The Tale of Meme and Zîn

East Turkey, 2015/2016

In eastern Anatolia, Taurus and Zagros with its majestic mountain ranges play an important part in the historical and political development of the region. For quite some time strong resistance has been developing here by different groups against state influences and assimilation. The opposition has a long history dating back to the founding of the Turkish State.

The Anatolian heartland has become the centre of on-going struggles for local autonomy, ethnical as well as religious recognition – having started with Armenian and Christian groups, the fight still lasts today.

In many Kurdish cities of eastern Turkey over 60 curfews were imposed by the state since August 2015, with heavy and mortal clashes.
Before those conflicts, self-government and the building of councils was announced.

Notwithstanding, the resistance in many Kurdish cities is powerful. The building of barricades and trenches almost seems like a daily routine and the landscape is scattered with the Kurdish fighting units’ political statements and flags. A new generation, already having lost many beloved ones to the conflict, brings a new and more radical component into the struggle, ready to fight till the last day.

The Tale of Mem and Zîn is a classic love story known by every child in Kurdistan. Similar to Romeo and Juliet it takes a dramatic ending. It is also a symbol for the Kurdish people and its land which seem unable to find peace during lifetime.