomical Northward equinox and the beginning of spring as well as the start of the new calander year in the Persian system. Newroz is celebrated by millions of Kurds and Iranians in the Middle East by, wearing colorful clothing and jumping over fires to welcome the spring holiday. Originally a Zoroastrian festival, Newroz is now embraced by the Kurds to celebrate cultural unity and political goals. The celebrations are occasionally marked by violence as the celebration only recently became legal in Turkey.

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Kurdish Nomads (6 of 27)
Idil, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
05 Dec 2012

Nomadic Kurdish children with one of their family's sheep. They are members of a nomadic family that migrates around Southeastern Turkey during the spring, summer and fall seasons in order to graze sheep and goats. PHOTO BY JODI HILTON

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Kurdish Nomads (14 of 27)
Idil, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
12 May 2011

A nomadic Kurdish carrying goat kids in her satchel is a member of a nomadic family that migrates around Southeastern Turkey during the spring, summer and fall seasons in order to graze sheep and goats. PHOTO BY JODI HILTON

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A heavily armed Kurdish fighter posin...
Kobani, Aleppo, Syria
By benjaminhiller
24 Jul 2012

A heavily armed Kurdish fighter posing at an newly set up checkpoint at the city of Kobani in the Northwest of Syria. The city of Kobani was the first Kurdish city freed from Assad forces in Syria.

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Kurdish female fighter from the Kurdi...
Derik, Derik, Syria
By benjaminhiller
22 Jul 2012

Kurdish female fighter from the Kurdish YPG self defense army have taken control over the outskirts of Derik, a Kurdish dominated city in Northeast Syria. Battle broke out in the city center, where around 80 Syrian Army soldiers do not surrender. One YPG fighter got killed, several Syrian Army soldiers wounded.

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Kurdish Women Fighters in Syria (23 o...
Ras Al Ain, Syria
By audeosnowycz
07 Dec 2012

Serekaniye (Ras al Ain). YPG fighters Rusha, 27, and Jiha, 18, have been assigned to the last checkpoint between Qamishlo and Serakaniye (Ras al Ain). This checkpoint has been the site of many confrontations between the various armed forces. For weeks now, the city of Ras al Ain has been experiencing a guerilla opposing the Syrian Free Army, the Islamist forces of Jabhat al Nosra (broadly affiliated to the SFA), and the Kurds of the YPG. The bombardments of Bashar al-Assad’s army have killed several persons in the city. Currently, sporadic fighting continues despite of the truce between the different parties.

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25th Anniversary of the gas attack on...
Halabja, Iraq
By Antonio Zambardino
27 Mar 2013

Nermin Hama, Hamin Masoon, Sartak Hama Nazim Sardas Fathallago go back to the bomb shelter where they hid in 1988 during the attack. People who survived managed to stay in bomb shelters all day and afterwards had to flee to Iran as the city was no longer safe to live in.

On the 16th of March 1988, an Iraqi military strike hit the Kurdish town of Halabja with the greatest attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The weapons used were a "cocktail" of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. These chemicals drenched the skin and clothes of the targeted people, affected their respiratory tracts and eyes and contaminated their water and food.
But a generation later, the strike on Halabja is still killing people. An increasing number of children are dying each year of leukemia and lymphomas. The cancers are more frequent in children and teenagers in Halabja than elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan, and many people have aggressive tumors.
No chemotherapy or radiotherapy is available in this region. The attack has left thousands people wounded physiologically too. Some statues and monument in Halabja are based on the pictures taken on the day of the attack and often show dying people instead of triumphant men in a context of greatness.
The entire city carries this legacy on its shoulders.

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25th Anniversary of the gas attack on...
Halabja, Iraq
By Antonio Zambardino
27 Feb 2013

Five Peshmerga, Kurdish guerrilla fighters fighting for an independent Kurdistan, pose for a group portrait in the military headquarters of Halabja.

On the 16th of March 1988, an Iraqi military strike hit the Kurdish town of Halabja with the greatest attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The weapons used were a "cocktail" of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. These chemicals drenched the skin and clothes of the targeted people, affected their respiratory tracts and eyes and contaminated their water and food.
But a generation later, the strike on Halabja is still killing people. An increasing number of children are dying each year of leukemia and lymphomas. The cancers are more frequent in children and teenagers in Halabja than elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan, and many people have aggressive tumors.
No chemotherapy or radiotherapy is available in this region. The attack has left thousands people wounded physiologically too. Some statues and monument in Halabja are based on the pictures taken on the day of the attack and often show dying people instead of triumphant men in a context of greatness.
The entire city carries this legacy on its shoulders.

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25th Anniversary of the gas attack on...
Halabja, Iraq
By Antonio Zambardino
01 Mar 2013

HALABJA 1988-2013

On the 16th of March 1988, an Iraqi military strike hit the Kurdish town of Halabja with the greatest attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The weapons used were a "cocktail" of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. These chemicals drenched the skin and clothes of the targeted people, affected their respiratory tracts and eyes and contaminated their water and food.
But a generation later, the strike on Halabja is still killing people. An increasing number of children are dying each year of leukemia and lymphomas. The cancers are more frequent in children and teenagers in Halabja than elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan, and many people have aggressive tumors.
No chemotherapy or radiotherapy is available in this region. The attack has left thousands people wounded physiologically too. Some statues and monument in Halabja are based on the pictures taken on the day of the attack and often show dying people instead of triumphant men in a context of greatness.
The entire city carries this legacy on its shoulders.

Amhed Baker's hands. He was in Halabja the day of the attack, when the gas cleared out he helped around the city. Most of his body is affected by a skin condition. This is very common among the survivors.

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25th Anniversary of the gas attack on...
Halabja, Iraq
By Antonio Zambardino
25 Feb 2013

Alande Hameed Hama Ali, 11, is affected by Leukemia; she was diagnosed at the age of 6. His mother was in the center of Halabja in her house when the attck on the city occured, she then fled to Iran seeking refuge, like many others. She had 7 miscarriages.

On the 16th of March 1988, an Iraqi military strike hit the Kurdish town of Halabja with the greatest attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The weapons used were a "cocktail" of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. These chemicals drenched the skin and clothes of the targeted people, affected their respiratory tracts and eyes and contaminated their water and food.
But a generation later, the strike on Halabja is still killing people. An increasing number of children are dying each year of leukemia and lymphomas. The cancers are more frequent in children and teenagers in Halabja than elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan, and many people have aggressive tumors.
No chemotherapy or radiotherapy is available in this region. The attack has left thousands people wounded physiologically too. Some statues and monument in Halabja are based on the pictures taken on the day of the attack and often show dying people instead of triumphant men in a context of greatness.
The entire city carries this legacy on its shoulders.

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More than 1.000 Kurdish protesters st...
Derik, Syria
By benjaminhiller
20 Jul 2012

More than 1.000 Kurdish protesters staged a rally against the Assad regime in the northeastern city of Girke Lege in Syria. They waved flags in the Kurdish colors and also demanded basic rights for the Kurdish people in Syria.

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Kurdish Women Fighters in Syria (14 o...
Ras Al Ain, Syria
By audeosnowycz
07 Dec 2012

Serekaniye (Ras al Ain). A boy stands on a puddle of water amidst the rubble caused by the bombings of Bashar al-Assad’s forces the day before. For a number of weeks now, the city of Ras al Ain has been undergoing a guerilla opposing the Syrian Free Army, the Islamist forces of Jabhat al Nosra (broadly affiliated to the SFA), and the Kurds of the YPG. The bombardments of Bashar al-Assad’s army have killed several persons in the city. Currently, sporadic fighting continues despite of the truce between the different parties.

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Kurdish Women Fighters in Syria (16 o...
Ras Al Ain, Syria
By audeosnowycz
07 Dec 2012

Serekaniye (Ras al Ain). Young fighters of the YPG stand at the last checkpoint on the road connecting Qamishlo to Serekaniye (Ras al Ain). This checkpoint has been the site of many confrontations between the various armed forces. For weeks now, the city of Ras al Ain has been experiencing a guerilla opposing the Syrian Free Army, the Islamist forces of Jabhat al Nosra (broadly affiliated to the SFA), and the Kurds of the YPG. The bombardments of Bashar al-Assad’s army have killed several persons in the city. Currently, sporadic fighting continues despite of the truce between the different parties.

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The people of the Kurdish village Bes...
Bestasos, Derik, Syria
By benjaminhiller
19 Jul 2012

The people of the Kurdish village Bestastos in Northeast Syria attend a ceremony for the opening of a Kurdish cultural center. Under the rule of Assad teaching Kurdish culture and language was forbidden. But now in many Kurdish dominated parts in Syria the Regime forces where driven out by non violent actions.

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Battles between the Islamists and the...
Syria
By Bud Wichers
01 Sep 2013

Attacks by jihadists from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against the Kurdish population in Northern Syria have made it difficult for ordinary Kurds to flee to neighboring Turkey. The PYG, the military wing of the PYD (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat), is officially responsible for the safety of the Kurdish province of Al-Hasakah and has been under attack by Islamists from 2012. Since there is no official border crossing open at the moment, the journey to safety for the elderly, the sick and children is near impossible.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Syria's Kurdish-Islamist conflict

Transcript:

Voice-over: Kurdish fighters have been battling Islamists in Syria’s northern Kurdish region for months now. The conflict escalated earlier this year when Abu Musab, a high ranking commander of the Islamic State of Iraq, was captured by Kurdish security forces. International human rights organizations claim that over a thousand Kurds were slaughtered indiscriminately at the hands of jihadists in the last few months alone. They claim attacks are continuous against civilian Kurds. Islamic fighters have been accused of gang-raping women and setting houses on fire after raiding Kurdish villages. The military wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, YPG, has been mainly responsible for the safety of the Kurdish population.

Quote Redur Xalil (PYD) : "The recently declared war against us by Al-Nusra, ISIS, and the other Islamic groups is not aimed at the Kurdish forces but against the existence of the Kurds in this area. These groups do not want the Kurds to have autonomy in this region, as they have their own jihadist agenda. They want to have this area for themselves, and the Kurds here and especially the YPG stand in their way. Therefore they use a lot of violence to achieve this. There are no government forces of Assad to be found here. These groups have exchanged the fight against the Syrian regime for the fight against the Kurds."

Voice-over:Islamist forces have been on the offensive for the past three months, leaving the Kurdish security apparatus in the highest state of alert. They have protected the Kurds from several suicide bombers and car bombs in the province of Al-Hasakah. The city of Amuda used to be a cultural hub for artists and creative minds. Now it is a city closed off from the outside world. With the heavy fighting in nearby Ras al-Ein, snipers are positioned on rooftops and strategic points at the city’s center. Islamists who are planning to attack the town will meet stiff resistance from the Kurdish security forces and PKK loyalists.

Quote Redur Xalil (PYD) : "Al-Nusra and other similar groups are Muslim forces operating with their own agenda. With regard to the FSA, we found each other in our common goal to bring our own regime. With the FSA we worked in cooperation, fighting side by side against the regime in Aleppo. Unfortunately, most units of the FSA in certain areas, such as Aleppo, Idlib and Azaz, are more and more influenced by Al-Qaeda and affiliated jihadist groups such Al-Nusra and ISIS, and now they attack us jointly."

Voice-over:Many families fled the violence. Kurdish activists have said that there is an ethnic-based hatred against the Kurds in Syria, but Muslim and Christian leaders have denied this claim categorically. Since the border at Ceylanpinar is still closed, Kurds who seek asylum in Turkey are forced to use dangerous and illegal border crossings at night. For elders, infants and children, this is a nearly impossible journey. Many Kurds are stuck in a region they cannot escape. For now, the only option is to go through Pesh Khabur to Kurdish Iraq. Many Kurds hope the relationship between their government and Turkey will improve.

Quote Redur Xalil (PYD) : "Turkey is a neighbor to Syria. We hope that the Turks will build a more friendly relationship with the Kurds. They do not need to be afraid of us. The Turks have played an unfortunately negative role in recent fighting between the Kurds and Al-Nusra. They have opened their borders for these jihadist groups and they are supplying them with the weapons to attack us. We hope Turkey revises its position on these groups. The current attitude of the Turks, overall and in the long term, is not favorable for Turkey as a neighbor and not for the Turkish people."

Voice-over:
The situation remains fluid and uncertain for Kurdish people in the region.

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Kurdish Nomads (23 of 27)
Idil, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
11 May 2011

A nomadic Kurdish woman packs up supplies on a donkey before migrating to the next camp. She is a member of a nomadic family that migrates around Southeastern Turkey during the spring, summer and fall seasons in order to graze sheep and goats. PHOTO BY JODI HILTON