Story

The Past, Present and Future of Kurdistan

April 24, 2012|

Diyarbakir, a predominantly Kurdish city in southeastern Turkey, is riven by politics. Plastered all over the city walls are the letters 'PKK'--an abbreviation for the name of the Kurdistan Workers' Party that has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984 for an autonomous Kurdistan. You also see the initials for newer organizations that have sought to distinguish themselves from the PKK but are fervently pro-Kurdish all the same. Pulitzer Center grantee Jenna Krajeski captures the city in all its ferment, focusing on the daily rounds of Abdullah Demirbas, the charismatic pro-Kurdish mayor of Diyarbakir's Sur district who has been jailed for his political activities -- and whose own son ran off to the mountains to join the fighters of PKK.