Where are the Kurds? They went up to the mountains. Where is the mountain? The state bombed…

Where are the Kurds? They went up to the mountains. Where is the mountain? The state bombed…[1]

One of the basic topics on the Twitter timeline on May 1st was this: “Where are the Kurds?” When some Turks who were on the streets on May 1st International Workers Day became subject to pepper gas and were beaten up by nightsticks, they were launching into verbal attack saying that they could not see Kurds with them in the streets and asking this question: “Where are the Kurdish people?” After all Kurds were the ones to methodically suffer from pepper gas and nightsticks, and they should have had taken their place in the forefront in this occasion as well.

On the same day, I asked myself the same question: “Really, where are we that Turkish people can never see us?” This article is for those who wonder where we were on May 1st

Some of the Kurds were on the watch on Meskan Mountain of Hakkari on May 1st. Kurdish population of Hakkari sleep in the mountain for months, without caring about weather conditions, just because they want to stop building of military guard houses and kalekols[2] in the region and in the Meskan Mountain. And hundreds of Kurds are spending great effort to stop building of a military guard house in Lice. They are on the watch for peace like those in many other parts of Kurdistan. They “celebrated” the May 1st Labor Day on Meskan Mountain and mountains of Lice under excessively used pepper gas bombs.

More than 12 thousand Kurds were in Mahmour refugee camp, 100 kilometers north of Arbil. Thousands of Kurds, who ran away from oppression of the state after Turkish state evacuated and burned out Kurdish villages close to the border, try to survive in this refugee camp since 1998 fighting against hunger, poverty and diseases. Kurds celebrated May 1st in Mahmour, wistful to their land, beloved ones and homeland.

Kurds are in prisons. Kurdish mayors, NGO representatives, members of parliament, intellectuals, journalists and children… There are 700 Kurdish children in prisons right now. Kurds celebrated May 1steventhough they were behind bars.

Ten thousands of Kurds are far away from their homeland as refugees. These Kurds who did not have a chance to turn back to their countries were on the streets in various cities of Europe for celebration of May 1st.

Thousands of Kurdish mothers come together to search for their lost children in Galatasaray Square, Cizre and Diyarbakır on every Saturday.

Kurds of Botan are on the watch with their tents for months in order to prevent building of the thermal power plant that is planned to be made in Şırnak.

Kurds in Roboski visit graves of their children on May 1st -on exactly the 855th day of Roboski Massacre- like they do on every Thursday.

Some of the Kurds whose homes were burned out and who were forced to migration are still living in tents. They are trying to hold on to life in suburbs of Adana, İzmir, İstanbul, Mersin and Ankara.

Ten thousands of Kurds are on their way for seasonal works at train stations and in pickups stacked up on top of each other. They work for picking and delivering vegetables and fruits you eat.

Kurds are working in the building of the house you live in. Kurds are your neighbours who hide their Kurdish identity for maybe years, classmate of your children who are humiliated for not being able to speak Turkish fluently and those speaking in a low voice in the bus in order to hide their native language… Maybe the children who sell handkerchiefs in your street and whom you find unbearable…

Kurds are only some numbers in statistics about thousands of workers that die every year…

But still thousands of Kurds were actually in the streets on May 1st. Right next to the workers who tried to lynch the one for unfurling PKK flag in Kadıköy….

You can see them if you just turn your head, since they are right next to you. They are collecting your garbage in your street, doing cleaning in your home…

Thousands of Kurds are living in mountains, seeking for a way to come back to their homes.

Thousands of Kurds are in mass graves.

And thousands of them are searching for bones of their children in these mass graves.

Which Kurd are you asking for? Those in graves or on mountains, in prisons or in your streets.

Oh dear God! They are not around today, where are these Kurds indeed?

02.05.2014, Diyarbakır

[1] The title makes reference to a children’s ryhme in Turkish that is performed by two persons. It is as follows: “- Where is the black cat? – It climbed to the tree. – Where is the tree? – The axe cut down the tree. – Where is the axe? – It fell down to water. – Where is the water? – The cow drank the water. – Where is the cow? – It went up to the mountain. – Where is the mountain? It burned to the ground.”
[2] Kalekolmeans a new kind of ultra-safe military guard house system that is easier to build and developed as an alternative to existing guard houses under Turkish Military Forces.