I spent my penultimate night in Anatolia at a homestay in the village of Yuvacali (Yu-va-JA-li), following a day tour to the ‘bee hive’ houses of Harran, near the Syrian border, and the ancient sites of Sogmatar and Gőbekli Tepe – the latter, dated from 9000 BC, being the world’s oldest known religious temple.  Both experiences were courtesy of Nomad Tours, an responsible tourism outfit run by British ex-pat Alison Tanik – now married to a village man – and employing her various in-laws and other villagers.  More on Harran and the ancient ruins later; for now I am very glad to be able to give further impressions of Kurdish culture, thanks to my new experience of their tremendous hospitality.  I stayed with married couple Pero and Halil, and their two sons Farouk and Fatih.  Fatih, 19, has taught himself English and speaks it with languid delight. After dinner, he…

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    In our country a look a wave of the hand means the world In our country there are no terraces of paradise no rewards from ‘The North Gate’ Bejan Matur Wikipedia will give you all the background facts: 25 to 30 million Kurds inhabit the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates, a region known since antiquity as Mesopotamia; they have never enjoyed self-government but since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire have been the subjects of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Kurds represent at least 20% of the Turkish population, and are the dominant population in the southeast of the country; Kurdish separatists have resisted assimilation into the Turkish state since the nineteen twenties.  From 1925-1965, Anatolia was declared a closed military zone in which Kurds were forbidden to read or write their own language and the very words ‘Kurd’ and ‘Kurdistan’ banished from Turkish dictionaries; from…

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