Touched by Görümlü

I suppose the people of Görümlü, a hamlet between the town of Silopi and the Turkish border with Iraq, didn’t know yet, when they smuggled me into their village in 1993, that six of the men who had recently been arrested, were sadistically murdered by the soldiers who took them away. This week a trial began against the military officers and soldiers who were responsible. This is unprecendented and a great, if bitter victory for the families, even if they have had to wait 20 years, and even if the court immediately decided that the case should be moved to Ankara because the suspects’ safety could not be guaranteed.

All over the region people were forced to flee their homes. Here, people cross the Tigris, searching for safety. The inhabitants of Görümlü had to evacuate part of their village.

The news took me right back to those dark days. I want to share the story I wrote about my touching visit to Görümlü. It was published in the anthology ‘Tales from the Expat Harem’ in 2005. You can click here to read it.

Here you find the statement made by Human Rights Watch. Beware. It contains some gruesome detail of what happened to the villagers.

 

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