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Photographer's Note

The next stop on my journey across Turkey was Diyarbakir. I chose that city because it is where you can catch a bus to Iraq.

I was lucky to visit during Kurban Bayrami - one of the major religious festivals, also known in English as the Feast of the Sacrifice as it celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his own son to satisfy God's wish. In the evening everyone was in the streets wishing each other "Iyi Bayrami" (Happy Bayrami).

In spite of all the joyful celebrations the atmosphere was very tense. Diyarbakir is the biggest city in Turkish Kurdistan and, as Lonely Planet gently puts it, "violent street demonstrations still occur from time to time". If you mention (as I did) going to Diyarbakir to the Turks from the western and central part of the country, they will look at you as if you have lost your mind.

Riots started the day after I had left. Molotov cocktails were flying and several people got killed in street fighting. The protests soon spread across the country and then the globe, to erupt in each major city with large Kurdish population - except in Iraqi Kurdistan where I happened to be at the time.

What ignited the fire was, among all, the lack of action on the part of Turkish government to provide military support for the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani besieged by Islamic State fighters.

More photos in WS.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 7 N: 2860] (15400)
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