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October 16, 2007

Comments

Guy

Thanks Karlos for the update on the new slideshow and the background to getting into the region.

Looking forward to the article in The Diplomat magazine!

Guy

Zuru

I´ve just uploaded the 3d and last slideshow. Urban life on the eve of an invasion

Zuru

Kurdistan is a wonderful place to work. The area is still safe, and the locals couldn´t be friendlier.
Other interesting point is that you pay no bribes at all at any of the multiple checkpoints along the way. Actually, you don´t even pay for your visa. You get a ten days visa stamped on your passport after a friendly interview (they offer you tea) at the border. The only problem comes if you wish to extend it...and you don´t have the right contacts to figure out which queue should you join, sneak into it afterwards...and avoid a blood sample!!

As for the Qandil, you need a driver and a contact to get up there. The landscape is gorgeus, both the mountain and the human one. It´s just mules and piles of plastic jerricans all over the place, nothing else. Some villages get 24 hours electricity thanks to a generator run by the PKK, and some others have none at all. The area has been shelled by both Iran and Turkey since last August. When the katyushas start falling, people run away of their villages and stay in tents along the road until they are over. Everybody blaimed the PKK for the situation, but the "bad guys" told me that they were keeping the smuggling route free from Al Qaeda, Ansar Al Islam and people the like, which might also be true.

The PKK has camps for both men and women, and they go through a very tough training period when they join. Part of it is to live for a month in a cave with just half an hour to pick what you need to survive.

They know the area, they´re at home abd they are experts in surviving under dire conditions. What can those sorry teen Turkish recruits do against them?

Zuru

Thanks for the kudos, mate!

This is a link to the second slideshow I´ve just produced on the Quandil area. No English version now, but I hope the pics and the sound speak for themeselves

http://www.argia.com/kurdistan/multimedia.php

Click on "Gasolinaren erreka"

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