The first time I was confronted with a destroyed Kurdish village was during a prospecting visit to Diyarbakir and the region in 2009. Intrigued by this visit, I started to search for pictures of other destroyed villages. The region is littered with 'ghost villages', but there are few photographic sources documenting this. Pictures of and by Kurds usually show folklore as their cultural identity. Plenty has been reported on the destruction of the villages, but the number of published pictures of those ghost towns does not nearly match the scale of the event. Although Turkey has been generously photographed, the south-eastern region seems to be a blind spot on the visual map. The fact that photos are so rare is remarkable in our present-day culture in which every relevant event is at the same time a battlefield for the production and distribution of images.
The first images I found were part of the collection of IHD in Diyarbakir, a small organization of human rights. These non-annotated images were compelling enough for me to start my fieldtrips.
Photos courtesey IHD, Dyarbakir